Selling Yarns 2

Innovation for sustainability



Tamara Winikoff

Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)


Tamara Winikoff is well known in Australia as a cultural commentator, advocate and senior arts manager. She has spoken and written extensively about cultural and design issues. For her work Tamara was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts' Visual Arts and Craft Emeritus Medal in 2004.

Involved in arts management for over twentyfive years, she currently is the Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA). NAVA is the peak body representing the professional interests of the Australian visual arts, craft and design sector. It has been extremely effective in securing policy and legislative change, setting industry best practice standards and providing professional development resources, advice and assistance for artists and the industry.

Tamara's current advocacy is focused on securing effective artists' resale royalty legislation, protecting artists' freedom of expression, setting standards for payment of artists' fees by publicly funded galleries, improving visual education in schools and better regulation of commercial dealings in art, especially Indigenous art. NAVA did the initial extensive research for the Indigenous Australian Art Commercial Code of Conduct.

Over the years, Tamara has been responsible for forming effective industry groupings to undertake joint lobbying. This includes the National, Visual Arts and Craft Network, the Visual Education Roundtable and most recently a new Design Coalition to bring together art, craft and design industry bodies.

In 2001 NAVA's lobbying influenced the federal government to hold an inquiry into the health of the visual arts and craft sector. NAVA's co-ordination of art industry lobbying resulted in a substantial funding increase, which was renewed and increased in 2007 at a level of over $48 million over four years to 2011.

Currently NAVA is working on the production of an Art Censorship Guide, expanding the artistcareer website (which is the hub for national art business practice training and resource information), and producing a new set of professional practice booklets, the Theory in Practice Series (TIPS). It also is aiming to issue edition 3 of the arts industry's Code of Practice.

In the past, at times Tamara has worked as an academic in England and Australia, and was chief investigator in three major research projects, funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australia Council. One outcome was the production of the now widely used Code of Practice for the Australia Visual Arts and Craft Sector.

Originally Tamara trained and practiced as an architect (including working on archaeological digs around the Middle East). In her early years she worked as a graphic and theatre designer, printmaker, photographer and film-maker. She has sustained a lifelong commitment to the arts as both a supporter and practitioner.

See also: Abstract of Tamara Winikoff's paper:
Is Fair Enough?