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).