NSW Professional Development Program: Update and Upcoming

With funding from Create NSW, NAVA is currently delivering a series of workshops, talks and new access tools focused on boosting awareness and application of the Code.

With funding from Create NSW, NAVA is currently delivering a series of workshops, talks and new access tools focused on boosting awareness and application of the Code of Practice for Visual Arts, Craft and Design (the Code). This program aims to foster widespread understanding and adoption of the Code’s good practices across the sector.

NAVA is providing tailored training to empower artists and arts workers, equipping them with the knowledge to better understand their rights and responsibilities and the tools for self-advocy. Additionally, artists and arts workers are being commissioned to share their experiences with how the Code has positively shaped their careers and enabled them to confidently navigate business relationships. 

Furthermore, the program prioritises the commissioning of resources to enhance the accessibility of the Code. This includes producing Auslan videos for good practice recommendations, audio versions of the Code, and graphic illustrations by Greg Sindel, through Studio A, to guide users through the Code and the Payment Standards section. The funding also supports the ongoing involvement of artists Sue Jo Wright, Debra Keenahan and Paul Calcott (Wiradjuri), in extended consultation with NAVA’s Disability Focus Group.

Activities To Date

Since July 2023, a series of workshops, presentations and talks have been conducted as part of this program:

  • July 2023: An onlinePayment and Pricing workshop was held for yapang Emerging Art Prize finalists. The workshop guided emerging finalists through various fees outlined in the Payment Standards section of the Code, different methods for pricing work, and superannuation.
  • November 2023: A session co-presented with Madeline Poll was delivered to Aboriginal Culture, Heritage & Arts Association (ACHAA) members at Boomalli, addressing good practice recommendations from the First Nations and Community Engagement sections of the Code. The discussion emphasised understanding responsibilities, fostering ethical relationships with communities, and advocating for the rights of First Nations artists and art communities. The session also highlighted a demand for more comprehensive workshops on intellectual property, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP), and licensing.
  • December 2023: An in-conversation session on Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) was facilitated at Pari, featuring Pari Co-directors Tian Zhang and Naomi Segal. The discussion explored good practice recommendations for running ARIs and how they can be applied and adapted across different artist-run spaces. Tian and Naomi shared insights from Pari’s journey of operating and sustaining itself as an ARI in Western Sydney, emphasising the importance of encouraging flexibility, exploring alternative decision-making processes, and offering remuneration to volunteers and exhibiting artists where possible. 
  • January 2024: NAVA collaborated with Coffs Harbour-based artist Jeremy Sheehan to co-present two workshops on ‘Understanding Artists Fees and Wages’ in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. These workshops, conducted in partnership with Arts Mid North Coast, aimed to educate artists on fair compensation practices and financial aspects of their profession. Engagement in these sessions demonstrated the value of artist-led workshops in connecting communities in these regions with NAVA and the Code. 
  • September 2023 - February 2024: NAVA extended its outreach by presenting to students and conducting stalls at the National Art School, University of Sydney, and UNSW Art and Design, broadening the impact of NAVA’s mission in equipping the next generation of artists and art workers with the tools required to sustain a professional practice.

Access Resources

NAVA commissioned Studio A artist Greg Sindel to develop comic-style infographics for the Code of Practice to make the information more accessible. View the graphics for What is the Code of Practice and Short Summaries of Payment Standards. Additionally, NAVA has added five videos to the Code website, providing Auslan translations of the Summary of Good Practice Recommendations for the first five sections within the Principles, Rights and Ethics chapter; First Nations, Access Rights for d/Deaf and Disabled People, Racial Equity and Representation, Gender Equity, and Equitable Applications Processes.


In the coming month, NAVA has partnered with Arts North West to present a series of online workshops to dissect the First Nations, Intellectual Property (IP) and Payment Standards sections of the Code. Led by regional NSW-based artists, arts workers and NAVA facilitators, these sessions aim to broaden the program’s reach in NSW and demonstrate applications of the Code in various contexts. 

The first session, scheduled for 14 March 2024, 5:30-6:30pm AEDT, will be co-led by Dr Lorina L. Barker and Dr Eliza Kent. Together, they will unpack ethical practices when working with First Nations artists and communities, drawing from their own learnings and experiences. 

Following that, on 21 March 2024, 5:30-6:30pm AEDT, artist and arts worker Sandra McMahon will share insights on navigating copyright and IP using NAVA’s Code of Practice.

The series will conclude with a NAVA facilitated session on Payment Standards, exploring how artists can appropriately charge for their labour and time. This final session is scheduled for 28 March 2024, 5:30-6:30pm AEDT. 

To register for these workshops, please visit NAVA Events.

We are excited to announce upcoming professional development sessions for April - June 2024. These sessions will be free to attend. Keep an eye out for them on NAVA Events.

Image credit

Emma Pham, NSW Professional Development Coordinator (NAVA) and artist and educator Jeremy Sheehan, co-present 'Understanding Artist Fees and Wages' to artists and arts workers, Glasshouse Lab, Port Macquarie, 20 January 2024. Photo by Brad M Collins.

ID: Emma Pham, NAVA Facilitator, is looking to the left and addressing a room full of people seated on chairs looking to the right. The room has an orange wall that meets a beige wall, forming a corner in the middle of the image. Behind Emma is the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) pink banner and a screen that reads Group Activity projected against the beige wall.

NSW Professional Development Program: Update and Upcoming