Palawa/Tasmanian Aboriginal Resources Database Project

Expressions of interest are now open

Project background

The University of Tasmania commenced an initiative to Indigenise curricula across Colleges and disciplines. A key component of this initiative is the implementation of the Palawa Resources Database. The database provides a centralised repository / portal for resources that Aboriginal people have contributed to, produced or created, underpinning efforts to incorporate Indigenous voices within teaching material.

Resources will be accessed through the Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) Content Management System. Each resource within the database has the potential to be accompanied by Community records relating to the resource and Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels to assist users in culturally aware and appropriate use and acknowledgement of Aboriginal knowledges and experiences. Community records and cultural protocols are place- and context-specific and assist users to embed cultural competency in teaching practices. The Western bibliographic record, including copyright, appears alongside any additional cultural context.

Once established, the database will initially be implemented within the College of Arts, Law, and Education (CALE) and gradually be implemented across other Colleges within the University to assist in Indigenising the curriculum. The project is a strategic initiative co-led by the Office of Pro Vice Chancellor Aboriginal Leadership, College of Arts, Law, and Education, and the Library and Cultural Collections at the University of Tasmania.

Key ideas and purpose of commission

The University of Tasmania would like to commission a Tasmanian Aboriginal artist or designer to create a design that can be implemented into the Palawa Resources Database.
This commission is an opportunity for a Tasmanian Aboriginal artist or designer to create a design that recognises the rich and distinctive cultural heritage of Aboriginal Tasmania, past and present.


Tasmanian Aboriginal artists working in any artform that could be transferred and converted into a digital format are encouraged to apply for this commission. Additional support is available to pair the artist with a designer to assist in this conversion process.
For help with your application or more information about the commissioning process please contact Cindy Thomas, Graduate Indigenous Collections Officer, Library and Cultural Collections.


  • The closing date for applications is Tuesday 7 November 2023. Applications must be completed and lodged online by 11:59pm on the closing date. Support material must be uploaded as part of your application and will not be accepted separately.
  • Artists will need to present their preliminary designs Tuesday 5 December 2023.
  • The proposed deadline for the delivery of the final design files will be in January 2024. Exact dates will be negotiated with the artist and stakeholders.

Emerging or first-time Tasmanian Aboriginal artists and designers are strongly encouraged to apply.

Download the Expression of Interest - Artist /Designer Brief   PDF version (224 KB) or   Word version (291 KB)

Image: Detail of artwork Wetlands by Caleb Nichols-Mansell, 1 of 7 custom carpet designs commissioned for the University of Tasmania Inveresk Library. Copyright courtesy of the artist.