Erub Arts, Torres Strait, 2014. Photo: Jo-Anne Driessens, courtesy of M&G QLD.

First Nations

What steps can you take to encourage respect, understanding and acknowledgement of First Nations culture and history?


First Peoples: A roadmap for enhancing Indigenous engagement in museums and galleries 

The Roadmap was developed for the museums and galleries sector, in consultation with the sector. The Roadmap is committed to improving Indigenous engagement and employment. Published by Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA).  

Code of ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research 

Published in 2020 by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), this document outlines four principles that underpin ethical Australian Indigenous research; these are: Indigenous self-determination, Indigenous leadership, impact and value, and sustainability and accountability. Each principle frames a set of responsibilities for researchers, institutions and review bodies when conducting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. 

Impacts of COVID-19 on First Nations Arts and Culture

This paper outlines the immediate and longer term needs, concerns and potentially catastrophic impacts for First Nations arts and culture in light of COVID-19.

Aboriginal Arts and Culture Protocols

Driven by self-determination, these protocols have been developed as a series of suggested questions within five key principles that Aboriginal artists, arts workers and organisations should consider as a minimum standard. Written by Create NSW.

Working with Aboriginal people and communities 

In developing this resource, the best elements of existing practices have been combined to develop a resource that provides a consistent approach to working with Aboriginal people and communities. By NSW Department of Community Services, 2009.  

Cataloguing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander items

This information sheet is intended for use by Victorian collecting institutions and refers to specific Victorian legal obligations and restrictions regarding the ownership, management and use of Aboriginal cultural heritage. However, this information sheet can still be used as a guide for non Victorian-based collecting institutions.

Taking the time: museums and galleries, cultural protocols and communities 

This resource guide is aimed mainly at non-Indigenous cultural heritage workers in small museums throughout Australia who wish to work with their culturally diverse communities, including Indigenous communities. Published by Australian Museums and Galleries Association (Queensland), 1998.  

Artists, artwork and reappropriation

Indigenous Art Code

The Indigenous Art Code was developed to promote fair and ethical trade in works of art by Indigenous artists.  

Fake Art Harms Culture

Fake Art Harms Culture is a campaign to lobby the Australian Government to address the proliferation of fake Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and art products.

Protocols for using First Nations cultural and intellectual property in the arts 

This protocol guide spells out clearly the legal as well as the ethical and moral considerations for the use of Indigenous cultural material in arts and cultural projects. By Australia Council for the Arts, 2019.  

Indigenous cultural and intellectual property

Written by Arts+Law, this information sheet refers to the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture. 

Indigenous cultural protocols and the arts

A book of case studies that are based around the Australia Council for the Arts Indigenous Protocols. The case studies each represent best practice when working with Indigenous Australians on arts projects. By Terri Janke and Company Pty Ltd, 2016.  


Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country 

In working respectfully with Indigenous communities, there are several important protocols worth knowing and understanding. Factsheets by Museums & Galleries of NSW.  

AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia 

This map by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies is an attempt to represent all the language, tribal or nation groups of the Indigenous peoples of Australia. 


A repatriation handbook: A guide to repatriating Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains

This handbook is primarily intended for those people active in the repatriation of ancestral remains to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities — in particular, those who are newly engaged in such processes. To aid this aim, it is written in a format intended to allow the user to identify and look up certain topics or issues without having to read the handbook cover-to-cover each time. Published by the National Museum of Australia, 2020.

Repatriation of cultural material

This resource by Simpsons Solicitors covers the legal implications of repatriation. Topics include: types of repatriation claim, role of law in resolving repatriation claims, repatriation of human remains and sacred material, and the repatriation process.

Australian Government policy on Indigenous repatriation

The Australian Government policy on Indigenous repatriation was established in 2011. In 2016, it was updated to reflect the change in department name.

Further assistance

National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan 2021-25

The National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan sets the Australian Government’s priorities to support the visual arts sector over the next five years.

National Indigenous Arts and Cultural Authority (NIACA) 

The First Nations arts and cultural sector has identified a significant gap in existing structures and is working towards agreement to create a NIACA.  

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) 

Australia’s only national institution focused exclusively on the diverse history, cultures and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. 

Phone: 02 6246 1111 

Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA) 

IACA is the peak body that provides high quality services and resources that supports excellence within Indigenous Art Centres of Far North Queensland. 

Phone: 07 4031 2741 
Email: [email protected]

M&G QLD Consultant & Supplier Register 

M&G QLD’s Consultant and Supplier Register is a comprehensive list of museum and gallery sector specialists, both Queensland-based and nationally.

Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA)

AMaGA is the national association and peak advocacy body representing museums and galleries. 

Phone: 02 6230 0346 
Email: [email protected]  


Find related funding in our Grants and Philanthropic funding resource.

Resources are correct at time of publishing. Is there a resource that should be on this page? Let us know.


Ben O’Dwyer

Information Officer, Museums & Galleries Queensland

Review Site