Australia Council announces impact of 2015-2016 budget to programs

Australia Council has announced significant changes to its programs due to the unexpected budget changes for 2015-2016. A major change that affects Darwin Community Arts and other arts organisations in the Northern Territory and around Australia is the suspension of the six-year funding program for organisations. Other changes include:

  • the Australia Council June grant round, including government programs, will not proceed
  • existing applications can be assessed within the September round, which will include multi-year project support for individual artists and arts organisations
  • the Australia Council will honour the current contracts of multi-year funded organisations until their conclusion at the end of 2016
  • the ArtStart, Creative Communities Partnerships Initiative and Artists in Residence programs will not be offered in the future.

See the Australia Council announcements here:

Support our fundraising & enjoy many discounts

Do you enjoy shopping and eating out while saving money? Who would not? Now there is an opportunity for you to take advantage of discounts worth thousands of dollars while supporting your favorite local non-profit organisation. Buy Entertainment Book ($55) by clicking on this link or directly from our office and we will receive $11 from every book sold. This money will go towards covering costs of Community Dinners. Call us on 8945 7347 for more info. Thank you!

Exhibition: Art and Stories

In their first major exhibition, Patsy Chulugu and Arthur Que Noy share their art and stories for their Daly River country in the Northern Territory. The official opening will take place on Tuesday, 7 April, at 11am at the Northern Territory library in Darwin City. The exhibition will be held until 26 June 2015.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015 - 11:00am to Friday, 26 June 2015 - 5:00pm

We help you to get back on ya bike

Need to fix your bike but can't afford to pay for it? Got no tools? Lacking skills? No problem, come down to our bike shed in Malak and we'll give you a hand. Free of charge. We just want to see you back on your bike (and see Darwin flooded with bikes and cyclists)! Darwin Community Arts proudly runs a bike shed with tools and mentoring advice available free of charge for public.

The bike shed is open from Monday to Thursday 2.30-4.30pm, additional hours depends on public demand. Located in Malak Shopping Centre Underground, the shed has got spare parts from old donated bikes and we would be happy to assist to repair and eventually build up your skills so next time you can even fix your bike by yourself. In case you want to go a step further and creatively decorate your bike, come to our Underground Arts workshop on Saturday morning at the same place.

Darwin Community Arts aims to empower our community. Our vision is 'A Darwin Region where art is made and shared by anyone, anywhere, anytime.'

Tribute to My Sisters’ Kitchen

What a wonderful time we've had at My Sisters' Kitchen over the years. With our funding from the Department of Social Services wrapping up at the end of February, it is time to reflect on the My Sisters' Kitchen journey and hopes for its future.

Our story began in 2008 when DCA worker and community leader Josie Mesiku wanted to bring women together to establish an 'African Kitchen' mobile catering business. Sadly, Josie passed away soon after. Wanting to honour her passion and carry on her project, Josie's co-workers at DCA applied for Diverse Australia funding. The application was shortlisted and My Sisters' Kitchen (MSK)- a program focussing on sharing recipes, stories, and cultural information - was born. 

Since then the MSK program has fostered a shared sense of belonging and social cohesion for women from across the world, with participants' backgrounds ranging from Burmese, Afghani, Sudanese, Bhutanese, Ethiopian, Iranian, Ugandan, Sri Lankan, Congolese, Filipino and further afield.

My Sisters' Kitchen in name reads as a cooking program, however in practice, the activities that have happened within our 'kitchen' are much broader than cooking. Over the years, our proverbial 'kitchen table' has been a place for important conversations, sharing of skills and coming together as a community. The women have shared their stories through theatre and multimedia, developed their talents in cooking and catering and, recently, have expressed their creativity through sewing, weaving and other textile arts practices.

In 2012 the program's original dream of establishing a social enterprise catering caravan came to fruition through a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation. After a few setbacks, the My Sisters' Kitchen Caravan came to life in 2014 catering at events such at Seabreeze, Bagot Festival, City of Darwin's Launch events and other functions.

This year we would like to see the My Sisters' Kitchen caravan grow as the social enterprise arm of DCA, catering for arts festivals and community events while also supporting DCA's core mission to make and share arts in our region. 

At the end of February the regular Monday night program will come to an end. However, the textile arts activities will re-incarnate as 'Our Common Threads', inviting women of diverse backgrounds to make textile art through sewing, weaving, screen printing, beading, dying, knitting and crocheting. This program will be on a smaller scale than MSK, running on Wednesday mornings beginning in May.

The absence of ongoing funding for MSK has been a great loss. However, the creativity, resilience and passion of the women involved inspires us to keep finding the means to support our programs. A great thank you to all those individuals and community groups who have supported us through the years with generous donations of their time and resources.

If you have an idea how to support these new 'MSK' programs please speak to us on 8945 7347 or email at Thank you!

Kultour on the Move

Kultour, the national key organisation working with the arts sector in advancing cultural diversity in the Arts in Australia, is moving from Melbourne to Western Sydney. This move forms part of a new national strategic direction responding to sector feedback as Kultour seeks to build continued national representation for the multicultural sector in all facets of cultural practice.  

Our Australian society is constantly changing and developing, our communities increasingly enriched by these changes. Kultour is reading these changes and is determined to overcome obstacles to positive futures for the expression of cultural diversity in the arts. Closer proximity to Canberra and immersion in significant and large communities of multicultural artists and organisations in Australia is critical as we advocate for greater representation of artists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds across the arts so that the national arts landscape in Australia reflects the society in which we all live.

The move to Sydney brings with it the search for a new Leadership role – Director, Advocacy & Opportunities, Kultour – to carve pathways for culturally and linguistically diverse artists and arts, from cultural policy to cultural and arts practice. This role and further information on recruitment processes will be released shortly. The Melbourne office will continue to operate through March until the Sydney base is established.

The Kultour Board thanks Julie Tipene O’Toole for her contribution to Kultour as Melbourne-based CEO since 2012, particularly to advocacy and the national delivery of the Kultour Gatherings.

Darwin Community Arts is a company member of Kultour, and our Executive Officer, Christian (Bong) Ramilo, is a member of the Board of Directors.

CemeNTstars are back in business

CemeNTstars are a group of young actors with disability currently working on a production to be staged during Disability Awareness Week September, 2015. CemeNTstars' workshops resume on Tuesday 3 February, 2015 from 4:45/5pm - 6:30pm at Chambers Crescent Theatre, Malak Shopping Centre.

If you are an independent young person with disability, over 14yrs and interested in learning acting/performance skills we would love to have you join us for these weekly FREE workshops. We are seeking support actors (over 18yrs) for this project. If you would like to volunteer, let us know!

Darwin Community Arts also offers free weekly drama activity workshops for people with high support needs on Tuesday mornings. For more information please contact DCA 8945 7347 or

Funding changes to affect MSK and Telecentro

Sadly, funding for our long-term projects My Sisters’ Kitchen (MSK) and Malak Telecentro will not be renewed after February 2015. The programs will run until the end of February in the current format, however then we will have to adjust the programs to address the lack of financial resources. We’ll keep you updated on the situation in the next few weeks. Right now we are searching for alternative sources of fundings. If you have an idea how to support these two programs please speak to us on 8945 7347 or email Thank you!

Funding boost for 'Reading The Signs'

We are stoked to announce on International Day of People with Disability that our application for funding towards 'Reading The Signs' resources (CemeNTworx project) has been successful. The sum of $7,222 (granted by City of Darwin) will be used to purchase standing & desktop easels, silk screen sets, rollers & squeegees for art workshops plus digital cameras and a movie camcorder for workshops & documentation at Project 21. The project secured its major funding $20,000 earlier this year from NT Government - Arts NT.

'Reading The Signs' will be a collaborative theatre production, dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of communication faced by people living with disability - a playful look at the ambiguities of language, communication and signing. The twelve month performance development will incorporate a series of skills development workshops encompassing dance/movement, visual arts, drama, script-writing/story-telling, film/photography and interactive technologies. 'Reading The Signs' is planned as a mixed ability performance and would be staged during Darwin Disability Awareness Week 2015.

Darwin Community Arts has been running workshops and working on theatre productions with a group of actors with intellectual disability for six years now. If you are a person with disability and interested in learning acting/performance skills please join us. We are also seeking support actors to attend weekly workshops. The program will resume in February 2015. For more information contact our CemeNTworx Creative producer Brenda Logan on 8945 7347 or at

Volunteer and give back to your community

Would you like to meet new people and give back to your community? We have lots of volunteering opportunities available! Agnes (pictured right) is our newest volunteer. Agnes is a textile artist and professional hobby photographer and she is willing to share her skills and help Darwin Community Arts' programs.

If you enjoy coming to our Community Dinners, this month we'd particularly like to find people for Dinner Crew and Clean Up Crew - it only takes half to one hour of your time. Consider helping serve dinner for an hour between 6.30pm and 7.30pm or helping the Clean Up Crew for half to one hour from 8pm. Even just once or twice a year really helps us keep our dinners happening. For more info on volunteering opportunities, give us a call on 8945 7347 or email at


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