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Art Promotion and Collection Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University acknowledges the Bundjalung, Darug, Gundungurra, Tharawal (also historically referred to as D’harawal) and Wiradjuri Peoples, who are the traditional owners of the land on which the University's campuses are located, and thanks them for their support and contribution to its work.

(2) The University's permanent art collection consists of a diverse range of artworks in a variety of media, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photographs and works on paper by 20th and 21st century Australian artists, primarily from the 1960s to the present. The collection also consists of works by local artists from Greater Western Sydney, as well as works by former and current staff and students of the University. There is also a small selection of works by international artists who participated in artist residencies at the University.

(3) The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. guide the promotion, selection and purchase, and where appropriate, the disposal or sale of artworks and other objects of collectable or intrinsic value for the University; and
  2. specify procedures for acquisition, deaccession and disposal and the establishment and maintenance of the University's Art Acquisition Gift Fund.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. Greater Western Sydney is defined by the following Local Government Areas: Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, The Hills and Wollondilly.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The University aims to develop a financially sustainable and publicly accountable, permanent art collection focused on post-1960 original Australian and international artworks and an exhibition program within its galleries that will:

  1. enhance the educational, cultural and everyday experience of students, staff and visitors to the University;
  2. be a teaching, learning and research resource demonstrating contemporary Australian art practices and international collaborations and partnerships with the University;
  3. be promoted internationally, nationally and regionally as a significant social and cultural resource which engages with the community within Greater Western Sydney;
  4. collect the work of artists with a proven record of practice and development of their art form and who are represented in public collections, or who have received recognition through awards or prizes;
  5. collect artworks that fill in gaps and build upon the strengths within the existing collection; and/or
  6. acknowledge the moral rights of artists according to the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Establishment and Maintenance of a Gift Fund

(6) The University will establish and maintain a gift fund to be used only for the purposes of taking gifts of money or property that will be used to further the objects of the organisation.

(7) The University will manage the Gift Fund in accordance with the requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and Tax Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Act 2014.

(8) The assets and income of the organisation shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above- mentioned objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.

(9) In the event of the organisation being wound up, any surplus assets remaining after the payment of the organisation's liabilities shall be transferred to another organisation in Australia which is a public benevolent institution for the purposes of any Commonwealth Taxation Act.

Part B - Vice-Chancellor's Art Committee

(10) The Vice-Chancellor's Art Committee (VCAC) will be established in writing by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(11) The VCAC will ensure the operation and implementation of this policy.

(12) The Vice-Chancellor’s Art Committee Terms of Reference will be in accordance with the objectives of this policy and approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(13) Requests and items to be reviewed by the VCAC will follow the Governance Process Map in the terms of reference.

Part C - Acquisition

(14) Artworks may only be acquired for the University's permanent art collection in accordance with the objectives of this policy.

(15) Artwork may be acquired through purchase, commission, donation, a cultural gifts program and bequests and gifts as defined in the University's Gifts and Benefit Policy.

(16) When working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts practitioners, or when using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural material, the University will adopt the principles outlined in ‘Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts’ published by the Australian Council of the Arts.

(17) University staff, and staff representing University entities, must receive endorsement from VCAC prior to commencing the process of purchasing or acquiring any artwork for the University's permanent art collection.

(18) All internal requests for acquisition of artwork must address how the artwork meets this policy, and follow the Governance Process Map in the terms of reference.

(19) Funds for purchasing artworks may be provided from a central University fund or may be provided by operational units.

(20) Full details of the acquisition must be provided to the Finance Office, supported by documentation confirming the source and value, for inclusion in the Asset Register.

(21) In the event that an artwork is being acquired for the University art collection via an award or prize, a panel of judges appointed by the Chair of the VCAC will select the artwork for acquisition by the University. The Chair or nominee will represent the University on each judging panel.

(22) Donations can only be accepted as unconditional gifts except under exceptional circumstances. A deed of gift or formal acknowledgement of donation will provide proof of ownership and protect the University and any of its legal predecessors from future claims.

Part D - Deaccession and Disposal

(23) The deaccession of artworks from the permanent art collection is at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor and President following recommendation from the VCAC. The Vice-Chancellor and President will indicate their approval in writing. Deaccession may only occur in at least one of the following instances:

  1. lack of relevance to the collection;
  2. no evidence of clear legal title;
  3. theft or loss;
  4. damage or serious deterioration in condition and:
    1. if the artist is still living and contactable, the artist is unable to repair the artwork; or
    2. if the artist is no longer living, an art conservator deems the artwork to be beyond repair;
  5. erroneous inclusion in the collection;
  6. repatriation of cultural property;
  7. an item which is on loan to University is recalled by its owner; or
  8. any item that by its presence would adversely affect the University's reputation.

(24) If the artist is still living and contactable, they must be notified that the work has been deaccessioned from the University's art collection.

(25) An artwork which has been formally deaccessioned may be offered as a donation to another collection within the University or to a relevant deductible gift recipient. The recipient/s of the artwork will be included in the recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(26) If the offer is not accepted, the artwork may be sent to auction. Proceeds from auctioned items will be returned to the University Art Acquisition Gift Fund. The VCAC will minute the outcome of the auction.

(27) Deaccessioned artworks will be removed from the Assets Register (Finance) and the University Art Collection Accession Register. The Curator will notify the Finance Office in writing enclosing the documentation, for the removal from the Asset Register. A copy of documentation pertaining to the deaccessioned artworks will be retained in the University Art Collection Archives.