Code of Practice drafting underway, plus opportunities for writers

Progress update, overview of recent consultations, and upcoming opportunities to contribute to the Code revision.

Tatali Napurrula and senior women of Papunya Tula Artists in their Kintore - Walungurru studio working on a collaborative piece; filming for Desart Art Centres on Screen 2021 project. Photo by Desart.

Progress Update

With public consultations winding up and over twenty writers currently in the process of drafting new content, NAVA is focused on commissioning a final group of writers to draft a small number of remaining chapters over May.

In coming weeks NAVA will commence a thorough review of the drafts, including reviews from Accessible Arts, Terri Janke Company, and Arts Law, as well as a full copy edit. 

NAVA aims to complete the majority of the Code revision and publically launch the new iteration by August 2022, allowing time for the sector to consider the changes ahead of the next national multi-year funding round. From there the Code will be a living document that will continue to evolve and change as our knowledge grows.

EOIs Open for Code Writers

NAVA is seeking writers to contribute to the outstanding draft sections of the new Code. If you are interested in drafting new content on any of the following chapters, please visit the EOIs page for more information.

Principles, Ethics and Rights 
- Care
- Community Engagement
- Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness
- Grievance and Dispute Resolution


- Exhibiting in Public Galleries
          - Loaning of existing work
          - Touring of existing work
- Hiring a Public Gallery Space

- Exhibition Royalties for Works in Collections 

 Selling and Marketing
- Art Fairs

Commissioning and Funding
- Commercial Commissions
- Private Commissions
- Temporary Public Art  

Artist Self Organisation
- Art Trails 

Awards, Prizes and Competitions

Overview of Recent Consultations

Equity and Equal Opportunity, March 2022 

In mid-March, NAVA facilitated a consultation session with a small group of eight independent artists, curators and arts workers to work through a series of questions in relation to Equity and Equal Opportunity within the visual arts sector. The intention of this consultation was to gather feedback from the lived experience of the participating practitioners, and help inform key recommendations for good practice within the Code draft. 

The consultation was wide-ranging and included discussion on: 

  • Ways to consider meaningful access and inclusion within organisations and in the planning stages of a project for both artists and audiences.
  • Steps exhibiting organisations can take to ensure they are respectful and supportive when undertaking community-engaged work. 
  • The importance of exhibiting organisations understanding the political, cultural, social contexts of artists’ work.
  • Creating culturally and creatively safe spaces. 
  • The importance of representation and succession planning within organisations at all levels and across all roles and areas of business.
  • Tokenism and recommendations for what artists can do when they feel they are being included in a project or exhibition in a tokenistic way.
  • Steps to actively engage diverse artists and arts workers in projects.
  • Language.


Aboriginal Art Centres, April 2022 

In collaboration with Terri Janke Company, NAVA coordinated a consultation session in mid-April with five Peak Bodies representing Aboriginal Art Centres across the nation. Participating in the session were AACHWA, Desart, IACA, UMI Arts, KU Arts and representatives from key service organisations working closely with Art Centres including Arts Law, Copyright Agency, Indigenous Art Code and the Australia Council. The consultation, facilitated by Terri Janke, aimed to share information and perspectives on the challenges that Art Centres face in collaborations and to provide useful recommendations to those seeking to collaborate with Art Centres in the future.

Throughout March and April, NAVA also carried out direct consultation with nine Art Centres across the main artmaking regions of the nation. Participating Art Centres contributed their feedback via survey and phone call focusing on what is key to developing strong and beneficial collaborations, where the key challenges or limitations lie and what the Code could contribute to help provide guidance and support. 

Feedback from both consultations have now been provided to the commissioned writer of this new Working With Art Centres chapter, with a draft expected to be ready in June for further review and consultation. 

The consultation feedback covered a variety of topics including: 

  • What individuals and organisations can get wrong when working with Art Centres and artists.
  • The need to acknowledge and understand the time, financial and human resource pressures on Art Centre managers and staff.  
  • The need to acknowledge and understand the complexities and differences between regions, artwork styles and artforms and that no two Art Centres are the same.
  • Recommendations that the Code could provide to help individuals and organisations approach, propose and navigate collaborations with Art Centres better. 
  • Necessary financial considerations that individuals and organisations should factor into their collaborations. 
  • The critical nature of informed consent.
  • Useful tools, models or resources that the Code can reference to help provide guidance on collaborating with Art Centres. 
  • Understanding and acknowledging that Art Centres are a commercial business.  
  • Recommendations for the format and function of the Code generally.


Disability Focus Group, May 2022 

The Disability Focus Group met at the beginning of May. The meeting was again facilitated by Canberra based artist and disability activist Daniel Savage and included five artists and arts workers with disability. The group discussed a draft version of the Code chapter on Accessibility. The meeting included discussion on:

  • Language used, particularly related to equity, justice and access rights.
  • Information that should be provided around the Code's approach including the social model of disability. 
  • Information that should be provided to support the Code's position that equity and access require continuing conversations, ongoing learning and flexibility. The Code provides guidance on values and approaches, not just guidance on practicalities. 
  • The difference between physical access and environmental access and the need to include 'invisible' barriers.
  • The need for more understanding around the extra work put into providing consultation and being paid adequately for this work.

You can find more information about the Code of Practice revision project and the current Code of Practice on the NAVA website. To access the Code of Practice you will need a free login to the NAVA website using an email address and password.

Code of Practice drafting underway, plus opportunities for writers