The Community Heritage Grant program supports local groups to access professional cultural heritage expertise. It provides funding for community organisations to understand the meaning and value of their collections and undertake conservation activities.
Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal Corporation – trading as Maruku Arts – has operated for over 35 years as a not-for-profit art and craft corporation. Owned and operated by the Anangu Aboriginal people from the Western and Central Deserts of Australia, over 500 Anangu artists make up the collective. Maruku Arts also operate a gallery at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre.
Maruku Arts received a Community Heritage Grant in 2020 to conduct a significance assessment of the extensive Maruku Arts collection. As one of the only organisations focusing on punu (wood carving), the works in the Maruku collection represent the history of Maruku as well as the artists and the culture and art of punu-making over the last 30 years.
The Community Heritage Grant provided Maruku Arts with the funding to engage Professor John Carty and Alice Beale from the South Australian Museum to provide advice and recommendations of the preservation, protection and promotion of this nationally significant collection.
Image: Punu objects, courtesy of Maruku Arts (2020 Community Heritage Grant recipient).