Byron Bay’s Anthony Walker this week completed the prestigious Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Leadership Program, celebrating at a graduation dinner at the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra, on Wednesday night.
Anthony, who is an Indigenous arts development officer at Arts Northern Rivers, was one of just a handful of people selected to participate in the residential program.
‘I want to take this knowledge back to the artists that I work with and encourage the mob to work in institutions like this,’ he said of his experience of the 10-day program, which has been designed to increase Indigenous leadership within the visual arts sector.
‘Coming to the National Gallery of Australia has reaffirmed my belief that there are many roles within major institutions where our cultural knowledge and sensitivity is integral.’
Anthony, who is a Yiman/Gurreng Gurreng man and practising visual artist, said one of his ambitions was to see a public art gallery opened in Byron Bay.
‘Byron Bay is a mecca for the arts and yet we don’t have one. It would be a community-building activity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.’
During the program Anthony attended workshops on industry practice such as copyright law, arts marketing, conservation and exhibition design.
He also had personally led tours of the Pacific, Asian, International, Australian, Portrait and Photography galleries, and received career-mapping sessions with Franchesca Cubillo, senior adviser Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.
The Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Leadership Program was established to address the lack of representation of Indigenous Australians in the administration and operational area of the visual arts sector.