Ethical Purchasing

Promoting the ethical purchasing of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artwork sits at the heart of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, and is embedded in our vision and mission.

Here are some great organisations you can visit to learn more about how you can ensure your purchases are bought the ‘right way’ and support artists.


The Indigneous Art Code is a system to preserve and promote ethical trading in Indigenous art. 

The Indigenous Art Code helps protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists by getting sellers of their art to commit to treating artists fairly, honestly and respectfully. It is a set of rules and guidelines that art dealers commit to follow to ensure ethical practices and to protect artists from exploitation.

Whether you’re buying from an art centre, a gallery, a dealer, an auction, or an art fair, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, ask more. Three key questions every buyer should consider:

  1. Who is the artist?
  2. Where is the artist from?
  3. How does the artist get paid?

How to buy Ethically



Arts Law is Australia’s national community legal centre for the arts, which provides free or low cost specialised legal advice, education and resources to Australian artists and arts organisations. Arts Law has a specialised service, Artists in the Black, which is dedicated to assisting First Nations artists.




The Copyright Agency is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that has been standing up for creators for more than 40 years. We enable the reuse of copyright-protected words and images in return for fair payment to creators. Their vision is for a world that encourages and supports creativity, communication and learning.



Art Centre Peak Bodies



The Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA (AACHWA) is the peak advocacy and resource agency for Aboriginal Art Centres in WA. AACHWA supports its members through services which are designed to support art centre boards, staff and artists. Additionally, the program as a whole provides interlocking benefits across the three target groups by strengthening key areas of art centre practice.




Arnhem Northern and Kimberley Artists (ANKA) Aboriginal Corporation is a non-profit, peak advocacy body and support agency for Indigenous artists and Indigenous owned Art Centres and artist groups located across Northern Australia. ANKA is the face and voice for Aboriginal artists from the Kimberley, Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, and Darwin/Katherine regions. You can learn more about ethical purchasing by downloading this Consumer Purchasing Guide, produced by ANKA in association with the Northern Territory Government.




Desart is the peak body for Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Centres to maintain, develop and deliver programs relevant to their Art Centre membership. They have 34 independently governed Aboriginal Art and Craft Centres representing 8,000 artists. Desart is governed by 10 member Aboriginal board representing 5 regions and employ 8 staff servicing a membership area of 1.221 million square km




Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA) is the peak body supporting Indigenous Art Centres across far north Queensland and the Torres Strait. They support culturally strong best practice Indigenous art enterprises. IACA provides advocacy and raises awareness about far north QLD membership of Art Centres and is the first point of contact to find out relevant information. IACA looks to drive and extend awareness of Queensland Indigenous Art and secure its place in the national art landscape.




Ku Arts is the South Australian peak body for Aboriginal Art Centres and artists. Since 1998 they have been providing advocacy, support services, creative skills and professional development opportunities for artists and Arts Workers across all stages of their careers in support of a strong and vibrant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts sector.



DAAFF Yarns with the Peak Bodies…

DAAFF Yarns… with Chad Creighton, AACHWA

DAAFF Yarns… with Chad Creighton, AACHWA

In our new series, we’ll be giving you a peek inside the country’s major Art Centre Peak Bodies. These organisations play a vital role within Indigenous arts, acting as a support and voice for the Art Centres which in turn provide sustained growth and agency for First Nations Communities. Peak Body responsibilities cover everything from advocacy to business support, professional development to sales and marketing.
Today we chat to the CEO of the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub of Western Australia (AACHWA), Chad Creighton. AACHWA is the Peak Body for the Art Centres of Western Australia (WA).

DAAFF Yarns… with Philip Watkins, Desart

DAAFF Yarns… with Philip Watkins, Desart

The Peak Body remit covers everything from advocacy to business support, from professional development to sales and marketing… Today we chat with the CEO of Desart, Philip Watkins. Desart is the Peak Body for the Art Centres of Central Australia.

DAAFF Yarns… with Stephanie Parkin

DAAFF Yarns… with Stephanie Parkin

Today we chat to Stephanie Parkin, Chair of the Indigenous Art Code, an organisation created to establish standards of dealing between an Indigenous artists and dealers…