Franchesca Cubillo Presents Purrumpa For The Australia Council For The Arts 50th Anniversary


Originating from Darwin, Franchesca Cubillo is a proud Yanuwa, Larrakia, Bardi, and Wardaman woman from the ‘Top End’ region of Australia.

Franchesca Cubillo is the Executive Director First Nations Arts and Culture at the Australia Council for the Arts and has more than 30 years’ experience in the museum and art gallery sector.

Franchesca is the inaugural Chair of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, the inaugural co-Chair of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, Alice Springs, and has held numerous board and committee positions.

She has worked for a number of national institutions throughout Australia, including the South Australia Museum, the National Museum of Australia, and the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and more recently the National Gallery of Australia.

Franchesca is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, has published extensively and presented lectures and keynote addresses on subjects such as the repatriation of Australian Indigenous ancestral remains, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture and Australian Indigenous museology and curatorship.

‘Purrumpa’ is a Kaurna language word meaning ‘to flourish or blossom’ and was generously gifted to us by Kaurna Elder Uncle Lewis O’Brien. The last national gathering of this kind was held in 1973, established by the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board. It was a milestone moment which set out policy, encouraged excellence and the preservation of First Nations culture through creative expression.

Australia Council Executive Director for First Nations Arts and Culture Franchesca Cubillo said: “Purrumpa is set to be a momentous occasion as we celebrate the achievements of the past five decades and reflect on what the next 50 years could look like. Purrumpa will include deep listening, as well as important conversations about First Nations peoples’ self-determination, development, and priorities for the national advocacy of First Nations arts and culture.”

Purrumpa has been generously supported by the South Australian government. South Australian Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP said: “We are proud to support this important event as part of our commitment to championing First Nations arts and culture. South Australia is home to a rich arts and culture sector, and we are thrilled that our state will play host to Purrumpa this October.”

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said: “The Australia Council has a long-standing commitment to supporting, advancing and elevating First Nations arts and culture, guided by First Nations led decision making and advice. Purrumpa will be a momentous occasion for the continued ‘blossoming’ of the First Nations arts and cultural sector.”