Installation by Maree Clarke and Vicki West in North South East West presented by Vivien Anderson Gallery at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, 2014
Photography: Simon Anderson Photography, Melbourne

Ethical, fair, respectful business

Signing the Code is a commitment by sellers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art to build strong, ethical and sustainable Indigenous art commerce and to end exploitation, which takes advantage of artists and negatively impacts communities.

Dealers, galleries, art centres and other individuals and organisations across Australia have committed to the Code and to always conduct their business with Indigenous artists with the highest standards of ethics and respect.

The full obligations of the Code are in the Company Constitution and the Indigenous Art Code. Some key points are summarised below:

  • Always act fairly, honestly and respectfully when dealing with artists. (The Code contains examples of unprofessional, disrespectful and illegal conduct, which are not acceptable.)
  • Ensure artists clearly understand the terms of any offer and enter into all agreements with informed consent.
  • Respect the rights of the artist’s ‘Cooling off period’.
  • Be transparent and responsive to artists in regards to payments.
  • Provide buyers with honest and accurate information about the authenticity and provenance of the art.
  • Supply a Code Certificate for any work received directly from the artist.
  • Always respect Indigenous cultural practices and artists’ rights.
  • Take proper care of artworks in your possession and treat them appropriately.
  • Provide reports to artists on sales and other details regarding their work.
  • Supply a Code Certificate for any work sold for $250+
  • A Code certificate is not required if the Dealer Member can demonstrate that the artist did not want a Code certificate to be created for that artwork.

Become a Dealer Member and signatory of the Code

What if a Dealer Member breaches the Code?

If a Dealer Member breaches any part of the Code or the Company Constitution, or if the Dealer Member’s actions are damaging to the Code or contrary to the best interests of the company, the Code Directors may undertake one or more of the following actions:

  • Suspend a Dealer Member’s rights and privileges of membership of the Company for such period as the Directors determine;
  • Impose conditions on their membership of the Company as the Directors determine;
  • Impose any other sanction agreed to by the Directors in accordance with the Code;
  • Expel a Dealer Member from the Company and have their name removed from the register; and
  • Take any other action to remedy the breach.