Flourish – First Nations Textile Design & Fashion Innovation Fund

Credit: Djurra – A NORPA Production. Image by: Kate Holmes

About the Fund

The Flourish First Nations Textile Design & Fashion Innovation Fund is a $5,000- $25,000 grant opportunity open to First Nations individuals, groups and organisations (including Art Centres) working in the textile design & fashion sector. The Flourish Innovation Fund supports design, production, capacity building, marketing, professional development, and increasing digital visibility in the First Nations Textile design and fashion sector.

The aim of the Fund is to build sustainable and support economic, cultural and social development opportunities.

To apply for this opportunity, applicants are required to provide a detailed proposal, regarding what they would like to achieve through the fund.

  • protection and development of First Nations art, culture and community
  • lack of business development support and best practice understanding
  • difficulties in connecting with industry networks and resources, including supply chain, distribution, promotion and market opportunities
  • limited access to industry education and skills development, particularly for emerging creatives and entrepreneurs
  • digital platforms and access
  • increase business visibility globally
  • audience and marketing development
  • retail sales
  • project Budget Expenditure.
  • Engage expertise to interpret artwork into fabric design.
  • Working with a designer to create a new clothing collection.
  • Professional development for individuals, groups and or businesses.
  • Marketing and Capacity Building activities.
  • Activities to expand your creative practice and or business.
  • Partner with small to medium First Nations businesses to build expertise.
  • Build capacity and profile in the digital technologies.

Who Can Apply

  • Activities must be between 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.
  • This opportunity is only open to First Nations individuals, groups, businesses and organisations.

Who cannot apply?

  • If you are not a First Nations Creative or First Nations owned group, business or organisation.
  • 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.
  1. Provide a brief description of your artistic and/or professional practice
  2. Describe how your planned activity will strengthen and develop your creative practice and/or your professional development through the fund
  3. Support material/Letters of Support
  4. A budget that shows how you will spend the funding

Applications will be assessed by First Nations industry peers

Assessment Criteria:

  1. Potential of the creative/group/organsation.

The assessment panel will assess the potential of the individual, group and or business at the centre of the proposal.

They may consider:

  • merit of proposal
  • quality of work previously produced
  • public or peer response to work previously produced
  • demonstrated ability, skills and creative thinking
  1. Viability

The assessment panel will assess the budget and viability of the proposal.

They may consider:

  • skills and artistic ability of the people involved, and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • Demonstrated effective use of resources and funds with realistic and achievable planning
  • level of confirmation of proposed activities and partners
  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities.
  • Costed project budget activities
  1. Impact on career

The assessment panel will assess the impact that the proposed activity will have on careers and business development and how the activities will strengthen skills in the identified areas of practice and work.

They may consider:

  • how the activity is relevant to the identified areas of practice and career development
  • capacity to strengthen skills and abilities of designers/business
  • potential to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
  • relevance and timeliness of activity.

Your application must comply with the following Protocols. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

  • Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts

All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, provide evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.

  • Commonwealth Child Safe Framework

All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

  1. Evidence of your practice

Provide recent examples of your artistic and or professional work that are relevant to the activity. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • a link to examples of your work that may include video, audio, images or written material
  • a link to examples of your proposed activity that may include video, audio, images or written material
  • links to websites and related social media sites.
  1. Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters of support for your activity if appropriate. These letters should explain:

  • how the activity will benefit your practice or professional development
  • how appropriate cultural protocols have been observed and permissions obtained.

Artists can include up to three (3) letters of support for their projects with each letter no longer than one A4 page. Where possible, combine your letters into a single document or link.

Our preferred way of receiving support material is via URLs (web links). You can submit up to three URLs, which may include your website, or links to video, audio, images, scanned documents and written material.

If you cannot provide URLs, you can attach up to two documents to your application in either PDF or Word formats.

We strongly recommend you link to existing, accessible examples of your work – there is no need to create new content for this application.

We do not accept support material submitted via post.

To apply log in here to our Application Management System (AMS) if you have an account. You can create an account if you do not already have one

  1. Select ‘Apply for a Grant’ from the left panel menu.
  2. From the list of opportunities select First Nations Creative Industries Innovation Fund – For Fashion & Textile Design
  3. Complete the fields and select answers with dropdown menus
  4. Upload any necessary support material
  5. Select ‘Save’ once complete
  6. If you are not ready to submit your application, you can return to it through ‘Your Draft Applications’ in the left panel menu at a later date
  7. Otherwise select ‘Submit’

We accept applications in a range of accessible formats, for example by video, in Auslan or other languages. If you have any questions about the application form, please contact:

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.