Yesterday, the report of the House of Representative Indigenous Affairs Standing Committee on the impact of inauthentic art and craft in the style of First Nations peoples was tabled. The report makes a number of significant recommendations which if actioned, could make a significant impact on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts industry across the country.
Most importantly it would make the production and sale of inauthentic significantly more difficult and less accessible.
The committee recommended the following:
- That the Productivity Commission conducts a comprehensive structural analysis of the entire market for First Nations art and craft.
- That the Indigenous Art Code be properly funded and a review take place after two years to determine whether this voluntary code of conduct is being effective or whether a mandatory system should be considered.
- That a separate arm of the existing Indigenous Business Sector Strategy be created for First Nations art centres to build their capacity.
- That an Information Standard be developed for authentic First Nations art and crafts.
- That an information guide on authentic art and crafts be developed as a short video presentation to all passengers arriving into Australia.
- That a Certification Trade Mark scheme for authentic First Nations art and crafts be developed by IP Australia in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
- That a consultation process be initiated to develop stand-alone legislation protecting Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property, including traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.
This report is the first national investigation and report on the impact of inauthentic art and craft in the style of First Nations peoples.
The Committee heard evidence from artists and art organisations form across the country including the Northern Territory. The inquiry received 161 submissions and held 26 public hearings across the country.
I want to thank all of those who took the time and made the effort to speak to the Committee, especially those from remote locations.
The recommendations of the report if acted upon would make a significant difference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Artists and their art centres and communities.