Income and Pricing

  1. Pricing
  2. Ongoing benefits: royalties and collecting societies
  3. Employment: useful guides to minimum hourly rates


Pricing of Indigenous artworks can be difficult. Some art centres have developed pricing models based on factors such as the seniority or status of the artist (e.g. established having had successful solo exhibitions, mid-level, new or emerging) coupled with the size of the canvas. There are limited resources available to assist art centres or dealers with the pricing of artists' works. The following resources may provide some assistance. It may also be useful to speak to the peak Indigenous art organisations (Desart, ANKAAA, Umi Arts, Ananguku Arts, AACHWA) for further assistance with pricing models. The Indigenous Visual Art and Craft Resource Directory 2006 provides state by state contact details to art centres.

Aboriginal Art Online

This website provides useful information about pricing Indigenous artworks, with links to data about the current art market and current prices of Indigenous artworks.

Art Centre Way

This web-based resource provides skill based training for people working in Indigenous art centres. It has useful sections dealing with most aspects of running an art centre including the business issues.  

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Ongoing benefits: royalties and collecting societies

Artists can receive ongoing benefits from their artworks through royalty payments. One major way in which these royalties are obtained is through the use of copyright collecting societies, which collect royalties on your behalf and distribute them to you. Australian copyright collecting societies include:

  • Copyright Agency Limited (CAL)
  • Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)
  • Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners' Society Ltd (AMCOS)
  • Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA)
  • Screenrights—The Audio-Visual Copyright Society Ltd
  • Viscopy (Visual Arts Copyright Collecting Agency)

For more information on which collecting societies are relevant to you, and how royalties work, visit the information on licensing.

Resale royalty

The Australian visual artists’ resale royalty scheme commenced on the 9th June 2010. The Australian visual artists’ resale royalty scheme entitles visual artists to receive payment of a 5% royalty on certain resales of their works. To participate in the scheme, you need to register. You can register online.

The Australian Government has appointed Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) to manage the scheme. For more information about the scheme and what it means for artists, visit their website.

If you have any enquiries about the scheme please email or phone 1800 066 844.

Further resources

Beyond Guarding Ground

In “Beyond Guarding Ground”, Terri Janke suggests, on the basis of specific examples, the limitations of Australian law to protect Indigenous arts and cultural expressions. She proposes the creation of a National Indigenous Cultural Authority to implement the rights of Indigenous people under Article 31 of the Declaration on the rights of Indigenous people to maintain, control, protect and develop cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. Terri Janke suggests that the National Indigenous Cultural Authority could also administer rights either directly or by establishing a rights clearance framework (similar to a collecting society) for Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights.

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Employment: useful guides to minimum hourly rates

Australian Society of Authors

The Australian Society of Authors is the professional association for Australia’s literary creators. The ASA sets minimum rates for pay and conditions for authors and illustrators, and publishes books, papers and lists for emerging and established writers. The most recently updated ASA guidelines on rates and conditions can be viewed on their website.

Australian Writer’s Guild

The Australian Writer’s Guild (AWG) is the professional association for Australian performance writers including film, television, theatre, film and radio. The AWG provides members who work in these areas with information on minimum hourly rates.

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)

The Alliance is the union and professional organisation which covers everyone in the media, entertainment, sports and arts industries. There are over 36,000 members which include people working in TV, radio, theatre & film, entertainment venues, recreation grounds, journalists, actors, dancers, sportspeople, cartoonists, photographers, orchestral & opera performers as well as people working in public relations, advertising, book publishing & website production. MEAA can provide information to members about minimum standard hourly rates.

National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)

NAVA is the national peak body for the visual arts, craft and design sector working through advocacy and service provision, to achieve a flourishing Australian visual arts sector and a more vibrant, distinctive and ethical cultural environment. NAVA undertakes advocacy and lobbying, research, policy and project development, data collection and analysis.  It also provides a direct service to its members and the sector generally by offering expert advice, referrals, resources, professional representation and development and a range of other services.

NAVA provides a useful fee schedule for artists in its publication The Code of Practice for the Australian Visual Arts and Craft Sector. The schedule sets out approximate rates of pay for trainees, a standard rate of pay, and rates for senior practitioners in the three main categories of artist’s employment – studio artist, public artist and new media artists.

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