Franchesca Cubillo is a proud Yanuwa, Larrakia, Bardi, and Wardaman woman from the Top End of the Northern Territory. Ms Cubillo joins the Australia Council with more than 30 years’ experience in the museum and art gallery sector.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Australia Council as the Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and respectfully acknowledge the strong and visionary First Nations leadership that has come before me at Council, those who have championed, mentored and invested in First Nations artists, organisations and communities. I am looking forward to building on their remarkable legacies, to lead and advocate for First Nations arts and culture,” Franchesca Cubillo said.
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.
Australia Council Deputy Chair Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin said:
“We are so pleased that Franchesca is joining the Australia Council in March. Franchesca has a deep knowledge and passion for First Nations arts and culture. Her leadership will support the Australia Council to continue to strengthen public recognition and appreciation of First Nations arts and culture.”
Chair of the First Nations Arts Strategy Panel, Wesley Enoch AM said:
“Franchesca is a highly respected leader who has worked tirelessly to develop significant First Nations specific policies and programs that address Indigenous advancement, agency and self-determination. Franchesca has worked extensively across numerous cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the South Australian Museum, the National Museum of Australia, and the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, all benefiting from her unfaltering dedication to self-representation and First Nations story telling.”
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.
Franchesca will commence at the Australia Council in March and will build on the impressive achievements of Lydia Miller, who is set to depart Council after more than 20 years.
Lydia’s exceptional support and advocacy for First Nations artists and organisations has ensured Council’s long term commitment to First Nations arts and culture. The Australia Council extends its gratitude to Lydia. We will continue to recognise and build upon the importance of First Nations peoples’ self-determination, cultural authority and leadership.