Artists have come out en masse to protect Australia’s resale royalty scheme which delivers multiple benefits to artists. They are sending a strong message to the Federal Arts Minister Senator George Brandis who will shortly be making a decision about the scheme’s future.

In just a few short weeks, more than 3,600 artists and art lovers have signed a petition set up by the National Association for the Visual Arts supporting the Resale Right for Artists and urging the Arts Minister, to uphold the right “which will build a stronger and more professional creative sector in this country for decades to come”.

Ms Winikoff sent the petition to Senator Brandis yesterday, urging him to consider the views of artists and meet with NAVA to discuss potential refinements to the scheme to improve it and create “a lasting legacy for artists”.

A further 70 established artists are signatories to a letter sent very recently to Senator Brandis in support of the scheme and more than 100 artists from all over Australia have staged an exhibition at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Leichhardt, which has been extended until May 24.

Exhibiting artists include Nicholas Harding, Reg Mombassa, Mandy Martin, Martine Emdur, Luke Sciberras, Hilary and Kevin Wirri, Juan Ford, Matthew Johnson and artists from Maningrida, Ernabella, Iwantja Arts, Martumili, Tjala Arts, Tangentyere and Ngurratjuta Many Hands Arts Centre.

Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) said. “The rally to support the scheme’s retention has finally brought some balance to the debate about the resale right.”

“Artists overwhelmingly want this scheme but until now they have been the silent majority as many gallery owners and art market professionals have held the floor strongly opposing the scheme because of its administrative requirements. However, now that the scheme has been operating for three years, many of the new processes are now in place and becoming second nature to galleries with some private commercial galleries coming out in support of the scheme.”

“What the resale royalty scheme has changed is the transparency it has given the art market, providing invaluable information about the provenance of artists’ work and allowing them to continue to have a modest interest in the work when it is resold.”

“The amount of the artists’ royalty is significant to artists, many of whom live below the poverty line.”

For media comment contact Tamara Winikoff m: 0411 162 156

CONTACT: Sam Mitchell Fin:

Quotes from signatories to the Resale Royalty petition on

Sydney artist, Ruark Lewis
“The Resale Royalty is essential to the well-being of the arts community for several important reasons. Firstly it is a line of support for Indigenous Australians and their families, and the fragile Aboriginal arts industry. Also for other Australian artists and their families, the income is often used to support and broaden archiving and caring for the artist’s legacy. These are but two examples of the ongoing value that Resales Royalties offer to the arts community. I have continually supported Resales Rights for Artists, both as an artist and collector of art.”

Susanna Mills
Because everybody makes money out of artists, but they are never prepared to pay them a fair price/rate or attribute much, if any value to the artist who creates the art. The Visual Arts profession has little to NO regulation regarding payment, resulting in Australian artists being an underprivileged group, which is highly vulnerable and therefore open to exploitation.

Graham Cowan
As an art lover who owns Aboriginal art bought in the 1970s I believe that the value accrued by the popularising of the genre should be shared with the original artist (who in the main were undervalued).

Pauline Denny, Wollongong
One day my art work could be resold and I would like to know and keep track of what happens and make a bit more money on something that is part of you at one part of your life.

John Martin
As a practising artist I believe that every small recognition is important.

Valerie Keenan
This is important to me personally as an independent artist and artsworker, and it is important to me in my work environment where I support in excess of 30 Aboriginal artists to develop their careers and opportunities.

Judi Ewings
Without artists our culture and society is lessened. In general artists earn very little and utilise their skills to create works to benefit us all.


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