Joann Russo from the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre recently completed the Indigenous Arts Leadership and Fellowship Program at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. As one of ten Indigenous arts-workers selected from across Australia, Joann enjoyed the opportunity of discovery and learning through this immersive, professional development experience.
The annual two week program sponsored by Wesfarmers Arts, gives participants access to the inner workings of Australia’s premier art gallery and collection including a series of experiential activities. Public speaking, artwork research, cultural discussion opportunities, networking and relationship building are key components of the program which provides safe cultural spaces in which to interact.Joann and the other participants were mentored by the National Gallery of Australia Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art (NGA) Franchesca Cubillo, Program Producer Shane Nelson and Curators Tina Baum and Kelli Cole.
Joann returned to Girringun with a better understanding of the value that Indigenous culture holds within the visual and creative arts sector. This program is available to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who work within the visual arts sector. More information can be found at www.nga.gov.au/indigenousleaders
Main image credit: 2018 Wesfarmers Indigenous Arts Leadership program participants including Joann (Centre right) with Director for the National Gallery of Australia Nick Mitzevich (centre) Image: courtesy National Gallery of Australia