Journal article

The Aboriginal Artists Agency and the Prominence of Indigenous Music and Dance in the Growth of the Australian Arts Industry

Aaron Corn



This article focuses on the formative role of the Aboriginal Artists Agency in building today’s global market for Australian Indigenous artists. From 1976 to 1986, the Agency worked with Australian Indigenous musicians and dancers to undertake many innovative recording and touring projects. This study addresses the Agency’s early innovations in encouraging and supporting the recording and touring aspirations of Australian Indigenous performers across a hitherto unexplored continuum of traditional and popular styles, as well as the Agency’s contributions to catalysing similar breadth in scholarly discourse. The study aims to demonstrate how the Agency’s ambitious program of recording and tour..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

I acknowledge the Indigenous peoples of the lands on which I live and work and pay my respect to their elders. I extend my grateful thanks to Anthony Wallis and Jennifer Steele for their foresight and generosity in making this research possible, and to the Australian Research Council for funding this important work (DP150104389). Thanks also to Djirrimbilpilwuy Garawirrtja, Djangirrawuy Garawirrtja and Joe Gumbula for their mentorship and guidance of my career towards this research, and to my colleagues at the University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide, Australian National University and New York University for their encouragement and support.