Home About Boomalli

Boomalli’s Gallery and workshop space is located at 55 – 59 Flood street Leichhardt.  We are within the electorate Grayndler and Leichhardt City Council LGA.  Boomalli has an exhibition space of approximately 200 square metres and is capable of putting on large scale survey shows as well as smaller distinct shows of local significance.  Our premises are located directly across the road from Leichhardt Market Place where we have negotiated parking for our guests. This position also encourages walk-in visitors and public enquiries. Boomalli’s premises are used for artist studio space, business and artistic workshops, conferences, board meetings, a rehearsal space for performers in the Deadly Awards each year as well as a community centre for Aboriginal people in Sydney.  We have recently installed data projectors for screening of films and presentations

Outcomes for artists and communities

-Promote the sustainable development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts and crafts as dynamic and integral elements of Australian culture and as resources for both cultural dialogue and economic exchange
-Assist Indigenous visual artists to understand the nature and working of the arts industry, including pricing and mark-up policies, costs and logistics of freight and transport, marketing, promotion and delivery of the final consumer product.
-Operate to preserve the cultural heritage of indigenous Australians for future generations and to strengthen the social fabric of indigenous communities.
-Assist visual artists with materials, space and facilities for creation and production, marketing and promotion, documentation of work, training and advice on copyright and other intellectual rights.
-Promote the identification, preservation and production of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts in their broader cultural context.

History of Boomalli

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative is one of Australia's longest running Aboriginal owned and operated art galleries.  Established in Chippendale Sydney in 1987, Boomalli, a word derived from three different NSW language groups, means: “To strike; to make a mark”. After almost twenty years it is now increasingly apparent that the distinctive and innovative urban art produced by our indigenous members has indeed made a mark on both the national and international art worlds.

The 10 founding members of Boomalli as urban Indigenous artists finding it difficult to have their own work shown as authentic Aboriginal art in the mainstream, established a Co-operative to provide a platform for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander artists to exhibit and promote urban Indigenous art on their own terms.  One of the primary aims has been to redress some of the social inequities experienced historically by indigenous artists and provide an authentically strong cultural voice within a contemporary Australian context. This has been achieved by making it possible for artists to take direct curatorial control of their individual exhibitions as well as devising their own marketing and sales strategies, thereby reclaiming processes which have been traditionally controlled by non-indigenous stakeholders.

The years 2002 – 2005 marked many significant changes in the organizational structure of Boomalli.  In 2003 Frank Panucci and Associates undertook a review of Boomalli’s activities.  The review was commissioned by funding agencies ATSIS, the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board of the Australia Council.   The New South Wales Ministry for the Arts funded a Change Manager to work with a Steering Group to enact these recommendations throughout 2004 and 2005. In June 2005 the newly appointed Artistic Director convened a meeting of the Steering Group at which it was resolved that all recommendations had been met and that Boomalli was now effectively managing the newly-developed constitutional and operational practices.  Both The Ministry for the Arts and the Australia Council have signaled their support for the new changes by allocating increased budgets for the Exhibition Program in 2006 and the Boomalli Board of Directors have produced a strategic plan which detail staffing plans and continuing improvement in governance to ultimately ensure the growth of Boomalli as a cultural institution.

The 2008 - 2010 operational plan sees many exciting changes for the organisation including the implementation of a new constitution, transfering from a Co-operative to a company limited by gaurantee with Donor Gift Recipient staus. Boomalli Ltd. will oversee the implementation of a new direction for the organisation concentrating more on community engagement than commercial exhibitions. 


In order to join Boomalli, a prospective member must be able to demonstrate that they:
• reside in NSW
• can verify their Aboriginality
• Are capable practicing artists by submitting samples of their work to the Board for peer review
Currently Boomalli’s membership consists of 55 practicing visual artists and up to 10 Aboriginal community members.  Our membership criteria require all members to work voluntarily within the organization for at least 14 hours per year. The Constitution also sets out further guidelines about what is required from our members.

Regional Membership
Boomalli also offers membership to Aboriginal artists in regional areas, which enables them to access the same services as other members but they are not required to undertake voluntary work and do not have full membership rights.  As a result of this arrangement, regionally-based artists are able to exhibit and market their work in Sydney and in turn, Boomalli undertakes regional focus exhibitions across NSW in order to promote our member artists and exhibitions.


• Government departments
• Local councils
• Local schools
• Universities and other educational institutions such as TAFE NSW colleges and private training providers
• University students seeking access to resources and archives
• Regional and National Art Galleries
• Local businesses
• The local community
• Art dealers and collectors
• Indigenous people seeking work experience or wishing to use our facilities for professional development.


It is our goal to promote the original objectives of the founding members by providing continuous support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists so that they can exhibit and promote aboriginal art on their own terms and to endorse self-determination and self-management for artist members as well as the wider indigenous community. In doing so, we will continue to provide a strong and distinctive cultural voice for urban aboriginal art.

Our overall aim:
Boomalli’s aim is to be a premium exhibition space and cultural resource centre which facilitates greater artistic profiles for our members as well as generating financial incentives and promoting higher levels professionalism in artist member’s careers.
Short-term aims:

• To promote Aboriginal Art through successful exhibition calendars
• To create employment and training for Aboriginal people, specifically, the immediate creation of a Program Manager’s position to assist in the achievement of our aims
• To assist artist members in their artistic careers
• To continue to promote the Aboriginal experience, art, heritage and culture of urban and rural Aboriginal people within the South Eastern Australia region
• To develop and maintain a greater level of financial self-sustainability
• To continue to break down the misconceptions surrounding authenticity in urban aboriginal art
• To continue to educate people about contemporary Aboriginal art
• To represent our own living culture
• To continue to determine that Aboriginal people define the representation of what is Aboriginal Culture both Urban and traditional

Core business

• Operations of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and operated cultural institution
• Provide international standards of gallery and museum procedure for exhibitions and artistic studio space projects
• Provide a resource service to members and the wider community 
• Act as a referral agency between our members and stakeholders accessing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural material
• Negotiate agreements for commissions on behalf of artist members
• Use of premises to conduct artistic workshops and community arts events
• Consult with government funding bodies, including production of written submissions for projects and ongoing operations
• Liaise and consult with arts and educational institutions
• Liaise and consult with community organisations
• Liaise and consult with artists and non-artist members
• Liaise and consult with local businesses and the wider community
• Provide consultancy and lecture services to the wider community
• Document, compile and register all artworks
• Maintain and upkeep slide archives and information resources
• Liaise with newspaper, television and radio representatives on local,national and international levels
• Organise exhibition projects on local, national and international levels
• Compile catalogues and articles for publication
• Compile and maintain data base of artist members and non-artist membersinvolved in Boomalli projects
• Act as contact agent for members regarding commissioned projects
• Update and maintain mailing list and Friends of Boomalli list