Leadership
Program

Mandingalbay Yindinji Deadly Dinner, 2017 Arts Leaders Program. Credit: Australia Council.

The Australia Council Leadership Program is dedicated to transforming the cultural and creative industry’s knowledge, skills and capabilities by investing in emerging, mid-career and established leaders.

Our program recognises the diverse nature of leadership and builds on the rich knowledge and experience across the industry.

We partner with respected facilitators to foster personal and professional development through knowledge-sharing and connecting people across Australia and internationally.


About the Leadership Program

Grounded in respect, generosity and listening, we tackle the big issues and opportunities faced within the cultural and creative industries today. The program is designed to explore new ways of thinking and enact the potential of creativity for change. We are guided by First Nations principles, cultural Elders and Custodians.

As a participant in our programs, you will share experiences, form new connections, develop skills and build confidence in your own capabilities. You will benefit from longer-term outcomes for yourself, your practice, organisation and community.

COVID-19 has undoubtably had a significant impact on the arts and cultural landscape, yet we have seen the crucial role that creativity plays in developing new ways of adapting practices. We host a variety of programs to nurture creative development, adaptive leadership and ongoing sustainability within the cultural and creative industries.

These programs are designed to address the diverse needs of leaders working in all parts of the industry, from small to large organisations, emerging to established and independent practice.

We invite leaders from various backgrounds, careers levels and geographies to get involved.

For more details about the leadership programs, please visit the relevant program pages or read our General FAQ.

“On a personal level, I must again highlight the impact of this leadership programme for giving me an opportunity to reflect on my practice and now able to see the arts ecosystem in a broader term” – International Arts Leader (Malaysia) 2019 cohort

Find a program

Select the type of grant from the dropdown menu or enter the title.


Open

Digital Transformation for the Creative Industries

Closing Date:

Tue November 16, 2021 3:00 pm (AEDT)

Digital Transformation for the Creative Industries is an online short course designed specifically for artists and arts and creative workers.

Developed in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, this six week course will equip you with the skills, tools and techniques to meet tomorrow’s challenges in this new digitally-enabled world.

View opportunity
Open

Arts Leaders Program

Closing Date:

Tue November 30, 2021 3:00 pm (AEDT)

The Arts Leaders Program takes place over 12-months and involves three interconnected residentials that will take place either in-person, hybrid and/or digitally, with online learning moments in between. As a participant in our programs, you will join a cohort of mid-career and established arts leaders working within organisations, independently or in community.

View opportunity
Open

International Leadership Program Indo Pacific

Closing Date:

Tue November 30, 2021 3:00 pm (AEDT)

In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the International Leadership Program invites applicants from nine eligible Indo-Pacific countries to apply for the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs in Australia.

View opportunity
Open

Future Leaders Program

Closing Date:

Tue November 30, 2021 3:00 pm (AEDT)

The Future Leaders Program takes place over 12-months and involves three interconnected residentials that will take place either in-person, hybrid and/or digitally, with online learning moments in between. Due to the current uncertainty around travel and border restrictions, residential plans are subject to change.

View opportunity
Open

Digital Fellowship Program

Closing Date:

Tue November 30, 2021 3:00 pm (AEDT)

This fellowship program brings practitioners based in Australia and New Zealand together to co-develop their digital practice and set directions for the future of the arts in our region.

View opportunity
Open

Digital Strategist-in-Residence

Closing Date:

Tue December 7, 2021 3:00 pm (AEDT)

The Digital Strategist-in-Residence will connect and collaborate with key members of your team. The program will involve facilitated sessions and self-directed tasks. This residency is a hybrid program, involving both in-person and online sessions.

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Closed

Sync Australia Online Leadership Program

Sync Australia – Online is a new online leadership and coaching program exploring Deaf and disabled leadership in arts, culture, heritage and media.

View opportunity
Closed

Digital Business Model Innovation Lab

The Digital Business Model Innovation Lab offers the opportunity for arts organisations to transform and digitally enable their core business model.

View opportunity

Open

Digital Transformation for the Creative Industries

Digital Transformation for the Creative Industries is an online short course designed specifically for artists and arts and creative workers. Developed in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, this six week course will equip you with the skills, tools and techniques to meet tomorrow’s challenges in this new digitally-enabled world.
Open

Arts Leaders Program

The Arts Leaders Program takes place over 12-months and involves three interconnected residentials that will take place either in-person, hybrid and/or digitally, with online learning moments in between. As a participant in our programs, you will join a cohort of mid-career and established arts leaders working within organisations, independently or in community.
Open

International Leadership Program Indo Pacific

In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the International Leadership Program invites applicants from nine eligible Indo-Pacific countries to apply for the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs in Australia.
Open

Future Leaders Program

The Future Leaders Program takes place over 12-months and involves three interconnected residentials that will take place either in-person, hybrid and/or digitally, with online learning moments in between. Due to the current uncertainty around travel and border restrictions, residential plans are subject to change.
Open

Digital Fellowship Program

This fellowship program brings practitioners based in Australia and New Zealand together to co-develop their digital practice and set directions for the future of the arts in our region.
Open

Digital Strategist-in-Residence

The Digital Strategist-in-Residence will connect and collaborate with key members of your team. The program will involve facilitated sessions and self-directed tasks. This residency is a hybrid program, involving both in-person and online sessions.
Closed

Sync Australia Online Leadership Program

Sync Australia – Online is a new online leadership and coaching program exploring Deaf and disabled leadership in arts, culture, heritage and media.
Closed

Digital Business Model Innovation Lab

The Digital Business Model Innovation Lab offers the opportunity for arts organisations to transform and digitally enable their core business model.

Watch the video

Diversity and access: Leadership Program

The Australia Council is committed to increasing the diversity of leaders in our sector and encourages applications from people who identify as First Nations, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people living in regional and remote areas.

We actively work with individuals to support access needs – including childcare, cultural practices, financial and/or learning access needs as required. We encourage applicants to contact us via phone or email to discuss further. Learn more about diversity in leadership.

Easy English
We have developed an Easy English Guide for our leadership programs. Easy English combines text and images to convey information simply and directly, supporting people who have difficulty reading and understanding English.

Download the Easy English Guide.

General Leadership Programs FAQs

Across all our programs, you will attend a series of intensive residentials. These may be in-person, online or hybrid. Travel restrictions permitting, residentials will take place in regional Australia. There are also virtual online sessions to reconnect with the group and to explore topics between the residentials.

During the program you will participate in a range of activities both indoors and outdoors, online and offline, to build your skills, capacity and confidence. Grounded in respect, generosity and listening, we tackle the big issues and opportunities faced within the cultural and creative industries today. The programs are designed to explore new ways of thinking and enact the potential of creativity for change.

A residential is a five-day intensive experience that may take place in-person, online or hybrid, depending on COVID-19 restrictions at the time of the residential. The program is designed and led by our core facilitators and responds to the needs of the group. The residentials are not a professional development conference, rather they provide time and space for the group to connect, collaborate, listen, and hear from key guest speakers. We encourage you to use the residentials as an opportunity to re-focus, invest in your development, feel nourished and plan for the future.

Travel restrictions permitting, our residentials will take place in regional Australia. We choose regional locations primarily to spend time learning in Country with Custodians, to slow down, rest and rejuvenate and to allow for new perspectives and knowledge-sharing in a non-urban environment.

You will be notified of the first residential location shortly after you have been accepted into the program, and the second and third locations will be announced at the end of the first residential.

In case of travel restrictions or border closures, we will provide at least four weeks’ notice ahead of the residential if it will take place online. It is highly unlikely that we will postpone any of the residential dates due to COVID-19 and are confident in our ability to produce high quality, connected residentials in hybrid ways.

The Future Leaders and Arts Leaders programs are guided by a lead facilitator and supported by a range guest speakers and co-facilitators throughout the program. The program is guided by and grounded in a commitment to First Nations cultural knowledge, and this is a core component to the learning and design of the residentials. You can find out more about our facilitators on the Future Leaders, Arts Leaders and International Leadership Program pages.

The Australia Council and other partners support participants to undertake the Leadership Program – an investment of approximately $3,000 per participant for each residential.

The fee that we ask you to cover is $300 +GST. This accounts for a small portion of the above investment and helps to ensure the viability of the program into the future. Fee subsidies are available for any participant that requires financial support.

We’ll look after everything else for you, including On Country learning, facilitation and guest speakers, your accommodation, ground transport, program resources and all meals for the duration of the residential.

International participants are supported by Australia Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and are not required to pay the fee. Border restrictions permitting, travel to residentials will be supported for all International participants.

Participants are required to pay their own travel expenses or seek support from their organisation (if applicable). Financial assistance is available for Australian participants who require it for access reasons, if you are an independent practitioner or if you are travelling from a remote area, including Western Australia. Travel expenses should not be a barrier to any participant interested in applying and we encourage you to contact us to discuss your travel requirements.

Border restrictions permitting, travel for international participants is supported by the Australia Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

No, Australia Council will cover these costs for all participants. We will accommodate you in your own private room with a bathroom for the length of the residential and will cover the cost of your breakfast, lunch and dinner during this time. Additional extras (such as espresso coffee and mini-bar items) are at your own expense. Per diems are not included.

Previous participants of all our programs tell us that they experience:

  • Strong networks and relationships with others working in the cultural and creative industries, nationally and internationally.
  • New and enhanced skills, capabilities and knowledge to adapt and thrive.
  • Deeper insight into what makes a great leader.
  • Stronger capability to lead within an ever-evolving cultural and creative industry.