The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Fake Art

It is currently not illegal to sell fake Aboriginal style souvenirs as long as the product says where it was made. Recent research conducted by the Indigenous Art Code found that 80% of Indigenous souvenirs in tourist shops are fakes.

Above: The House of Representatives Indigenous Affairs Committee Chair Ms Melissa Price MP discusses the new inquiry into inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia..

Fake Art Harms Culture

The Arts Law Centre of Australia, the Indigenous Art Code and Copyright Agency | Viscopy launched their Fake Art Harms Culture campaign in August 2016. The campaign calls for the Government to tackle the problem of fake ‘Indigenous’ arts and craft being sold in Australia, harming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and incomes.

Inquiry into inauthentic Aboriginal ‘style’ art

On 10 August 2017 the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs announced an inquiry into the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia. The inquiry was referred by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion.


The deadline has been extended and written submissions are now due Friday 3 November 2017.

NAVA will be submitting a response to the inquiry and urges the sector to get behind this issue.


The Committee will also be gathering information via two questionnaires.

Follow the links below to:

1. Access the questionnaires and/or the terms of reference and inquiry submission details.

2. Read the Indigenous Art Code's information sheet on how to prepare your submission.


To help make it easier to make a submission to the Inquiry Arts Front has created a submission tool and drafted questions to help you. The submission tool will generate a formatted PDF document which you can submit to the Inquiry via email

In the media

Janet Howie, Albury conference learns value of Indigenous Art Code, The Border Mail, 14 Sept 17

Fake Aboriginal art Bill boomerangs back into Parliament, NITV, 12 Sept 17

James Elton-Pym, Calls for a crackdown on ‘knockoff’ Aboriginal souvenirs made in China and Bali, NITV, 22 Aug 17

Helen Davidson, Misappropriation of Aboriginal art, The Guardian, 14 Aug 17

Angela Heathcote, Fake Indigenous art and the Commonwealth Games, Australian Geographic, 14 Jul 17

Louise Allingham, Inquiry into fake Indigenous art, The West Australian, 11 Aug 17

Corporate ‘fake art’ profiting off Aboriginal art, GreenLeft Weekly, 11 Aug 17

Helen Davidson, Australia's fake art and tourist tack: Indigenous artists fight back, The Guardian, 9 Aug Neda Vanovac, Indigenous artists battle mass-produced fakes, call for protection for their intellectual property, ABC New, 9 Aug 17

UN Uses Social Media to Raise Awareness of Indigenous Struggles, Telesur, 9 Aug 17

Corporate 'Fake Art' Profits off Australia's Indigenous Culture, Telesur, 9 Aug 17

Gina Fairley, War declared on fake Indigenous art, ArtsHub, 8 Aug 17

Jens Korff, Aboriginal art authenticity, Creative Spirit, 11 Jul 17

Francis Tapim, Call for tough penalties for fake Aboriginal-style souvenirs during Commonwealth Games, ABC News, 9 Jul 17

Tom Lodewyke, Lawyers call for legislative protection for Indigenous artists, Lawyers Weekly, 23 Jun 17

Eliza Buzacott-Speer, Chanel boomerang prompts Bob Katter to renew calls for protection of Aboriginal artists, ABC News, 18 May 17

Andreas Illmer, Ridicule and condemnation for Chanel's $1,500 boomerang, BBC News, 16 May 17

Johnny Lieu, Chanel's $1,930 boomerang rip-off is wrong on so many levels, Mashable, 16 May 17

Abigail Dawson, ‘Boomerangs that can go back to Bali’: Behaviour Change Partners creates campaign to protect authentic Indigenous art, Mumbrella, 9 May 17

Jeremy Eccles, Katter’s Law, Aboriginal Art Directory, 14 Feb 17

MP plans to curb fake Aboriginal art sales, SBS News, 13 Feb 17

Casey Briggs, Bob Katter plans legislation to stop sale of fake Indigenous art, ABC News, 22 Jan 17

Daniel Bateman, Bob Katter declares war on “fake” indigenous artwork, The Cairns Post, 20 Jan 17

Allan Clarke, Bob Katter Declares War On Asian Boomerangs And Fake Aboriginal Art, BuzzFeed News, 20 Jan 17

Karen Michelmore, Indigenous arts community lobby Government to make it illegal to sell fake Aboriginal-style souvenirs, ANC News, 17 Jan 17

Rico Adjrun, Indigenous art: How fake works disrupt the market and disempower local artists, AWAYE ABC RN, 5 Oct 16