ARIA-PPCA-Australia Council First Nations Sound Recording Partnership

About the program

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) in partnership with the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) and the Australia Council for the Arts will deliver a grant partnership, the ARIA-PPCA-Australia Council First Nations Sound Recording Partnership.

This partnership will support five First Nations Australian artists or groups to create new sound recordings. The initiative is designed to provide an opportunity for First Nations artists to create sound recordings, and access advice and managerial support to grow their audience.

There are five grants of $18,500 (ex GST) each available. This is a once-off initiative offered in 2020.

As part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Audience and Market Development activities, the final five successful applicants will be invited to apply for up to $10,000 towards promotion and marketing of the recording. Details will be provided to successful applicants.

This funding has been provided through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Contemporary Music Program aimed at increasing development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians and bands. It is one of five programs under the $30.9 million Australian Music Industry Package announced in the 2019-20 Commonwealth Budget.

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is a national industry association proactively representing the interests of its members, which range from small ‘boutique’ labels typically run by 1-5 people, to medium size organisations and very large companies with international affiliates. ARIA compiles and publishes numerous weekly ARIA Charts and stages the highly prestigious annual ARIA Awards.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) represents thousands of Australian recording artists when their music is used in public. In 2019 PPCA distributed almost $50 million to its registered artists and record labels. It is free for Australian artists to register with PPCA.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) will also support the grant scheme by providing the recipients with guidance and assistance on registering with PPCA, in order to maximise their opportunities to access public performance and broadcast income from the recordings created.

Need help with your application?

Contact Artists Services:

  • with any questions about this program
  • to submit an application in a different format like videoor in a language other than English
  • to speak to a First Nations member of staff
  • if you have any other access or support needs.



Who can apply

This opportunity is available for individuals, groups and organisations. Please note these grants are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and groups, or groups with a minimum of one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in them.

Individuals must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident and a practicing artist or arts professional.

If you are part of a group, one of your members can apply on behalf of the group.

Organisations (for example, record labels, community businesses that are for / not for profit) can apply on behalf of First Nations artists or groups or administer a grant on behalf of an individual.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for this opportunity if:

  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • there are no Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists or groups involved in the project.

What can you apply for

Individuals can apply for any costs associated with the creation of a sound recording, including marketing and promotion costs.

Your proposal will be reviewed by First Nations industry Advisors against the assessment criteria. Additional advisors may be included at the discretion of ARIA and PPCA. The Australia Council will make a recommendation to ARIA and PPCA, who will make the final decision.

You must address three assessment criteria in this category. Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the advisors may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to response to every bullet point listed.

1.  Artistic Merit

Industry Advisors will assess the artistic merit of your proposal. They may consider:

  • significance of the work
  • quality of previous work
  • responses to previous work from artistic or cultural peers, or the public.

2.  Career Impact

Industry Advisors will assess the potential of your proposal to have a broader impact on the artist(s) career(s). They may consider:

  • the potential impact and timeliness of the project on the artist(s)career
  • the potential impact on a relevant label or community
  • the extent to which the project may help build professional and creative capacity within the relevant artistic community.

3.  Viability

Industry Advisors will assess the viability of your proposal. They may consider:

  • relevance of the proposed activity
  • skills and ability of artists, arts professionals, collaborators or partners involved, and relevance to activity
  • realistic and achievable planning
  • the proposed marketing and audience engagement strategies
  • role of any partners, including confirmation of involvement.

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.

Please note you will not be able to upload files to your application. You must provide your support material via URLs (weblinks). You can provide up to four URLs that link to content relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images or written material.

What you should provide

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

1.  Artistic support material:

Please submit up to three URLs providing audio or audiovisual examples of your recent work. The Industry Advisors may review up to 10 mins of video or audio recording.

Please note: Our Industry Advisors 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 on the application form.

2.  Letters of confirmation:

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters of confirmation in support of the project. The letter should confirm that the person, group or organisation will be involved in your project, and set out in detail how they will be involved.

You can submit up to five letters of confirmation, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page. Please combine these letters into a single document and provide them via a URL.

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.