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AAAA Names Adrian Newstead, OAM and Acclaimed Indigenous Artist Barbara Weir Patrons

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

The Aboriginal Art Association of Australia (AAAA) is proud to announce the appointment of its first patrons, the renowned Utopia artist Barbara Weir, and AAAA founder, Adrian Newstead, OAM.

In formally announcing the appointments today, President Geoff Henderson declared:

The introduction of Patrons is a leap in the right direction as the Board of the Association works to bolster its role in the development of the Indigenous art industry. Adrian Newstead and Barbara Weir have decades of experience in the Aboriginal arts industry. Their support, expertise and influence will be of great benefit in assisting the Association to achieve its goals and promote the interests of its members.

Barbara Weir

Barbara Weir is one of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists and a founding Artist Member of the Association.

After being taken from her family by a welfare patrol in the 1950s and losing touch with her country, her family and her culture, Barbara was reunited with them by chance in the 1970s.  In the intervening 40 years, Barbara has been at the forefront of Indigenous affairs and Indigenous art, fighting for the rights of her people, the Anmatyerre and Alyawerre, in regaining country and in tirelessly promoting their art.  In 2004, Barbara received a Certificate of Appreciation from the then Prime Minister, John Howard, for her contribution to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Inspired by her mother, Minnie Pwerle, and aunty, Emily Kngwarreye, both highly-acclaimed Indigenous artists, Barbara has been a dominant presence in the Aboriginal fine art scene for over 30 years. In that time, Barbara has been honoured by recognition in numerous, prestigious Australian art awards, including as a multiple finalist of the Telstra NATSIAA and more recently as a finalist in the 2018 Paddington Art Prize.

Now approaching her 80th year, Barbara remains a committed and innovative artist and an inspirational spokesperson for her people.

Pictured: AAAA Patron Barbara Weir with AAAA President Geoff Henderson.

Adrian Newstead OAM

The original instigator and founding President of the Association in 1998, Adrian Newstead OAM has worked extensively with Aboriginal communities and the Indigenous art industry since establishing Indigenous art gallery, Cooee Art, in 1981.

Adrian established the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation in 2006, a trust dedicated to projects that support Indigenous health, education and community development. His years as a trustee of the ABF; as a board member of Aboriginal Tourism Australia; his pioneering role with the Aboriginal Art Association; and four decades promoting Aboriginal art in Australia and Internationally saw him awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2016 for his services to the museum and galleries sector.

Pictured: Adrian Newstead OAM

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