The Dreaming Award

Support for two inspirational young First Nations artists aged 18-30 years to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships.

About the Dreaming Award

The Dreaming Award was established in 2012 to support an inspirational young First Nations artist aged 18-30 years to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships. The mentor/partner will be another established professional artist or partner nominated by the artist who will guide and mentor the applicant to assist in the development of a new work.

Two Dreaming Awards will be offered in 2023 by the First Nations Strategy Panel. The recipients of these Awards will receive $20,000 each.

The Dreaming Awards will be presented at the 2023 First Nations Arts Awards.

About the First Nations Arts Awards

The First Nations Arts Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work and achievements of First Nations artists. On the evening of 27 May 2023, the following awards will be presented:

We also acknowledge awards given to First Nations Artists across Australia Council Programs, including the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award.

Who can apply

  • Only First Nations individuals may apply to this category.
  • You must be an artist between the ages of 18 and 30 years.
  • Disciplines include community arts and cultural development, dance, literature, experimental arts, multi-arts, music, theatre and visual arts.
  • You cannot apply for activities that have already commenced.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for this Award if:

  • you have an overdue grant report
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are an organisation.

Applications will be assessed by the 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. The artistic merit and strength of the project concept

This criterion may include

  • your vision, ideas and artistic rationale
  • the strength and clarity of proposed mentoring/partnerships
  • your experience and the quality of work you have previously produced
  • the significance of your work within your area of practice
  • a clear project budget.
  1. The viability of the project and its benefits for the applicant

This criterion may include

  • evidence of adherence to First Nations cultural protocols
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with First Nations participants, audiences and communities
  • the strength and clarity of your proposed mentoring/partnerships
  • the capacity of the project to strengthen your professional and creative development
  • the development of strong creative and professional partnerships.
  1. Creatives outcomes of the project

This criterion is about creation, capabilities, distribution, and reach. For example, your project may

  • contribute to your artistic and professional development
  • help you to sustain a viable artistic career
  • support a safe environment and wellbeing for people working in the arts
  • develop strong partnerships and collaborations.
  • demonstrate a strong audience development and engagement strategy
  • foster opportunities that benefit Australian audiences.

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 you
  • an outline of your artistic practice, focusing on career highlights and achievements
  • details of your mentors and partners, and the role will they play in your project
  • a timetable of activities
  • details of the impact you expect your project to have on your artistic and/or professional development
  • 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 mentors, partners, 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, arts workers, mentors, 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).