Australia Council Awards 2022

About the Awards

The Australia Council Awards acknowledge the contribution that Australian artists have made to the creative arts and cultural life of the nation.

These prestigious national awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by Australian artists in music, literature, community arts and cultural development (CACD), emerging and experimental arts (EEA), visual arts, theatre, and dance. They are awarded by the Board of the Australia Council, informed by key industry advisors.

The Australia Council will announce the Awards to distinguished Australian artists early in 2022.

Past recipients include some of our most eminent artists. The 2021 Australia Council Award recipients are:

Australia Council Award for Dance acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian dance. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the practice of emerging and experimental art. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature acknowledges the achievements of an eminent writer of prose or poetry, including works for children, who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian literature. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Don Banks Music Award is named in honour of Don Banks, a composer, performer and the first Chair of the Music Board. The Award acknowledges the achievements of a distinguished artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Visual Arts acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian visual art. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Theatre acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian theatre. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development recognises a young artist or arts worker (aged 30 years or under at the time of nomination) demonstrating outstanding leadership in community arts and cultural development (CACD). The award was established in honour of Kirk Robson who tragically died in a car crash in 2005. Kirk received the Council’s Young and Emerging Artists Initiative and was the Artistic Director of The Torch Project. The recipient of this award will receive $10,000.

Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development is named in honour of Ros Bower, a journalist, television producer, community arts pioneer and founding Director of Council’s first Community Arts Board. The Award acknowledges the achievements of an artist or arts worker who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to community arts and cultural development. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

The nominee must be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident, and a practising artist or arts professional.

Nominations must be made by someone other than the nominee.

Nominators must complete an online nomination form using our Application Management System.

You may nominate more than one artist. However, each nomination has to be submitted as a separate form.

Nominations must be made by someone other than the nominee.

You must submit a CV / extended bio for the nominee (approx. 2 x A4 pages, or a link to a CV / bio on the nominee’s website).

You may submit up to two letters or statements of support (approx. 2 x A4 pages, or up to 5 minutes of audio / video).

Types of support material we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to two URLs that link to content that is relevant to your nomination.

Please note:

  • Do not supply any URLs that require users to log in or sign up to a platform.
  • Do not provide links to applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected, please provide the password in the password field on the nomination form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your nomination in other formats, for example:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Artists Services.

National Arts and Disability Awards 2022-24

2022 National Arts and Disability Awards

Joins us on congratulating the awards recipients:

  • Melbourne-based performance artist Roya A (who performs as ‘Roya the Destroya’) is the recipient of the award for an Established Artist. Roya is internationally acclaimed for her work spanning physical theatre, circus and dance. Find out more.
  • Madeleine Little, a Brisbane-based actor, theatre and festival director receives the award for an Early Career artist, recognising her work as an artist, advocate and mentor for artists with disability. Find out more.
  • This year’s Arts Access Australia National Leadership Award goes to Rafeif Ismail, an award winning emerging multilingual writer based in WA. Find out more.

Learn more about the awards.

About the awards

The Australia Council National Arts and Disability Awards 2022-24 celebrate the work and achievements of d/Deaf artists and artists with disability. The Awards acknowledge the contribution these artists have made to the creative arts and cultural life of the nation.

Award categories

  • The National Arts and Disability Award (Established) celebrates the achievements of an established Australian artist whose outstanding and sustained contribution to their chosen field of arts practice has been recognised nationally or internationally. The recipient of this award will receive $50,000.
  • The National Arts and Disability Award (Early Career) recognises an Australian artist in the first ten years of their practice who has made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field of practice. The recipient of this award will receive $20,000.

The Awards are decided by the Board of the Australia Council, informed by key industry advisors.

The nominee must be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident, and a practising artist.

Past recipients of the Australia Council Awards or National Indigenous Arts Awards are eligible to be nominated for the National Arts and Disability Awards.

Nominations must be made by someone other than the nominee.

Nominators must complete an online nomination form using our Application Management System.

You may nominate more than one artist. However, each nomination has to be submitted as a separate form.

Contact Artists Services:

  • with any questions about this Award
  • to submit a nomination in a different format, or in a language other than English
  • to make arrangements for a conference call, or to use an Auslan interpreter service
  • if you have any other access or support needs.

You must submit a CV / extended bio for the nominee (approx. 2 x A4 pages, or a link to a CV / bio on the nominee’s website).

You may submit up to two letters or statements of support (approx. 2 x A4 pages, or up to 5 minutes of audio / video).

Types of support material we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to two URLs that link to content that is relevant to your nomination.

Please note:

  • Do not supply any URLs that require users to log in or sign up to a platform.
  • Do not provide links to applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected, please provide the password in the password field on the nomination form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your nomination in other formats, for example:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Artists Services.

To nominate log in to our Application Management System. You must register an account if you do not already have one. It may take up to two business days for us to process your registration. Once you have logged in:

  1. Select ‘Submit a Nomination’ from the left panel menu.
  2. Under ‘Awards’ select ‘Start a new award nomination’.
  3. Ensure you select the correct award from the list of options.
  4. Complete the fields and select answers using the dropdown menus.
  5. Upload any necessary support material.
  6. Select ‘Save’ once complete.
  7. If you are not ready to submit your nomination you can return to it through ‘Your Draft Applications’ in the left panel menu.
  8. When you are ready to submit your nomination, select ‘Submit’.

Additional information

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Once all applications have been assessed, you will be contacted about the outcome of your application. If you have been successful, you will also be sent a funding agreement. This outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements. The following accordion items outline these stages in more detail.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email advising you a grant is offered. You must then agree to the conditions of your grant, which represents the Australia Council’s contract with you – this can be done online, by email or by letter. Payment of a grant will not be made until the grant conditions have been agreed and accepted by all the relevant parties.

You should not start a project that depends on a grant until all relevant parties have agreed and accepted the grant conditions and we have evidence of such acceptance on file.

Standard grant conditions require you to, among other things:

  • seek prior approval for making a change to a funded project (for example, changes in the activity budget; changes to key creative personnel; or changes to start or end dates)
  • respond to requests for information about the project or grant
  • satisfactorily account for how the grant is spent (if you do not you will be required to return all monies for which you cannot satisfactorily account)
  • comply with all applicable laws
  • acknowledge the Australia Council’s support in all promotional material associated with the project; this includes use of the Australia Council’s logo and a standard text of acknowledgement.
  • provide artistic and financial acquittal reports at the end of the project
  • return any unspent grant funds at the completion of your project or on notice from us to return such unspent funds.

Grant agreements must be signed by a legal entity – either a legally constituted organisation or an individual. For unincorporated groups, see the section on administered grants

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an ABN. Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If applicants cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant’s name, they will need to nominate an administrator for their grant.

Groups/ensembles/collectives, unincorporated associations/ unincorporated entities and other bodies with no legal status do not need an administrator if they have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and bank account in their name. If they are unable to provide an active ABN and bank account that matches the name of the applicant, they must nominate an administrator. The name of the administrator must match the name of the ABN and bank account into which funds are paid if the application is successful.

If we approve your application you will need accept the conditions of the grant in a funding agreement.

After you accept your funding agreement online, we will automatically generate a payment for the grant on your behalf. You do not need to send us an invoice.

We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account within two weeks after acceptance of the funding agreement. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

If you do not wish to have the grant funds paid directly into your bank account you can choose to have your grant administered by another individual or legally constituted organisation (Doesn’t apply to Arts Projects – Organisations).

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). When you accept your funding agreement, you will be asked to enter the details of the bank account you wish the grant to be paid into. The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Download the Australia Council for the Arts logo guidelines here.

Download the Major Festivals Initiative logo guidelines here.

Grant reports are required on completion of your project. Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of Australia Council funding.

Please read your funding agreement to check details of the grant acquittal material you should provide.

The grant acquittal report is where you tell us:

  • how you spent your grant
  • what the artistic outcomes of your funded activity were.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Australia Council will not make any further payments that may be due to you, and you will not be eligible  to apply for further grants.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report, the Australia Council may ask you to pay back all or part of the funding provided to you.

Grant reports are used by the Australia Council to fulfil obligations of accountability to the Australian Government. They are also essential to the development work of the Australia Council. The reports help us evaluate the achievements of funded activities, monitor the effectiveness of grant categories and ensure our policy development is consistent with the experience of artists in the field.

Reporting for Multi-year Funded Organisations

Organisations in receipt of multi-year funding are required to submit financial, statistical, and artistic reporting on an annual basis.

All reporting is submitted online via the Australia Council’s arts organisations reporting system.

If you are not sure what reporting you need to submit as part of your annual reporting, or what information to provide, please get in touch with your Australia Council contact.

All recipients must acknowledge that the Australia Council provided funding for their activities. When you acquit your grant, we will ask you how you acknowledged the Australia Council.

For printed or online material use our logo and this phrase:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body OR The (company name) is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos for download and guidelines for the use of our logos.

Where projects do not have a public outcome, or do not produce any printed or online material, you will need to think about how best to acknowledge the Australia Council funding.

First Nations Emerging Career Development Award

The Emerging First Nations Career Development Award supports two Australian First Nations artists or arts workers between 18-30 years old to pursue their professional development.

About the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award

The First Nations Emerging Career Development Award was established in 2019 through the generous contributions from staff and board as part of the Australia Council’s Workplace Giving scheme.

Two awards of $10,000 will be given to Australian First Nations artists and arts workers between 18-30 years old to pursue their professional development. This unique opportunity is available in the disciplines of community arts and cultural development, dance, experimental arts, literature, multi-arts, music, theatre and visual arts.

The successful applicants will be announced at the First Nations Arts and Culture Awards on May 27, 2023.

About The First Nations Arts and Culture Awards

The First Nations Arts and Culture Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work and achievements of First Nations artists and arts workers. On the evening of the 27 May, the following awards will be presented:

We also acknowledge awards given to First Nations Artists across the Australia Council Programs.

Who can apply

  • Only First Nations artists or arts workers may apply.
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 30 years.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for this grant if

  • you received a grant from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are an organisation.

What you can apply for

You can apply for:

  • study/course expenses
  • masterclass/workshops
  • travel and accommodation
  • materials
  • living expenses
  • conference attendance.

Supported activities must last no longer than one year from your proposed start date.

Applications will be assessed by the Australia Council First Nations Arts Strategy panel against the assessment criteria below.

Assessment Criteria

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the First Nations Arts Strategy Panel members may consider when assessing your application.  You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

  1. Potential of the artist or arts worker

The panel may consider:

  • the quality of your previous work
  • public or peer responses to your work
  • demonstrated ability, skills and creative thinking.
  1. Viability

The panel may consider:

  • evidence that the Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts have been adhered to, including consultation and engagement with First Nations elders, collaborators and communities
  • the skills and roles of partners or collaborators, including confirmation of involvement
  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use
  • relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity.
  1. Impact on career

The panel may consider:

  • how your activity will extend your arts practice, skills, abilities and networks
  • how your activity will help you to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
  • whether you have demonstrated that there is a clear need for this activity.

The application form will ask you to provide:

  • a title for your activity
  • a summary of your activity
  • an explanation how the activity will benefit your career
  • a detailed description of your activity
  • a timetable of activities
  • how the activity will benefit your career
  • a budget containing details of the expenses, income and in-kind support for your activity, including any access and support costs
  • support material relevant to your activity. This may include examples of your previous work, bios of additional people involved, and letters of support from collaborators or communities.

You should submit support material with your application. The panel may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Artists Services.

There are three types of support material you may submit:

  1. Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic or cultural work.

  1.  Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in your project. Brief bios or CV information should be presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total.

  1.  Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain how the project or activity will benefit you, other artists or arts professionals, participants or the broader community.  If relevant to your activity, letters of support may also provide evidence of appropriate cultural protocols, permissions or outline the support of key project partners. You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

What is the best way to provide support material?

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks). You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images, or written material. These URLs can include a total of:

  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images
  • 10 pages of written material (for example, excerpts of literary writing).

Please note: Our panel will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access. If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected, like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field below.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your application in the following formats:

  • Video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • Audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • Images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • Written material (Word and PDF).