Aboriginal arts and culture

The department recognises and values the talents of Aboriginal artists and acknowledges the depth and diversity of Aboriginal cultures.

The department recognises and values the talents of Aboriginal artists and acknowledges the depth and diversity of Aboriginal cultures. By working together, we make an important contribution to maintaining and further developing Aboriginal contemporary culture.   

The department supports Aboriginal arts development through: 

Aboriginal languages 

It is estimated that at the time of arrival by Europeans there were more than 250 Indigenous languages across the country. According to the Australian Indigenous Languages Database less than 20 are now spoken by all age groups.  

 See the map of Indigenous Australia, David R Horton (creator), © Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, and Auslig/Sinclair, Knight, Merz, 1996.  

Peak bodies

Arts centres, cultural centres and artist groups 

Western Australian Museums 

  • Western Australian Museum
    The Museum’s early collections reflect hunting and gathering lifestyles and personal adornment of Aboriginal people of Western Australia.  
  • Berndt Museum
    The Berndt Museum holds extensive collections of Australian Aboriginal art and Aboriginal cultural materials, including the Carrolup collection of Noongar children's art.  
  • Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation
    The Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation strives to empower the healing of Noongar people’s lives and communities through cultural initiatives that strengthen the spiritual identity and creates a sense of belonging. The Kyana Gallery and Keeping Rooms hold extensive exhibits and displays of significant and rare art works and artefacts from the South-West region of the Noongar people.  

Aboriginal language centres in Western Australia  

Further information  

More information

Jade Balfour, Senior Policy Officer Arts and Cultural Development
Telephone 61 8 6552 1450
Freecall 1800 199 090 (country WA callers only)
Email Jade Balfour

Page reviewed 01 August 2019