Appointed December 2022
Jack Wilkie-Jans is an artist, arts worker and Aboriginal affairs advocate from Tropical North Queensland. He is of Aboriginal, British, Danish and Vanuatuan heritage and the Tribal Great Grandson of pre-eminent artist, Dr. Thancoupie Fletcher James AO.
Exhibiting as an artist since 2011, in numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair over the years, Jack is an alumnus of the National Gallery of Australia’s Indigenous Arts Leadership Programme. In 2011 he was awarded the Senator Jan McLucas Volunteer Recognition Award for his work with youth at risk, youth charities and for his efforts in strengthening the local Cairns arts and cultural scene. In 2011 Jack was a recipient of a Starburst grant which was funded by Youth Arts Queensland. Managed by him, the ensuing project entailed arts mentoring workshops, resulting in the first exhibition opportunity for a number of young and emerging Cairns artists.
Also a writer, Jack’s work includes freelancing as an arts researcher, grant writer and reviewer (as well as an Aboriginal affairs commentator). He served as the Grants Writer, Sponsorship Officer and Media and Promotions Officer for the Australia: Defending the Oceans project. Launching in Monaco in 2016, the project was a series of twelve exhibitions across North America and Europe (including the United Nations headquarters in both New York City and Geneva) and showcased the largest collection of purpose-commissioned contemporary Indigenous sculpture. The project concluded late 2018.
Jack has been acknowledged for his work as an artist and across the art industry many times: In 2013 he was nominated for the Cairns Region Australia Day Awards for the Cultural Award, in 2015 was made an inaugural Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, in 2018 he was a Baton Bearer for the Commonwealth Games relay.
Jack holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts, majoring in Political Science and Affairs from James Cook University. Formerly the Marketing and Communications Manager of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Jack now works as a consultant across the Indigenous art sector, in particular building the profiles of, and support for, Indigenous Art Centres of Queensland.