The Australia Council, together with the First Nations Strategy Panel, has officially launched Purrumpa – set to be the largest national gathering of First Nations arts and culture in 50 years.
Purrumpa was held over five days on Kaurna Yerta at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 31 October to 4 November 2022.Learn more
For over 50 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have brought a guiding voice to the Australia Council – and to the nation – on matters relating to First Nations arts and culture and the broader arts and cultural sector.
The First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel advises on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural matters and ensures the Australia Council delivers its First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy.
To strategically support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, the Strategy Panel takes a holistic and systemic view privileging Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. This view embraces global conversations of social justice, climate justice and decolonisation.
The Australia Council’s research program investigates the First Nations arts ecology and promotes greater participation in First Nations arts experiences by all Australians.
First published in 2002 and revised in 2007, this protocol guide endorses the rights of First Nations people to their cultural heritage and supports First Nations creative practice. This protocol guide encourages self-determination and helps build a strong and diverse First Nations arts sector. These are key goals and priority areas of the Australia Council for the Arts.
Creative practitioners who work with First Nations artists or engage with First Nations cultural heritage in projects, and are funded by Australia Council for the Arts grant assessment panels are required to comply with this protocol guide as a condition of funding.
Over the years, the principles and protocols contained in this protocol guide have also been applied nationally and internationally – educating readers and users on First Nations Australian cultural heritage, and encouraging meaningful collaborations with First Nations artists and creators.
The Australia Council delivers dedicated funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, groups and organisations. This funding is assessed wholly by Indigenous peers.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, groups and organisations are also welcome to apply for the range of grants and opportunities we offer.
Scroll down this page to find opportunities for First Nations artists and organisations.
Need help with your application? Contact a Grants Officer now
The Australia Council’s submission to the Closing the Gap Refresh advocates for increased investment in First Nations arts and cultural expression, cultural maintenance, and First Nations-led culturally based solutions across portfolios. It draws on the growing body of evidence showing participation in arts and culture supports outcomes across the Closing the Gap framework.
Our submission was developed in collaboration with our First Nations stakeholders. First Nations peoples’ indivisible rights to culture and self-determination are central in our submission. For decades, First Nations peoples have advocated for the critical role of culture – as a necessary part of the solution to First Nations disadvantage, and for the healing and strengthening of individuals and communities. However, culture has been the missing element from the Closing the Gap framework to date. Funding for First Nations culture made up just 1% of total direct government expenditure for First Nations Australians in 2015–16, and cultural outcomes have not featured in the measurement framework.
Now is the moment to invest in the inherent value and foundational role of strong culture in the Closing the Gap agenda.
Click here to read more.
Mary Katatjuku Pan from Amata (SA) with Punu Kutjara. 2016. Image by Rhett Hammerton. Copyright Tjanpi Desert Weavers
Opportunities for First Nations Artists
Tue February 7, 2023 3:00 pm (AEDT)
Australia Council for the Arts is collaborating with INCUBATE the University of Sydney’s Flagship Startup Program to deliver a national 12-week Digital Pre-Accelerator Program for individual artists, groups and arts organisations.
Tue February 7, 2023 3:00 pm (AEDT)
Digital Transformation for the Creative Industries is an online short course designed specifically for artists and arts and creative workers it is best suited for those with a beginner or intermediate understanding of the digital space as it relates to the creative industries.
Tue March 7, 2023 3:00 pm (AEDT)
$20,000 to $100,000
This program funds a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences and communities. Organisations that undertake arts programs, projects, or that provide services to artists, are welcome to apply.
Opportunity for Australian artists and curators to present a ground-breaking and ambitious exhibition within the Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2024.
$10,000 to $50,000This program funds a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences and communities.
$20,000 to $100,000This program funds a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences and communities. Organisations that undertake arts programs, projects, or that provide services to artists, are welcome to apply.
$5,000 – $50,000The Contemporary Music Touring Program (CMTP) supports national touring activity undertaken by Australian musicians performing original Australian contemporary music.