Art Centre Manager – Papulankutja Artists

Application Close Date: 22/05/2017
Desart Inc
Submitted by: admin Ngaanyatjarra West

Papulankutja Artists is a lively Aboriginal-owned and governed art centre located in Papulankutja (Blackstone Community) on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia. Papulankutja is a small community where bush tucker is in good supply and Yarnangu (Aboriginal people) retain their culture and speak Ngatjatjarra and Ngaanyatjarra. The community is located near the tri-state border of WA/NT/SA, at the base of the Blackstone Ranges on the northern edge of the Great Victoria Desert. By 4WD road, Uluru is approx. 400 km east and Kalgoorlie about 1000 km south-west.

The art centre currently has two Aboriginal arts worker staff and represents about 60 artists at Papulankutja and 20 artists at nearby Mantamaru (Jameson Community). The principal art practice is painting but artists of the region are also renowned for their prize-winning tjanpi art (fibre art) and their punu (wood carvings). Other enterprise activities at the art centre include the making of bush soaps and spinifex paper. Papulankutja Artists is community focused and strives for everybody to work together with a strong heart. The art centre is a member of the Western Desert Mob collective, Desart and the Indigenous Art Code.

The Art Centre Manager position

The artists and directors of Papulankutja Artists are seeking a highly capable and motivated arts professional to join them in the role of Art Centre Manager. The position is a one-year full-time contract, with the opportunity to extend. The Manager will work closely with the Board of Directors to facilitate excellence in art-making, support Yarnangu staff, manage the strategic and operational aspects of the business and co-develop and deliver community-focused arts and cultural programs. They will embed and sustain good governance practices to build operational capacity and position the art centre for growth in its artistic and cultural activities.

What we are looking for

This is a leadership role, requiring enthusiasm and negotiation skills, and a commitment to building capacity and supporting all generations of local people in their art centre. We want someone who is practical and strategic, with knowledge of Aboriginal art and hands-on art studio experience, together with good business acumen. Our preference is for someone who has a track record of successfully managing the demands of a high-energy studio and a busy enterprise in a remote environment. Above all, they will be able to demonstrate positive artistic, social and economic outcomes in their work.

The position requires excellent interpersonal skills, a capacity to work effectively across cultures, and a genuine commitment to Indigenous self-determination. Previous positive experience in a similar role will be highly regarded.


A salary of $60,000–$70,000 (cash component) plus superannuation and benefits including provision for salary sacrifice (capped), leave loading, subsidised accommodation and generous annual leave (six weeks).

Application process

The Board of Directors of Papulankutja Artists has engaged Desart to manage the recruitment of their new Art Centre Manager. Desart is the non-profit peak industry body for over 40 Central Australian Aboriginal art centres. An information package that includes the position description can be obtained from here or by emailing:

Applications close at 9.00 am (CST) on Monday 22 May 2017.