Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia
Franchesca Cubillo is a Larrakia, Bardi, Wardaman and Yanuwa woman from the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory. She is the Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia (2009–Present), where she leads the curatorial team in developing eleven purpose-built Indigenous Australian art galleries, the largest display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the world. She has over twenty-five years’ experience working in state and national cultural institutions.
Franchesca worked on the major exhibitions Petroglyphs (2003) and Colliding worlds: first contact in the western desert, 1932–1984 (2006) and was co-editor of the book for the National Gallery of Australia’s second National Indigenous Art Triennial, unDisclosed.
In 2006, she undertook a Churchill Fellowship to investigate international responses to the repatriation of the ancestral remains of indigenous nations worldwide. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Aboriginal Affairs and Honours in Anthropology from the University of Adelaide and is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian National University.
Franchesca was senior curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (2006–09), where she developed the collection, curated several Indigenous art exhibitions, including the delivery of the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Islander Art Award. Previously, she held positions at Tandanya, National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, and the National Museum of Australia. Franchesca was curator of Aboriginal Anthropology at the South Australia Museum for eight years, where she assisted in the redevelopment of the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery in 2000.
She has worked with many Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory as well as in communities in the western and eastern Kimberley region, the lower Murray River region of South Australia and parts of north Queensland. Franchesca has presented lectures and represented Australian Indigenous culture at national and international forums, particularly in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.
Larrakia Nation Representative
Administration for Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation
Born in Darwin, Dorrie-Anne is a descendant of the Dangalaba Gullumbirrigin Saltwater Clan. She is from the Batcho family, which is one the three major Dangalaba Clan groups. Dorrie-Anne’s generally refers to her People as Larrakia.
Dorrie-Anne has been employed with the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation for ten years. She initially started there as a research assistant in the Research Division, and developed the publication “NDLERF – An investigation into the influx of Indigenous ‘visitors’ to Darwin’s Long Grass from remote NT communities – phase 2. – Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin’s Long Grass.” She then proceeded to an administration role, which included looking after the art room (buyers and artists). Dorrie-Anne is well known for her “Welcome to Country” and has delivered them to local, interstate and international events, helping visitors to Darwin recognise the incredible Larrakia Country, and those ancestors past, present and future.
Dorrie-Anne was invited to join the DAAFF Board, as the Larrakia Nation Representative because of her involvement with the Fair over several years, presenting the “Welcome to Country”, and her ongoing passion for supporting Indigenous Art Centres.
DAAFF Deputy Chair
Chief Executive Officer of Desart
Philip Watkins was born and raised in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and is part of large extended Arrernte and Larrakia families.
In August 2011, Philip was appointed the Executive Officer of Desart. Desart is a peak body that advocates for the independence of remote Aboriginal Art Centres in Central Australia, fostering some forty-four Art Centres.
Prior to his appointment at Desart, Philip was employed as the Artistic and Cultural Director of the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute – Tandanya (2006-2011). This followed on from a range of positions held at the Central Land Council over a twelve year period.
Currently, Philip is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation (South Australia) and is a Board Member of the Indigenous Art Code of Conduct Ltd.
Director of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation
Cecilia Alfonso was born in Chile and emigrated to Sydney, Australia with her family in the early 1970s. She has also lived in the United States of America, Africa and Hong Kong in pursuit of her passion for art. Cecilia achieved First Class Honours in History from the University of New South Wales, and a Masters of Art Administration from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. While living in the United States of America she completed an internship with National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute.
Cecilia has been working at Warlukurlangu Artists in Yuendumu since December 2001. Warlukurlangu Artists is Indigenous owned and operated and represents more than 500 artists from the communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi. It is one of the largest and most successful Art Centres in Australia.
Chief Executive Officer of ANKA
Christina Davidson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists (ANKA, formally ANKAAA) Aboriginal Corporation – the peak advocacy and support agency for over 5,000 Indigenous artists and 49 Aboriginal owned art centres and artist groups in the regions of: Arnhem Land, the Kimberley, Tiwi Islands and Katherine/ Darwin. Christina works for the all Indigenous board elected from across the ANKA regions which cover over 1 million square kilometres of country in Northern Australia. Before joining ANKA in late 2007, Christina had appointments lecturing in contemporary art and art theory at the universities of Sydney and Melbourne.
DAAFF Board Member
Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre Manager
Joann Russo is a Kuku Yalanji /Mitakoodi woman from Ingham North Queensland. She is the first Aboriginal woman to be appointed as the Manager for the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre, located in Cardwell. In her role she empowers the Traditional Owner groups of the region to prosper in their creative endeavours, encourage transfer of knowledge while educating others about the value that comes from Indigenous communities. She works with Elders and members from the Djiru, Jirrbal, Warrgamay, Girramay, Nywaigi, Gulnay, Gugu Badhan, Bandjin & Warungnu Tribal groups.
She has been employed at the Girringun Aboriginal Art centre for 4 years, starting as an Arts worker then moving on to managing the ethically licenced products and various other projects for the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation including the first Girringun Youth Camp, an annual event held on country to ensure the future leaders maintain Cultural Knowledge.
Joann is an alumni of the NGA Arts Leadership program, having participated in 2018. The program helped her to understand her leadership role within the community. She values the importance Indigenous voices and culture has played in the Arts sector and continues to advocate for that voice to be heard.
Tarun Sharma CPA
DAAFF Board Member
Founder and owner of Sharma Consulting Group
Sharma Consulting Group (SCG) is a Canberra based firm providing accounting and business services to organisations that aim to make a difference in their communities. SCG was established in 2016 by Tarun Sharma, who after working in the private and public sector for over 10 years decided to set up his own firm. During his career, Tarun has worked for major multinationals, federal government, and public accounting practices. While in public practice, Tarun started working with a number of not for profits and people focused organisations and saw a need for experienced, people focused, accounting and business services professionals. With this in mind Tarun established Sharma Consulting Group, a firm which has passion for working with organisations that put people ahead of profits.
SCG also brings together other like-minded professionals in order to meet the diverse needs of our clients. Partnering with individuals and other business with similar values supports the passion which Tarun, and SCG, have to work with clients to help reach their people and business goals.
Tarun is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), and a registered BAS agent. He works closely with a number of Art Centres across Australia and has a sound understanding and deep respect for the Art Centre model.
DAAFF Board Member
Mangkaja Arts Manager
DAAFF Board Member
Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA) Manager
Pamela Bigelow is committed to her role as manager of the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA), which supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres across far north Queensland and the Torres Strait and invests in culturally strong best practice Indigenous art enterprises.
Pam has wide ranging experience as a Manager across a variety of fields. She holds a Bachelor of Education with a double major in Art and Science from University of Melbourne. Pam started her career teaching art in Victorian schools and went onto running the Art Program at Melbourne Zoo Education Service. She has experience in training, promotion, advanced team management, and high level project management skills. Working with Indigenous communities in northern Australia for over 25 years, Pam has worked in both government and community organisations, in a range of roles including: Manager of the Indigenous Lead Centre with TAFE QLD, Manager of Wet Tropics Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation, the Department of Environment and Heritage and manager of Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation with the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory in Darwin.