National Arts and Disability Arts Awards

National Arts and Disability Awards 2021: nominations open

The Australia Council National Arts and Disability Awards 2019-21 celebrate the work and achievements of both established and young artists, and the significant contribution of artists with disability to the vibrancy of Australian arts.

Nominate now

The National Arts and Disability Awards 2020 were live streamed on Thursday 3 December.

The Australia Council National Arts and Disability Awards celebrate the work and achievements of established and emerging artists, and the significant contribution of artists with disability to the vibrancy of Australian arts.

This is the second consecutive year of the National Arts and Disability Awards. Previous recipients include Dion BeasleyJanice Florence and Madeleine Little.

Three outstanding artists were celebrated at the National Arts and Disability Awards on Thursday 3 December, coinciding with the International Day of People with Disability. The Australia Council for the Arts and Arts Access Australia partnered to present the prestigious awards.

The National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) celebrates the achievements of an Australian artist:

  • whose outstanding and sustained contribution to their chosen field/s of arts practice has been recognised nationally and/or internationally.

The recipient of this award will receive $50,000.

The National Arts and Disability Award (Young Artist) recognises a young Australian artist demonstrating outstanding leadership, who:

  • is 35 years of age or under (at the time of nomination)
  • has made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field/s of practice.

The recipient of this award will receive $20,000.

  • Dion Beasly, Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award (Emerging Artist)
  • Janice Florence, Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist)
  • Madeleine Little, Arts Access Australia’s National Leadership Award

2020 Award Recipients

Emily Crockford

Emily Crockford

Recipient of the 2020 Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award for an Emerging Artist ($20,000).

Emily Crockford’s broad creative practice encompasses painting, textiles and soft sculpture. Her work can be seen in large scale across Sydney and in high profile institutions.

Emily was a finalist in the 2020 Archibald Prize, and has been awarded high profile public art commissions.

Gaelle Mellis

Gaelle Mellis

Recipient of the 2020 Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award for an Established Artist ($50,000).

For more than 30 years, Gaelle has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the vibrancy of Australian arts. Gaelle’s work traverses theatre, dance, circus, opera, disability arts, visual arts, installation, digital engagement and more.

Her award winning designs have toured Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and the United States to critical acclaim.

Abbie Madden

Abbie Madden

Recipient of the 2020 Arts Access Australia’s National Leadership Award ($10,000).

Abbie Madden is a dancer, performer and choreographer and founder and artistic director of Blindful, an inclusive dance and circus company.

Abbie has been a member of the Australian Dance Theatre’s Youth Ensemble, worked with Belfast comedy dance theatre company ponydance, and is a founding member of the highly successful YUCK Circus.

Award Recipients 2019

Dion Beasley

Dion Beasley

Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award (Emerging Artist) ($20,000)

The award-winning artist and illustrator behind ‘Cheeky Dogs’, Dion Beasley is a 28 year old Alywarr man who lives in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. He uses his passion for drawing as a means of communicating with others.

Janice Florence

Janice Florence

Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) ($50,000)

Janice is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Weave Movement Theatre. Based in Melbourne, Janice has been a pioneering force in the field of inclusive dance and physical theatre for the past 30 years and in the wider arts sector.

Madeleine Little

Madeleine Little

Arts Access Australia’s National Leadership Award ($10,000)

Madeleine is a passionate theatremaker who is currently researching accessible theatre practice at the University of Southern Queensland. She is dedicated to a disability-led future, with a mission to pursue greater opportunities, resources, advocacy and recognition for all Deaf and disabled artists and arts workers in Australia.