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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts and crafts: study report
Inauthentic, Indigenous-style products mislead consumers, deprive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists of income and disrespect cultures. In this report, the Productivity Commission recommends the introduction of legislation that will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to protect important aspects of their cultures from being misappropriated in visual arts and crafts.
The Commission recommends strengthening the supports available to artists through the Indigenous Art Code, and reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of government funding, to ensure it aligns with community priorities, and supports future growth in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts and crafts workforce.
- Total sales of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts and crafts reached at least $250 million in 2019‑20 — this includes about $35 million in artwork sales through art centres and at least $80 million in sales of merchandise and consumer products (mostly souvenirs).
- Inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts — which include Indigenous‑style products created by non‑Indigenous people, products that use Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) without the authorisation of traditional custodians, and products that infringe copyright — are a pervasive and longstanding problem.
- A mandatory disclosure requirement for Indigenous‑style products not created or licensed by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person offers a proportionate and cost effective way of helping consumers distinguish between products and reducing unfair competition in the market.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts and crafts: draft report https://apo.org.au/node/318646