Across artforms, career levels and language groups.
Engage in a diverse cohort to learn in a supportive group environment.
Diversity and access: leadership program
The Australia Council 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.
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.
The Custodianship Program Core Facilitator: Mark Yettica-Paulson
An Indigenous leader from the South East Queensland and North East NSW regions, Mark Yettica-Paulson is from the Birrah, Gamilaroi and Bundjalung peoples. He is the founder and Chief of Super Native Unlimited, specialising in creative and cultural leadership development. Mark brings decades of wisdom from his career in leadership development and community education across the corporate and government sectors.
Mark is currently the Deep Collaboration Lead for Collaboration for Impact, Australasia’s leading capacity building & learning network for responding to complexity through effective collaboration. He has facilitated leadership programs and advised organisations such as NAB, the AFL, Medibank Australia, Australia Post and The Foundation for Young Australians. He was Joint Campaign Director for Recognise, the recent campaign for a National Referendum to amend the Australian Constitution to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and remove discrimination.READ MORE
Elder in Residence: Henrietta Marrie AM
Henrietta Marrie AM (Masters in Environmental and Local Government Law; Dip. T; Grad. Dip. of Arts [Indigenous Studies]) is an Elder of the Gimuy Walubara clan of the Yidinji people and Traditional Owner of the land on which the City of Cairns and southern suburbs are now located.
Henrietta was born in Yarrabah on her mother’s Gunggandji country and spent her early years growing up there until her family moved to Palm Island in the mid 1960s. Henrietta has wide experience in Indigenous cultural and natural resource management and impact assessment, intellectual and cultural property law, heritage legislation and philanthropy. As an academic she has published over 50 papers in books and journals. In the 1980’s and 1990s, Henrietta wrote extensively on issues related to Indigenous arts and the repatriation of cultural property from museums. She served for 6 years with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, before becoming the Program Officer/Manager for North Australia with The Christensen Fund, a California-based private philanthropic fund, a position in which she served for nine years.READ MORE
Our Leadership Programs
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.
Apply for a fully funded scholarship in one of our groundbreaking programs to transform your leadership and create impact for your organisation, practice or community.
Join colleagues from across our region to explore arts leadership through a different lens and learn through a range of experiences during your visits to Australia.
Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.LEARN MORE
Arts Leaders program
The Arts Leaders Program is designed to transform our sector’s knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our established practitioners. The program brings together leaders from Australia and eligible Indo Pacific countries across artforms and career levels, to inspire and enhance arts leadership. The Arts Leaders Program is a personal and professional development opportunity – it will enhance your skills and capabilities, develop your networks and provide a platform for growth.
Applications are now closed.LEARN MORE
Future Leaders program
The Future Leaders Program is designed to transform our sectors knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our emerging practitioners. The program brings together a group of diverse leaders to engage with current and relevant themes affecting the future of the arts. Together, you will work through common challenges and opportunities faced within the sector today.
The Future Leaders Program is for emerging leaders within their first ten years’ experience in the sector. The program is open to arts leaders working independently, within organisations or the broader community.
Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.LEARN MORE
Arts Governance program
The Arts Governance Program is a national opportunity for organisations to enhance their governance practices through a program tailored specifically to the arts. The program aims to enhance governance skills, supporting leaders to prosper and arts organisations to thrive.
The program is comprised of two components, an arts governance workshop series and webinar series, both of which are aimed at the leaders (including board members/chairs, as well as senior management and artistic staff) of small to medium arts organisations.LEARN MORE
Diversity in Leadership
This information session was held in September 2019 for arts and cultural practitioners with disability to find out more about the Australia Council Leadership Program.
In this session, we hear from Future Leaders Alumni, Dan Graham, in conversation with Director of Capacity Building at Australia Council, Kevin du Preez. Dan talks about his experience of the Future Leaders Program, including what a residential looks like, how he approached the application process and where he did his secondment.
This session was developed in partnership with Accessible Arts, NSW peak arts and disability organisation.LEARN MORE
Creative Connections: an online learning series for the arts and creative sector
Learn. Adapt. Respond.
Creative Connections is an online webinar series for the cultural and arts sectors and will offer practical, accessible and useful content delivered by industry experts on key topics and emerging themes.
As a direct response to the current challenges faced by the arts sector, we acknowledge the isolation felt by artists and practitioners at this time, and the impact that temporary closure of many arts organisations is having on our collective wellbeing.
Watch now the recorded sessions.LEARN MORE
What does leadership look like in 2020?
We are delighted to announce the next cohort of leaders to take part in our 2020 leadership programs. These individuals will transform their knowledge, skills and capabilities. 2020 also marks the first year of the Custodianship Program adding to our commitment to our First Nations people(s) as our cultural Elders and leaders.
Grounded in respect, generosity and listening, the programs tackle the big issues and opportunities faced by arts workers. Participants explore new ways of thinking and enact the potential of creativity for change.
The Australia Council Leadership Programs are dedicated to transforming our sector’s knowledge, skills and capabilities by supporting emerging and established leaders.LEARN MORE
Custodianship Program FAQs
The Custodianship Program is designed by First Nations leaders for First Nations leaders to transform sustainability in culture, practice, community and the arts. The program brings together 12-15 First Nations participants to take part in a twelve-month program from February 2020-November 2020. The first year will be the pilot of the program.
The Custodianship Program is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, arts workers and cultural practitioners from across art forms and Australia. The program will encourage participants who are at various stages of their careers and are ready to reflect on their skills, capabilities and what leadership and custodianship means to them. The program encourages learners who are open to new ideas, able to learn in a group situation and an ability to share knowledge and insights with others. Participants who have roots with their custodianship responsibilities and want to learn more about enacting a vision for their communities.
The Custodianship Program has three residentials:
- – 6-11 February 2020
- – 14-19 May 2020
- – 5-10 November 2020
The residentials are compulsorily so please make sure you can attend all three residentials. Please allow travel time on either side of the residential.
The Custodianship Program will have four online/phone sessions:
- – 30 January 2020
- – 7 May 2020
- – 29 October 2020
These dates may change but we will notify participants in advance if so. If you have access requirements, please get in touch so we can assist you.
The program will include:
- – three intensive residentials. Each residential runs between 4–5 days, held in various locations around Australia including but not limited to urban, regional and remote location.
- – four online/phone sessions to reconnect and explore topics in more depth.
- – peer-to-peer engagement throughout the duration of the program.
- – access to ongoing opportunities through our Leadership Alumni program, including potential collaborations and secondments.
- – participation in group work to deliver a project at the end of the program.
- – ongoing participant engagement via an online platform.
Participants of the program will:
- – transform their own leadership by building on strengths and exploring what custodianship and leadership means to them
- – learn about First Nations ways of guiding and apply practices that have been cultivated over thousands of years
- – develop practices and knowledges through the study of both contemporary and cultural knowledge systems
- – expand skills and capabilities to effectively lead in both a First Nations and non-First Nation contexts
- – build a broader network and ongoing relationships cross cultures, sectors and industries.
The Australia Council will cover fee and travel cost associated with the Custodianship Program.
The facilitation is led by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. The lead facilitator has a deep knowledge in guiding First Nations leadership development.
To support and grow the facilitation of the program, a collective of co-facilitators will work together to deliver aspects of the program. This collective approach will also bring diversity of thinking (including non-Indigenous, if required) that will in-turn, benefit participants.
The program will aim to create deep cultural meaning. To enrich the participants learning process further, an Elder in Residence will be engaged to provide cultural guidance throughout the program.
An Elder in Residence has been appointed to provide support during both the design and the delivery of the program.
Please feel free to contact Ian RT Colless, First Nations Project Officer, Capacity Building who is coordinating the Custodianship Program. Ian has been working closely on the program’s development for the past year.
You can contact Ian by phone or email – details below.
Phone: 02 9215 9059
Mobile: 0435 781 891
Toll-free: 1800 226 912