1994 saw the culmination of a sustained commitment by many to see a ‘branch’ of the National Exhibition Touring Support Program (NETS) up and running in the Northern Territory. The NETS program was established by the Australian Council to “provide professional and progressive exhibition planning and touring scheme throughout Australia.” and to “encourage greater public access to the visual arts and crafts. Aboriginal Arts and design…”.
In Territory mode, ARTBACK (As NETS NT became to be known), recognized the need for alternative venues and solutions to meet the needs of the culturally diverse and geographically spread of the region.
In the first 11 months of operations, Lorraine Fitzpatrick was appointed as Executive Officer and set up ARTBACK’s first office at the School of Fine Arts at Northern Territory University which then moved to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT).