Art Centre Manager, Papulankutja Artists

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About the community and art centre

Papulankutja Artists is an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit corporation operating in the Blackstone Community on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in Western Australia. Papulankutja (Blackstone) community is approximately 900kms west of Alice Springs and 1575kms north-east of Perth. As Yarnangu custodians, the artists play a major role in maintaining culture, law, and storytelling practices which are still relevant across the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. Papulankutja artists are committed to achieving positive economic, social and cultural outcomes for Yarnangu.  The artists have participated in major collaborative exhibitions over the years including Songlines: Tracking The Seven Sisters for the National Gallery of Australia collection in Canberra and Ngurra which showed at South Australia Museum. Papulankutja participates annually in key industry events such as Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Revealed Exhibition for Emerging Aboriginal Artists, Desert Mob and Tarnanthi.  The paintings are available for sale through reputable galleries and directly from Papulankutja Artists website and all proceeds are returned to the artists and their organisation.  This is a unique opportunity for a professional who is passionate about the creation of opportunities for communities to grow and strengthen. An understanding of the importance of sharing culture in this role is important as you are expected to take artists out on country for artist’s camps.

About the role

Art Centre Manager

Reports to: Papulankutja Artists Board of Directors

As Art Centre Manager, you will;

1. Maintain best practice administrative procedures required in the day-to-day operation of the art centre including correspondence, business documentation, stock control, retail and wholesale sales, reporting, financial management and contract management

2. Prepare submissions for funding bodies and acquit funding in consultation with the directors, staff and Desart. Prepare mid-year reports and acquittals for submission to funding bodies.

3. Financial management – banking, bookkeeping, working closely with the accountants and auditor of art centre and reporting to the Art Centre Directors.

4. Maintain equipment, vehicle, buildings and facilities ensuring that they are in line with OH&S standards.

5. Manage staff; Studio Coordinator and Aboriginal Art Workers.

6. Encourage and support Aboriginal employment, through training and mentoring.

7. Market and promote the art centre locally, nationally and internationally through appropriate exhibitions, projects, prizes and advocacy activities.

8. Administer artists’ copyright and intellectual property including license agreements.

9. Adhere to the projects and programs of the art centre as outlined in the organisation’s business and strategic plan and in accordance with applicable funding requirements and guidelines.

10. Recognise and respect existing traditional law and leadership frameworks as they impact on the governance of the art centre.

11. Maintain a cooperative, flexible and harmonious relationship with members, the community, its Council and other local organisations, as well as with external organisations and stakeholders.

12. Blackstone Festival: assist staff and fellow service providers with coordinating activities and participants dependent upon COVID-19 regulations.

Salary Package

1. Remuneration: The  salary range is between $70k-75k (dependent on experience) plus superannuation as per current legislation. Salary sacrifice packaging is available (capped). 12 month contract (renewable – dependent on funds being secured)

2. Hours of work 37.5 hours per week. Usual hours will be Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

3. Travel Relocation costs are available for this position.

4. Accommodation Accommodation and utility bills will be discussed with you at the interview.

5. Annual Leave 6 weeks annual leave (based on completion of ordinary hours)

6. Time off in Lieu Where approved by the Board of Directors, you may take time off in lieu (TOIL), up to a maximum of 10 days.

7. Conditions Staff employed by the art centre are expected to abide by the relevant sections of the Indigenous Australian Art Commercial Code of Conduct.  By-laws apply to all residents and visitors to Papulankutja (Blackstone) and any breach of bylaws regarding the use of alcohol or other substances is likely to lead to summary dismissal.

Selection Criteria – Please respond directly to each of the selection criteria (2 pages maximum);


1. Tertiary qualifications in business, community development or arts management or similar relevant qualification and/or extensive demonstrated relevant professional experience.

2. Experience working with and supporting artists to create high quality art and artist management across a multi-faceted artistic and cultural program.

3. Demonstrated management skills including successful strategic, business, governance and cultural aspects of working for an Aboriginal Corporation.

4. Demonstrated experience in the ability to secure funding, meet accounting standards and manage and maintain assets.

5. Knowledge of contemporary Aboriginal and broader visual arts industry; prizes, art markets, and exhibition opportunities for emerging and established artist career development.

6. High level experience in arts marketing, digital and online sales.

7. High level communication, stakeholder and time management skills.

8. Experience in staff mentoring and training and employment and skills development programs.

9. Demonstrated ability in successful stress management, engaging positive coping and self-care strategies

10. A current driver’s licence and experience or ability to drive a manual 4WD


1. Ability to take high quality photographs with a digital SLR camera.

2. Adobe Creative Suite skills will be highly regarded especially InDesign and Photoshop.

3. Previous experience living in a remote context.  Applicants that do not address each of the selection criteria will not be considered for an interview.

How to apply

Applications must reach the Desart office by 5pm Central Standard Time Friday 10th June 2022. The acceptance of late applications will be at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer of Desart.

Desart is the not-for-profit peak industry body for 36 Central Australian Aboriginal Art & Craft Centres and the Papulankutja Artists Board of Directors has engaged Desart to assist them in the recruitment of their new Art Centre Manager and Studio Coordinator.

For more information regarding this position or the recruitment process please contact Angie Stahl, General Manager on 89534736 or 0438490974.

Email Subject: Confidential – Attention: Art Centre Manager, Papulankutja  Mail Attention: General Manager Desart Inc PO Box 9219,  Alice Springs, NT 0871

Preparing your application

Selection of candidates involves a written application, an interview and reference checks. The successful applicant will also need to apply for a national (Federal) police clearance certificate.

Your application should comprise of the following documents and information;

– Covering Letter – A summary of your background and suitability for the position should be addressed in the covering letter (1 page maximum using a letter template)

– Resume – (2 pages maximum including referees) o A summary of your employment history starting with the most recent. Please include dates, name of employer, position title and a brief description of your role

– Any training courses you have done in the last two to three years including first aid

– Any activities outside of work which are relevant to the position you are applying for and;

– Provide names, contact details, description of the working relationship with each referee.

Preparing for the interview

All interview questions will be work related – that is they will relate to the selection criteria for the position you have applied for. The same questions will be asked for every interviewee so please read the position description and selection criteria in preparation for your interview.

Click on the link to access the Desart Art Centre Guidebook and other industry publications to give you some background on working in an art centre.

Successful Candidates Police Clearance: You will be required to provide a National Police Clearance Certificate before commencing employment. Expenses of obtaining this clearance will be your responsibility.  Probationary Period: A probationary period of 3 months will need to be completed. A performance review will be held at the end of the probationary period and continuing employment confirmed subject to satisfactory performance.  Should you not perform your duties for which you have been employed to the satisfaction of the Papulankutja Artists Board of Directors, this corporation may at its discretion extend the period for a further three months or terminate this contract of employment by giving you relevant written notice or paying you in lieu of the notice period.

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