Sustainability of Remote Aboriginal Art Centres in Australian Desert Communities

Sustainability of Remote Aboriginal Art Centres in Australian Desert Communities Thesis

Curtin Graduate School of Business

  • Author(s): Petersen, Kim
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Curtin University
  • Volume: PhD

Abstract: This thesis investigates and analyses the functions and business practices that underpin the sustainability and performance of Australian remote Aboriginal Art Centre Co-operatives. The primary means for Aboriginal artists to engage with audiences and mainstream markets is through Art Centre Co-operatives. The sustainability of Aboriginal Art Centres is of critical importance to remote communities as they contribute to the economic, social and cultural capital of the communities and provide the artists and their families with benefits through enhanced economic security, access to training and employment. This thesis also explored the additional benefits derived from the Art Centres, which contribute, to individual and community wellness and longterm sustainability. Methodologically this thesis draws extensively on the Mazzarol et al (2011a; 2011b; 2012a; 2012b; 2012c) Framework for Co-operative Enterprise Research but further develops the model to incorporate the unique features of Aboriginal community enterprises. A new culturally appropriate Combined Research Framework is presented for use as a research tool that enables a systematic analysis of the sustainability of remote Aboriginal Art Centre Cooperatives which flourish in two milieu – a domain of industry and commerce and a creative environment of cultural and social expression that has Aboriginal tradition and culture as the nucleus. Most remote Art Centres have experienced a sustained downturn in sales, coinciding with a long-term drop in profitability due to the global financial crisis and Australian Government policy changes. This downturn has negatively impacted the fiscal and social resilience and sustainability of remote communities and individual artists’ livelihoods. This thesis investigates the enabling factors and opportunities for the sustainability of remote Aboriginal Art Centres and has identified critical factors for Art Centres endeavouring to achieve long-term viability.

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Suggested Citation
Petersen, Kim, 2015, Sustainability of Remote Aboriginal Art Centres in Australian Desert Communities, Volume:PhD, Thesis, viewed 18 April 2024,

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