Tod Jones

Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute

Tod Jones is a Research Fellow at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute in Perth, Australia. Tod’s research interests are the impacts of Indigenous creative enterprises, Indonesian cultural policy, regional development and sustainable tourism. He received the 2010 Vice-Chancellors Award for Humanities Highest-Performing Early-Career Researcher at Curtin University. Tod is currently assessing the social and cultural impacts of Indigenous creative enterprises through research with Carnarvon’s Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre. He has published 14 articles, two book chapters and 7 refereed conference papers, and has received over $850,000 in research funding.

Meeting places:  understanding and measuring the activities and impacts of Aboriginal cultural enterprises

Assessment regimes for Aboriginal cultural enterprises have a awkward history. Viewed through the experiences of Indigenous arts centres, they have often privileged economic outcomes and an industry perspective over artists’ priorities and local engagement. Policy problems with Indigenous arts centres have been linked to an administrative incapacity to understand their role as intercultural institutions that have social, cultural and economic functions and manage the resulting tensions. While there has been much research and many reports that emphasise these functions, a theoretically robust framework with the capacity to clearly articulate the impacts and differences between Indigenous cultural enterprises has not yet been identified. This paper is a step towards such a framework, grounded in a case study of the Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Centre in the town of Carnarvon, in the north-west of Western Australia.

The paper has two parts. First, it provides a framework from a critical review of past assessments of Aboriginal cultural enterprises and recent work on cultural enterprise assessment. In particular, I critically examine Demos’s culture for culture’s sake model for UK cultural institutions and models for assessing social enterprises for their potential usefulness. Second, it test this framework drawing from 21 interviews with staff, artists, community members and past and present members of the Gwoonwardu Mia executive that focussed on the range of impacts that Gwoonwardu Mia has generated since its conception in 1992, through its opening to the public in 2009, until the end of 2011 when the interviews were conducted. The paper concludes with a critical assessment of the usefulness of this particular framework, and assessment frameworks in general, through the insights it provides into Gwoonwardu Mia.



Kitka Web Design