Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair to be held as inaugural online event in 2020

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair to be held as inaugural online event in 2020
May 27, 2020

Australia’s largest Indigenous art event, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF), will be held in an online format for the first time this year, providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and arts lovers a unique digital platform through which to connect.

Staged by the not-for-profit Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation and now in its 14th year, the online DAAF program is set to run for nine days from 6th to 14th August 2020.

In delivering DAAF, the Foundation’s mission is to encourage the production and ethical promotion of Aboriginal arts, with 100% of all sales generated by the event returned to Art Centres and their respective Indigenous communities.

Like many arts events globally, plans for DAAF were thrown into doubt following COVID-19 border closures and the introduction of social distancing measures.

However, seeing these unprecedented times as a unique opportunity to reach an even broader Australian and international audience through digital channels, DAAF organisers have embraced the concept of a ‘virtual fair’ and supporting program of online events.

The event will comprise:

14th Annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. The new online platform will connect Arts Centres with art buyers while creating wider community awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in innovative ways. Online exhibition portals will be included on the DAAF website to enable Art Centres to showcase and sell their artists’ work. DAAF takes no commissions on the artworks sold, with 100% of sales returning to Art Centres and their communities.

DAAF Public Program. A vibrant program of cultural performances, artist workshops and demonstrations, Indigenous food experiences, panel discussions and a children’s collaborative art project will be hosted on the DAAF website and social channels.

Cultural Keepers Program. Six online sessions will bring together Indigenous curators, senior Art Centre staff and special guests from international Indigenous Nations to facilitate an exchange of stories and a ‘behind the scenes’ look into the world of arts workers and curators.

Inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards. A celebration of innovation, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers, the NIFAs will culminate in an awards ceremony, broadcast on television and digital channels, in August. Awards nominations are now open, closing 31st May.

The popular Country to Couture fashion show has been postponed, with consideration being given to running it as a separate event later in the year, pending changes to current restrictions.

Foundation Executive Director, Claire Summers, said the program had been crafted to deliver a range of vibrant, engaging opportunities to immerse audiences and participants in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, fashion and culture.

“It’s exciting to be able to deliver DAAF in such an engaging and accessible format – by moving to a digital platform, we can reach a truly global audience and help people from all walks of life explore the wonderful world of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and design.”

DAAF is internationally celebrated as a world-class event. In 2019, DAAF attracted 2,000 artists from 70 Art Centres, each representing their own unique culture from every corner of the country, and a record attendance of over 17,000. It also generated significant art sales of $2.84 million. The Fair had an economic impact of more than $13.2 million in the Northern Territory..

Summers explained that in addition to creating important flow-on benefits for Indigenous communities, DAAF was the only event of its kind that brought diverse local and international audiences together with artists, performers and arts workers from some of Australia’s most remote regions.

“In either an online or offline format, DAAF creates an important meeting place for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together to celebrate the rich heritage and vibrant culture of our First Nations Peoples.”

NT Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss, congratulated the DAAF team on their leadership and ingenuity with their swift adaptation to the current environment by moving to an online model.

“The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is the only national event of its kind and has secured a reputation as the country’s most significant and internationally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts event, which will now move into the digital sphere this year.

“Now more than ever, the preservation, protection and elevation of culture is critical to the health and wellbeing of communities throughout the Northern Territory – I commend the wonderful team at DAAF on their forward thinking and adaptability during these times.

“I am also excited to see the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards come to fruition. The Awards will offer fresh opportunities for remote Aboriginal designers and a platform to promote their unique couture creations both nationally and to the world.”

For more information about the 14th Annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, visit

Image: 2019 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. Credit Dylan Buckee

Related Articles

27th May 2020 - 22nd Biennale of Sydney resumes after COVID-19 lockdown

15th May 2020 - New online training program launched to help Australian businesses return to work safely

12th May 2020 - World Stadium Congress heads online in 2020

15th April 2020 - Embed launches range of online initiatives to engage attractions industry

8th April 2020 - Casula Powerhouse delivers free online programs

6th April 2020 - Life Saving Victoria coordinates online Professional Development Series

6th April 2020 - Online conference to address tourism challenges through Coronavirus pandemic

5th April 2020 - Life Saving Victoria delivers revised online CPR and First Aid Training for Essential Workers

3rd April 2020 - Australian Reptile Park launches new online educational initiative

3rd April 2020 - Eight out of 10 New Zealand trainers and exercise facilities now operating online

2nd April 2020 - Google Arts and Culture offers virtual tours of museums and galleries during Coronavirus closures

1st April 2020 - Sydney Opera House takes performances online during Coronavirus lockdown

25th March 2020 - Belgravia Group launches online fitness program

22nd March 2020 - Online cricket coaching program launched

13th February 2020 - Cairns invests over $3 million in public art

9th December 2019 - Western Australia launches online education for combat sports industry

31st August 2019 - Business case released for National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs

3rd August 2019 - Fremantle Biennale announces program for UNDERCURRENT 19

28th December 2018 - Nine Aboriginal arts projects to share in Western Australia Government funding

21st June 2018 - Australian Government invests in digital labelling to combat fake Aboriginal art

26th March 2018 - Northern Territory Government picks Alice Springs site for new Indigenous museum

20th July 2016 - Cairns Indigenous Art Fair draws record crowd

28th August 2015 - Australia Council report explains ways for Australian audiences to experience more Indigenous art

27th November 2013 - Study reveals the impact of Public Art Museums

5th July 2012 - $48 million in Federal funding for Indigenous arts, culture and languages

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

The P.A. People

The P.A. People is a specialist integrator and contractor in sound reinforcement, audio visual systems, performance lighting and production communications. Over its almost 50 year history the company…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Sport / Technology / Venues



At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation



Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness



Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues


METRA Australia

METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities.  Our team’s…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security



Intelligenz provides Leisure Management Software for managing all your Program Registrations, Facility Bookings, Membership Sales and POS Transactions; including detailed Reporting, automated…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business