Daly River arts centre back in business

The Acting Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Joe Mastrolembo, has today announced the end of the special administration of Merrepen Arts, Culture and Language Aboriginal Corporation.

The corporation is located in the community of Nauiyu about 240 kilometres south-west of Darwin. It was established in 1990 and works to present and promote paintings, prints, weavings and textiles of the Nauiyu people in the Daly River region. Known for providing resources and opportunities for generations of Nauiyu people, the corporation plays a vital role in developing the economic, cultural and artistic life of the region. It also hosts the annual Merrepen Arts Festival whose program includes ceremony, traditional dance, music, performance, arts and crafts, language, oral history, bush and traditional cultural knowledge.

On 18 September 2017, at the request of the corporation’s directors, the Registrar appointed a special administrator to the corporation. The directors were concerned with the financial position of the corporation, which was trading at a loss after a long-standing funding arrangement ended.

‘The whole board was worried for the future of the corporation, and requested a special administrator to help turn it around’, Mr Mastrolembo said.

The special administrator has made significant improvements to the corporation’s financial and business model and reinvigorated community interest in its activities.

‘The corporation has been through a difficult period,’ Mr Mastrolembo said. ‘The corporation is now well placed to continue to support its members and artists.’

The special administration will end tomorrow, 30 March 2018. The Registrar’s office will monitor the corporation over the next 12 months and offer governance training for the corporation’s new directors.


See the Registrar’s previous media release, MR1718-05, Renowned NT art centre seeks support, 18 September 2017.

Media contact

Lisa Hugg
(02) 6146 4738

ORIC MR1718-21
29 March 2018