An Indigenous Arts Fellowship has been launched to create a stronger base of arts management in the indigenous arts world.

Commissioned to research the status quo between artists and arts leadership in the indigenous arts industry, former Democrats senator Aden Ridgeway, of Cox Inall Ridgeway, found that a $500 million national industry had a dire shortage of indigenous management.

With partnership from the National Gallery of Australia, the Wesfarmer Arts Indigenous Fellowship has been established to encourage Aboriginal people into arts administration.

At the program’s launch in Canberra this week, National Gallery director Ron Radford said that there also were few indigenous curators in Australian galleries.

This, he said, limited the effectiveness of communicating Aboriginal stories.

The fellowship would involve a professional development program for senior indigenous arts leaders and an entry-level program for Aboriginal people interested in working in indigenous arts administration.