An Aboriginal art centre has called for more financial support to improve education on copyright laws as Indigenous communities continue to battle mass-produced knock-offs of their art. Aboriginal artists and art centres across WA came together in Roebourne for four days in October to tackle issues such as copyright, governance and arts funding in a forum organised by the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA. It comes as the Aboriginal community continue to fight for better laws protecting their intellectual properties. Broome’s Nagula Jarndu Designs co-ordinator Eunice Yu said more financial support was crucial to educating the public. “If you have financial backing you have the opportunity for more of that information to be produced or more visits by copyright people, more marketing and promoting those copyright laws,” she said. “Providing resources out there would also help so like little booklets for artists and art centres to explain the policies or the legalities that sit behind the artwork sales.” AACHWA chief executive Chad Creighton said everyone, not just Indigenous people, should care about the issue. “More people of all walks of life, every Aussie, should think about what they’re buying before they buy it,” he said. “If you find something you like that has an Aboriginal design, ask questions of the retailer — ask where it’s from, who made it, do the profits go back to the Indigenous artist. “We all have to be aware of the ethical practices we undertake in purchasing things.” Mr Creighton encouraged the public to be aware of the Fake Art Harms Culture campaign which was launched in 2016 to introduce legislation stopping the production and sale of artworks appropriating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and design. “We just all need to be aware that we currently don’t have any laws in place to protect Indigenous people’s cultural and intellectual property rights,” he said. “I think that’s where we see laws being changed, it’s often because of public pressure.” More than 15 art groups attended the Our Business forum last month including Roebourne’s Juluwarlu, Wangaba, Yinjaa-Barni and Cheeditha. Yinjaa-Barni artist Allery Sandy said it was an eye-opening experience. “What I took away from the forum was to be strong and bold and standing up for your art centre,” she said. “Everyone’s got a different point of view and just letting everyone know why we paint the way we paint and that’s our style. “I felt very privileged to meet the proper elders and see for myself that there are old people still telling their stories and teaching the young ones.” Kununurra’s Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, South Hedland’s Spinifex Hill Studios and Newman’s Martumili artists also attended.