Job Details


May 10, 2024





Closing Date

Jun 2, 2024

National Gallery of Australia

Head Curator, First Nations Art


The Head Curator, First Nations Art leads a curatorial team responsible for advancing major transformation at the National Gallery. With extensive knowledge of art history and strong museum connections, the Head Curator, First Nations Art is responsible for the Gallery’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection and associated programs. Specifically, this involves providing advice, conducting responsive and proactive research, and developing curated content that aligns with the creative vision for the National Gallery. The position plays a pivotal role in ensuring the National Gallery fulfils its ambition of rethinking art from alternative geographies and multiple vantage points.

A crucial part of the role is excellence in collection documentation, recordkeeping, provenance and research.

This position translates the vision and strategy of the National Gallery into priorities for the First Nations Art Department, including ambitious programs for acquisition, exhibition, interpretation, publication, display, conservation and advocacy. The Head Curator supports the Deputy Director and senior leaders within the National Gallery to achieve organisational outcomes, advising and influencing strategic decisions and building organisational capability and culture. International in your outlook, the ability and willingness to undertake extensive travel nationally and internationally and to attend out of hours functions is essential.

This role constitutes an affirmative measure under section 8(1) of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and is only available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

An order of merit may be established from this selection process and may be used to fill future identical vacancies over the next 12 months.

If you do not wish to be added to an order of merit, please notify us in your application.

This position reports to the Deputy Director and is responsible for a number of direct reports. This position of Head Curator, First Nations Art is an ongoing full-time role with the First Nations Art team.


In accordance with the APS EL2 work level standards, you will:

  • Lead the development of First Nations Art content and interpretation, including by securing exceptional acquisitions, loans and exhibitions from public and private collections around the world, as well as touring the collection and non-collection exhibitions to regional national and international venues. This is done in response to and within the vision for the creative and artistic program of the National Gallery.
  • Draw upon art historical and curatorial expertise to conceive, research, develop and deliver existing and new concepts for distinguished and imaginative exhibitions, publications and collection displays which appeal to a broad audience and enhance the National Gallery’s reputation for scholarship and quality. 
  • Ensure due diligence and a sound and ethical position across the spectrum of curatorial activities.
  • Foster and achieve excellence in collection documentation and recordkeeping.
  • Champion fresh thinking and approaches to the visual arts and seize opportunities to be creative, experimental and innovative. 
  • Provide high quality representation of the National Gallery through talks, lectures, and other events, ensuring alignment with the National Gallery’s objectives.
  • Provide strategic oversight of the National Gallery’s First Nations Art department, including leadership of a team of specialists, collaboration with teams across the National Gallery and continually developing credibility and reputation within the field of curatorial responsibility, to ensure effective management and delivery of high-quality exhibitions in line with the National Gallery’s mission and values.



To be eligible for this role you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • complete a police check
  • Qualifications or equivalent experience in art history, curatorial practice or a related field and experience in an art gallery/museum environment. 
  • Professional certification and/or membership of relevant professional associations is desirable.

This vacancy is only open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.


You should provide a tailored CV (maximum of three pages) along with a statement of no more than two pages that outlines your skills, capabilities and experience, against the ‘Our ideal candidate’ information above.

In your statement response you should keep in mind the capabilities and behaviours required to be successful for this role, as identified in the ‘Who are we looking for?’ section.

Try not to duplicate information that can be found in your CV but do highlight any specific examples or achievements that demonstrate your ability to perform the role.

As part of your application process, we ask that you also complete the personal particulars form as well.

To apply for this role please forward your application to