John Carty is the Head of Humanities at the South Australian Museum, where is responsible for the most significant collections of Aboriginal art and cultural heritage in the world. He is Director of the National Centre for Aboriginal Languages and Music at the University of Adelaide. He is currently serving on the Australian National Commission for UNESCO.
For over twenty years he has worked extensively with Aboriginal custodians throughout Australia on art, history, heritage and museum projects. He is an eminent scholar in the Australian humanities, and currently holds five Australian Research Council Grants, working collaboratively with Aboriginal custodians on projects exploring Aboriginal art, trade routes, frontier violence, music and museums. His leadership at the South Australian Museum focuses on exploring pioneering approaches to cultural heritage, to custodianship, repatriation and interpretation in cultural institutions.
Some of his books include Balgo: Creating Country (2021 in press), Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation (2015) Desert Lake: art, science and stories from Paruku (2014) and Ngaanyatjarra: art of the Lands (2012). He has curated several major exhibitions with Aboriginal custodians, which have toured Australia and internationally, including Yidaki: Didjeridu and the Sound of Australia (2017) and Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route (2010).