John Curtin Gallery

Curator, Australian First Nations Art

  • $90,644 - $97,324, plus 17% superannuation
  • 2 years, full time, fixed term contract
  • Agile and flexible working environment with great work life balance

Job Reference: 629783
Curtin University considers that being Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander is a genuine occupational requirement for this position under section 50D of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA).
John Curtin Gallery
The John Curtin Gallery is a major Western Australian public art gallery and one of the largest university art galleries in Australia. Its exhibitions interrogate issues that are of importance to national and international communities. The Gallery, which was established at Curtin University’s main campus in Perth in 1998, is the custodian of the Herbert Meyer Collection of Aboriginal Children’s Artworks (The Carrolup Collection), as well as a significant collection of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, and is deeply committed to sharing the collection with both the Nyungar community and audiences around the world, connecting with the stories of other First Nations people and helping individuals everywhere to understand the intergenerational consequences of dispossession, discrimination and disempowerment.

The mission of the John Curtin Gallery is to interrogate contemporary issues through the visual arts, inspiring audiences to create a more just and equitable world.

In this role you will:

  • Work collaboratively and engage with community members, research colleagues, contemporary artists, lenders and curatorial colleagues in partner institutions to develop and realise exhibition projects that interrogate issues raised by the Carrolup Collection, including human rights, reconciliation, truth-telling, Stolen Generations, and indigenous knowledge and history.
  • Nurture relationships with Stolen Generations survivors, their families, and the broader community.
  • Establish and build networks with Aboriginal people throughout Western Australia to cultivate the gallery’s collection for generations to come.
  • Actively participate in the delivery of Gallery and University learning and access programs and other events, relating to the awareness of Stolen Generations and the Carrolup Collection.
  • Develop productive relationships with all stakeholders including artists, community, sector colleagues, and other stakeholders to contribute to the realisation of the Gallery’s collection-building goals.
  • Contribute to the development of the University’s collection by researching and identifying potential works of art for the collection in line with the Gallery’s Collection and Acquisition Strategy.
  • Contribute to the enhancement of the University’s and the Gallery’s profile and knowledge relating in particular to Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and the legacy of Stolen Generations, internally and externally through research; publications, and through presentations at conferences, symposia and other events.
  • Draft correspondence, reports, essays, exhibition texts, catalogues, online content and other published material associated with the Gallery, the collection and programs.
  • Contribute to the development of the Gallery’s Action Plan to deliver outcomes towards the Indigenous Roadmap, and towards the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Ensure cultural sensitivities are maintained and protocols are followed in relation to the Carrolup Collection.
  • Work collaboratively with the broader JC Gallery team.

Why choose Curtin?   

  • Easily accessible location with great parking, bus station and end of trip facilities
  • A vibrant campus with gym, child care, wellness programs, medical and counselling services
  • Opportunity for on-going career development and advancement
  • We are ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide (ARWU 2020 and QS World University Rankings 2019), and 9th in Australia (ARWU 2020)
  • A major global player, with well-integrated campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Dubai

For further information on Curtin and all of our employee benefits visit

We are looking for someone with

  • A solid history in working and building relationships with Aboriginal communities.
  • Extensive knowledge of Aboriginal art and culture and a passion for storytelling.
  • A relevant degree qualification with considerable relevant experience; or extensive curatorial experience; or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training.
  • Substantial curatorial experience in a museum, gallery, or arts centre.
  • Successful collections experience including understanding and experience of issues related to the management and development of museum collections and services.
  • Technical expertise in working with a significant collection including handling skills and knowledge of appropriate environmental and security controls, significance assessment and condition reporting.
  • High level written and oral communication, including a demonstrated ability to write clear, concise, authoritative and persuasive reports, proposals and submissions.
  • Solid negotiation skills with proven ability to build effective networks and productive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Proven team leadership and management skills with the ability lead staff in the achievement of goals and objectives.
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage multiple and often competing tasks with attention to accuracy and detail within deadlines.  

Next steps

Please apply on-line with a cover letter and resume to enable us to assess your suitability for the role.

To view a copy of the role’s Position Description, please copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Applications close: 9:00 PM, Sunday 29  November 2020

Contact details

If you have a query in relation to the application process please contact our careers team on or call Lejanie Dos Santos on 08 9266 7226.

If you would like to speak to a technical specialist please contact Jane King on 08 9266 4152.

Inclusion and Diversity at Curtin

We are committed to ensuring that Curtin has an inclusive environment, free from harassment, in which all students, staff and the community feel respected, valued and welcome.

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, women, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable people with disability to participate fully in our recruitment, selection and appointment processes.

We have received recognition in this area:

  • Voted one of Australia’s Inclusive Employers for 2019-2020 (Diversity Council of Australia).
  • Have become one of the first Universities to receive accreditation for an Elevated Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Achieved Athena Swan Bronze Accreditation (2018-2020).
  • Voted 16th best workplace for new dads in Australia (HBF - Direct Advice for Dads, 2019).


Curtin reserves the right at its sole discretion to withdraw from the recruitment process, not to make an appointment, or to appoint by invitation, at any time. We reserve the right to remove the advert earlier than the date on the advert.

John Curtin Gallery (opens in new window)
Opportunity Type
Full Time
Curatorial and Exhibitions


Pay information
$80,000 - $100,000
Closing Date
Apply for job (opens in new window)

To view the application page please allow pop-ups on your browser