The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector


NAVA regularly undertakes active campaigns to bring about important changes or to pioneer new policies for the Australian visual and media arts, craft and design sector.

Why Campaign?

I am an artist and I pay tax

Photo by Joan Cameron-Smith 2015

Campaigning includes many forms of action including providing expert advice to politicians, their advisers and departments at all levels of government where appropriate. It can involve writing letters and submissions in response to government inquiries and providing advice and feedback to arts funding authorities. This advice is based on research and consultation with other experts and close contact with and knowledge of the sector.

NAVA conducts surveys and industry roundtables, forms action groups and develops alliances with other key experts, provides media comment, and stimulates informed debate through public forums and online platforms.

Your participation is a vital ingredient. You should add your voice to NAVA’s campaigns and help us make important changes. NAVA puts out calls to action and co-ordinates the participation of its members and others in the visual arts community to express your views and join campaigns at strategic moments. In doing this, together we are building the strength of the Australian visual and media arts, craft and design sector and enriching the lives of all Australians.

Art Funding

Organisations defunded

save nava tile

On Friday 13 May 2016, the Australia Council announced the result of the arts organisational funding round which provides four year operational support to small to medium and major organisations. With this announcement came the devastating news that NAVA alongside 63 other organisations did not receive funding. These are key organisations vital to the health of the arts ecology and the impact will be felt far and wide. This now means that the essential services NAVA has been providing to the visual and media arts, craft and design sector are now under serious threat.

Art Education


SCA Archibald Protest 1

Ensuring good educational opportunities in the visual arts is one of NAVA’s central concerns. Art education in the national curriculum, and at tertiary level are key to reaching this objective.

Fair Pay for Artists

Fees + Superannuation + Pension

Artists should be paid

Artists are too often at the end of the queue when it comes to being paid for their work when it is loaned or commissioned for exhibition in public galleries. This needs to change and NAVA is working towards ensuring artists are paid for their work at fair and equitable rates.

Gender Equality

The CoUNTess Report


CoUNTess, the pool of artists

NAVA backs the research of CoUNTess: a report on gender representation in the contemporary visual arts released to coincide with International Women’s Day 2016. It reveals that there is a continuing imbalance of power with men holding more positions at senior levels and male artists significantly better represented by commercial galleries.

Intellectual Property

Artists and Designers

Copyright logo

NAVA asserts that it is fair for artists and designers to be entitled to control the use of their intellectual property.

NAVA plays an important role in advocating for the protection of artists' and designers' economic and moral rights both in law and in practice. Over its history NAVA has frequently taken action on behalf of artists whose IP is used without their consent or who come under duress to waive the right.

National Arts Policy

NAVA's Recommendations

Let's change arts policy

As part of measures to ensure a conducive environment for the visual arts in Australia, NAVA proposes these recommendations to be considered for address in national government arts policies.

Public Art

Commissioning Guidelines

'Meeting in the Middle' 2015, Alexandra Clapham and Penelope Benton

Alexandra Clapham and Penelope Benton, performance installation Redfern Pedestrian Mall. Photo by Marni Jackson

Many of the issues relating to the commissioning of public art have remained constant over at least the last two decades. These include the EOI requirements, selection process, the use of appropriate contracts, the insuring of public art work and practitioners, compliancy, the unauthorised use of practitioners’ intellectual property, moral rights and the disposal or relocation of art works. NAVA is currently consulting with the sector to inform a set of National Public Art Commissioning Guidelines.

Small-to-Medium (S2M)

Economic Study

Image: Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Richard Bell, Morphett Street Mural, production view, 2016. Photo: Marie Falcinella

Image: Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Richard Bell, Morphett Street Mural, production view, 2016. Photo: Marie Falcinella

NAVA commissioned Economists at Large to measure the economic and cultural output of Australia’s small-to-medium (S2M) visual arts organisations. Throughout 2016, we conducted surveys of urban and regional galleries, artist-run initiatives (ARIs), Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDCs) and Contemporary Arts Organisations (CAO).

The data in this study reveals that the small-to-medium (S2M) visual arts sector employs over 2,000 people, puts $100 million into the economy and produces 26,000 new art works each year with a budget worth just 0.03% of Federal Government revenue. However, there has been a 17.5% decline in per capita federal arts spending since 2008.

This research project was supported by a Knowledge Exchange Grant from the City of Sydney.