Strong Business Program Coordinator, Desart

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About the organisation

Desart is the peak arts industry body for Central Australian Aboriginal art and craft centres operating in the cross-border regions of the Norther Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. The organisation was established as a not-for-profit entity in 1992 and is incorporated under the Northern Territory Incorporations and Associations Act. Desart’s current membership comprises 37 Aboriginal art and craft centres located within five defined regions: the Barkly; the North West; Central Alice Springs and surrounds; the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of WA; and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of SA. The organisation is governed by a ten member Aboriginal Executive Committee comprising two delegates from each of the five designated regions and led by a chairperson elected by the Board. Desart exists to support, promote and advocate on behalf of Aboriginal artists and member art centres to ensure their recognition and sustainability as a vital cultural, social and economic resource for Aboriginal people of Central Australia. In this capacity, Desart speaks with a united voice on behalf of its members to provide strong advocacy on a variety of important industry issues and undertakes various initiatives and programs based on the principles of capacity building, better business practices, leadership and good governance across the three tiers of art centre operations – directors, art centre staff and artists.

About the role

The Strong Business Program Coordinator is responsible for the development and delivery of Desart’s Strong Business Program 2020-24, promoting best practice management of art centres and supporting them to acquire infrastructure and operational resources. The Strong Business Program supports art centres to run strong, healthy businesses, providing opportunities and building the capacity required for the creation of high-quality artworks. It supports the artistic, cultural, social and economic aspirations of member Art Centres, working closely with Art Centre management (managers, coordinators, directors). The Strong Business Program covers four main areas: – Human Resource Support – Art Centre Management Resource Development – Events – Communications


Human Resource Support:

• Provide information, advice and referrals, business tools and frameworks that support best practice standards in human resource management, financial management, business planning, infrastructure, workplace safety, industrial relations, incorporation, and taxation compliance.

• Identify and secure funding that supports the Strong Business Program from government, philanthropic and private sources.

• Maintain a current and broad awareness/understanding of relevant government and industry issues, policies, and strategies e.g., Fair Work ORIC, State and Federal funding agencies

• Provide ongoing business mentoring, access to phone support for art centres and at least one annual professional development workshop

• Manage and report on the deliverables on service provider contracts e.g. Arts Law, IT, EASA

• Assist art centres to identify and secure physical infrastructure that meets national workplace safety standards, including conducting art centre infrastructure audits and supporting art centres in infrastructure funding applications

• Support art centre boards to recruit and retain art centre managers • Facilitate access for art centres to engage with key industry organisations, such as Artists in the Black, Copyright Australia, HR consultants, funding and philanthropic agencies Resource Development:

• Develop a range of resources responsive to art centre needs

• Develop and maintain a body of knowledge as a resource for members, including information about procedures, copyright, documentation, exhibition proformas, IR issues, contracts, OHS issues and training

• Develop and manage Professional Development opportunities for Art Centre managers

• Produce contextualised governance related resources for art centre management

• Create and collate resources that support art centre compliance.


• Plan, co-ordinate and manage the annual Desart Conference and regional meetings with art centres and Desart staff


• Provide art centres with monthly relevant information about funding and prize opportunities

• Establish and maintain open communications between Desart and its members, through onsite visits and other methods of communication

• Build public awareness of ethical buying practices, including the promotion of the Indigenous Art Code and the Resale Royalty Scheme

• Gather content and stories from art centres for Desart publications online and in print Other

▪ Provide timely program reports to the GM/CEO in compliance with funding agreements, or as requested

▪ Attend board meetings and provide program reports and updates, as directed

▪ Represent Desart on industry forums/committees as required

▪ Other duties that are safe, legal and logical while being within the limits of the employee’s competence and training and consistent with the position classification

Working Relationships

▪ Reports to and takes direction from the Desart CEO

▪ Maintains effective and collaborative working relationships with all Desart staff

▪ Maintains effective and collaborative working relationships with Desart member organisations, Aboriginal people, Aboriginal organisations, government bodies, philanthropic agencies, service providers and contractors

Extent of Authority

▪ Supervision and management of the Strong Business Program Officer

About you

The ideal candidate will:

▪ Have an in-depth understanding of arts and cultural development and/or a background as an arts manager, business or HR manager, cultural worker or project manager within the Aboriginal arts sector, government or creative industries

▪ Have skills that support the growth and sustainability of the Indigenous arts and culture sector

▪ Be a competent, culturally capable communicator, able to provide guidance and support to others in a way which enhances their performance

▪ Have knowledge of governance, business and HR issues commonly affecting Aboriginal Art Centres

▪ Have proven experience in report writing and funding acquittals

▪ Have proven experience in coordinating and managing events

Selection criteria:


1. Qualifications or relevant experience in arts administration, business administration, HR and/or Aboriginal organisations

2. Knowledge and understanding of the Australian Aboriginal arts industry, locally, nationally and internationally

3. Demonstrated experience with funding and grant management and budgeting

4. Mature and confident approach and ability to solve problems and respond to situations in a flexible, practical, culturally appropriate way

5. Highly developed interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including high level cultural competency and the ability to communicate in an intercultural, multi-disciplinary environment

6. Sound skills and experience in the use of Microsoft Office application software (including Outlook, Word, Excel,) and electronic information systems

7. Demonstrated ability to work with limited direction and to initiate and to set priorities, undertake new tasks quickly, to be flexible and accommodate change and respond effectively to challenges with a high level of personal responsibility.

8. Current driver’s licence (manual), willingness and ability to travel to and work in remote locations.


1. Understanding of the national arts industry and key stakeholders, particularly in relation to Aboriginal arts

2. Events management experience

3. Experience living in a remote environment

To apply

Applications must be received by 5pm Central Standard Time on Friday 10th June, 2022.

The acceptance of late applications will be at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer of Desart.

For more information regarding this position or the recruitment process please contact Angie Stahl, General Manager on 08 8953 4736 or 0438 490 974,

Email Subject: Confidential – Attention: Strong Business Program Coordinator, Desart

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

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

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

o 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.

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