Representatives from twelve AACHWA member art centres gathered in Broome in October for the AACHWA Art Centre Managers Forum. Managers travelled from across Western Australia to be part of this unique forum with representatives from art centres from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, Mid-West, Pilbara and Kimberley. Managers participated in practical operational training, focused forum discussions, networking events and visits to art centres.
2019 marked 3 years since AACHWA’s last Manager’s forum, and this year’s program expanded on our previous forums in significant ways. This was AACHWA’s first forum held in a regional location, and we were fortunate to be hosted by Nagula Jarndu Designs. This enhanced participants cultural learnings and allowed more activity to take place in the local Aboriginal organisations hosting and participating in the forum. A highlight for many was the day trip to Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre where managers got a chance to see behind the scenes at the centre’s print making and archival facilities and hear about the exciting projects undertaken at the centre.
A one-day Focussed Forum Discussion was held on the topic of Arts Worker Training, CDP and Funding Opportunities. Guest speakers from a range of institutions and organisations attended including – ECU, FutureNow, Kimberley Land Council, North Metropolitan and Northern Regional TAFE . Presenters shared perspectives on arts worker training. We also had representatives from DLGSC, IVAIS, and NIAA join us for information sessions on funding and upcoming opportunities.
There was a new emphasis on shared learning between art centre managers with time throughout the week for managers to present their own success’ and challenges. This gave managers the opportunity to exchange stories of their key challenges and successes, and to give and receive professional critical feedback from each other in a supportive environment.
It was a fabulous experience for AACHWA to bring together so many member art centres, and we are very grateful to all the managers who travelled such a long way and engaged with the experience so wholeheartedly.