Join us at the very heart of the nation in Alice Springs / Mparntwe

Combining elements of our most recent conferences that focused on Museums and Galleries in their Cultural Landscapes (Brisbane 2017) and Museums and Galleries as Agents of Change (Melbourne 2018), in 2019 we travel to the geographical centre of the nation to tackle some of the biggest thematic areas that occupy much of our national conversation. Museums and Galleries are situated at the very centre of that conversation in relation to our place within our communities and the way we are deeply implicated in both a local and national understanding of Australia’s past, present and shared future.

And while focusing on our people, places and practices, there will be opportunity to consider purpose, relevance, diversity, equality, national identity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agency, our various publics and the nature of co-creation, generational transfer of knowledge and much more. Delegates will also be able to explore the majesty and wonder of the Central Australian landscape (with cultural tours and opportunities for day/weekend trips to Uluru, Kata Tjuta and other incredible places) and the people, communities, museums and galleries that call the desert home. Why not plan to stay a few extra days to enjoy all that is on offer in the NT?

The conference closes with the excitement of a contemporary aboriginal desert art fair. The Desert Mob MarketPlace, a signature event in Central Australia, brings together Desart-member art centres from remote communities across the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Many Aboriginal artists and arts workers will make their way to Mparntwe/Alice Springs for a three-hour MarketPlace with hundreds of affordable artworks for sale. The vibrant and bustling atmosphere provides an opportunity to meet the artists, hear their stories, and share their culture.

Dr Robin Hirst PSM, President, Museums Galleries Australia, National Council

Mark Crees, Director Araluen Cultural Precinct (NT)

Felicity Green, Manager, Museum of Central Australia (NT)

Countdown to the 2019 Conference



Important Dates

21 October 2018: Close of abstract submission (extended from 15 October 2018)
November 2018: Open early bird registration
December 2018: Notification of abstract result
15 February 2019: Close of early bird registration

Latest News

Keynote speakers announced: Patrick Dodson, Jane Lydon, Donna Oxenham, Keir Winesmith

Call for abstracts extended to 21 October 2018


Keynote Speakers






Patrick Dodson

Senator for Western Australia
Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Jane Lydon

Wesfarmers Chair of Australian History, The University of Western Australia

Donna Oxenham

Researcher, State Library of Western Australia

Keir Winesmith

Chief Technology Officer at Old Ways, New, Professor of Practice at UNSW Art & Design and principal at Winesmith Digital Studio