Crossroad Arts is passionate about creating artistic opportunities for people with disabilities in Mackay. Photo by Russell Shakespeare.
Tim Fairfax Family Foundation Annual Report 2017-2018


TFFF aims to support initiatives that extend community exposure to, and experiences with, a variety of artistic opportunities as well as building the capacity of communities to engage with artistic experiences.

Please note, the figures in the infographics below refer only to new funding approved in the 2017/18 financial year. In previous years these figures referred to both new and ongoing approvals.


new approvals


average total approved


multi-year approvals

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation Spotlight

"Our art makes more than a living. Our art is living."

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, known as DAAF, is an annual showcase of contemporary fine art from Australia’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres (Art Centres). Held in Darwin, on Larrakia Country, DAAF is the only event of its kind to welcome so broad a spectrum of Arts Centres for three days of art, culture, fashion and storytelling.

DAAF showcases the rich diversity of art inspired by Australia’s most remote desert and coastal regions through to rural and urban hubs. Visitors have the often-rare opportunity to meet and hear from the artists who have created the pieces they hold in their hands. Over the past five years DAAF has generated over $8.825 million in sales, with a record $2.224 million in 2017 alone, 100% of which goes directly to the Art Centres.

Growing from an initial 16 Art Centres in 2007, DAAF now proudly supports representation of over 70 Art Centres in total and more than 2,000 individual artists from across Australia. In addition to positive economic outcomes, DAAF facilitates the building of networks and offers opportunities for professional development that are often out of reach for Arts Centres and their staff, the Arts Workers. This is particularly significant for Art Centres in more remote locations where isolation can reduce their access to markets and impede their knowledge of and response to changes within this sector.

The cost of travel to Darwin remains the single greatest barrier to equitable access and attendance. Support from TFFF assisted the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, the governing body, to increase and more effectively structure the travel assistance available to remote Art Centres; this directly contributed to a 15% increase in attendance in 2017, which saw 275 Indigenous individual artists and Arts Workers from a record 67 Art Centres that year. In that first year of TFFF support, 30% of travel assistance recipients stated they would not have been able to attend without this support and 39% stated that the support enabled them to make a profit at the Fair, as opposed to just breaking even.

TFFF also enabled the facilitation of an innovative Indigenous Curator Program pilot prior to the opening of DAAF, to increase professional development opportunities offered to participating Indigenous Arts Workers. Twenty curators partnered with participating Art Centres to share their skills in exhibition curation and customer service, covering anything from supporting artists during set up, building and designing exhibition spaces, providing curatorial advice for the exhibition and also imparting knowledge about the types of art that attracts public and private investors. These skills can be utilised beyond the bounds of DAAF and drive greater economic potential throughout the year.

Really happy with our curator…he advised on how to design our booth, what to hang and what would sell, and he was right!

Our freight is more than $6k alone (round trip). So it was critical to get the extra funding to be part of DAAF.

Where We Fund - Arts

Arts Organisations

arTour Western Touring Circuit Development

$100,000 ($349,000 over 4 years)

Supporting arTour’s development of a new performing arts touring circuit in collaboration with eight local government areas across Western Queensland – Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall Tambo, Boulia, Longreach, Murweh, Paroo and Quilpie. This work will ensure access to high quality artistic experiences and local capacity building opportunities for local presenters and artists.

Australian Academy for the Humanities A New Approach

$100,000 ($300,000 over 3 years)

Collaborative seed funding for A New Approach, an independent think tank championing the benefits of investing in a rich creative and cultural landscape and advocating for broader and deeper support for arts and culture across Australia.

Bangarra Dance Theatre Rekindling Youth Program

$150,000 ($349,000 over 4 years)

An education program using dance to inspire and develop the next generation of Indigenous storytellers, reconnecting young Indigenous people with culture and strengthening intergenerational connections to support their wellbeing and development of a strong sense of self.

Camerata Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra Capacity support for the Regional Touring and Education Program

$115,000 ($460,000 over 4 years)

Supporting Camerata’s regional engagement strategy and ambitions by contributing towards annual touring costs and wages for key personnel responsible for consultation, preparation and coordination of touring education and community engagement in communities throughout Queensland.

Crossroad Arts Capacity support for Beyond Boundaries

$196,000 ($546,000 over 3 years)

Providing key capacity support to enable Crossroad Arts to achieve its overall strategic objectives in working with young people, the disabled and the aged in Mackay and in other rural, regional and remote communities in Queensland.

Dancenorth Australia Capacity support for the Community Enrichment Programs

$110,000 ($330,000 over 3 years)

Supporting the continued development and delivery of Dancenorth’s Community Enrichment Programs, using performance and participation to provide enriching artistic experiences for young people and marginalised groups within Townsville and other rural, regional and remote communities in Queensland.

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation From Dirt Roads to Gallery Walls

$154,000 ($616,000 over 4 years)

Creating pathways for Indigenous Art Centres and Arts Workers in Queensland and the Northern Territory to participate in the annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. This includes the opportunity to build skills in exhibition development and curation through the delivery of a curatorial program that connects arts workers with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curators from public institutions across Australia.

Flying Arts Alliance Securing the Future of Flying Arts

$195,000 ($585,000 over 3 years)

Capacity support enabling Flying Arts Alliance to implement key strategic recommendations towards improved sustainability as well as expanding and deepening their artistic offerings to, and relationships with, artists, art workers, educators, young people and community groups in rural, regional and remote Queensland.

JUTE Theatre Company Capacity Support for the Dare to Dream Indigenous Theatre Touring Program

$224,000 ($877,000 over 4 years)

Supporting JUTE to build its capacity to develop, produce and tour high quality theatre that shares the unique stories of Indigenous people in Far North Queensland whilst also delivering school residencies to accompany these works in communities throughout Far North Queensland.

Museums and Galleries Queensland Exhibition Development and Touring Program

$60,000 ($180,000 over 3 years)

Cultivating a rich and diverse arts ecology throughout regional Queensland by facilitating access to an array of visual arts experiences for communities as well as professional development opportunities for regional artists and galleries.

Opera Queensland Capacity support for Open Stage


Capacity support enabling Opera Queensland’s Open Stage program to provide relevant and engaging creative and artistic experiences for schools and communities throughout rural, regional and remote Queensland.

Queensland Music Festival Capacity support for the Regional Community Engagement Program

$200,000 ($600,000 over 3 years)

Supporting Queensland Music Festival to grow and deepen its engagement with rural, regional and remote Queensland through the co-design, development and performance of musical collaborations tailored to each community.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra Regional Educational Mobile Touring Ensemble (REMOTE) Model Pilot


Towards the delivery of the Symphony Beat and Symphony for Tomorrow music education programs, designed to offer extended engagement opportunities for students, teachers and community member in rural, regional and remote Queensland. Large-scale events will also be delivered that build capacity in participants of different ages and skill levels, showcasing their abilities to their broader communities.

Queensland Theatre Capacity support for the Regional Program

$123,000 ($386,000 over 4 years)

Contributing to building Queensland Theatre’s capacity in regional programming including touring main-stage work to regional Queensland, supporting regional venues and their staff to receive this work and increasing the number of related education and community engagement activities offered to regional communities.

Topology Inc Capacity Support for the Top Up Community and Education program

$75,000 ($225,000 over 3 years)

Towards the continued delivery of the Top Up, Topology’s flagship music education program that brings together professional and young musicians to explore, create and perform new music, as well as the establishment of the Launchpad program which is aimed at mentoring young composers around Queensland.

Woodfordia Festival of Small Halls, Queensland and Northern Territory

$44,000 ($154,000 over 3 years)

Reviving local spaces and bringing community members together by touring high quality folk and contemporary acoustic artists to small halls in communities across Queensland and expanding into the Northern Territory, actively engaging community partners to increase their capacity to deliver events at this scale without external input.

The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation is based in Meanjin (Brisbane).