Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Become a Peer Assessor for 2025-27

We are now accepting applications for people to join Creative Australia’s Pool of Peers for a three-year term starting January 2025.

WAO 2022, Koolbardi Wer Wardong, Kalgoorlie. Copyright: Mellen Burns

What is a peer assessor?

A peer is anyone who has sufficient knowledge or experience of the arts sector to make a fair and informed assessment of applications for funding. You may have developed this knowledge and experience as a practising artist, creative worker or industry expert in one or more art forms.

Each year, Creative Australia invests in arts organisations and individual artists across the country. Peers bring expertise, knowledge of the arts, and independence from the Australian Government to grant decision making. Peer assessment and arm’s length funding are guiding principles of Creative Australia. They ensure that funding is offered to artists and arts organisations whose proposals, in competition with those of other applicants and within budget constraints, demonstrate the highest degree of merit against the published assessment criteria.

Peers will serve for a three year period – from the start of 2025 until the end of 2027.

This opportunity is open to:

  • Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents
  • people who are practising artists, creative workers, or advisors to the arts industry
  • people with an in-depth understanding of the arts sector and current art form practice, including international trends and markets, or with specialist knowledge of an area of arts development or capability building.

 

Creative Australia is committed to increasing the diversity of the Pool of Peers.
Applications from First Nations people, d/Deaf people or people with disability and people based in regional and remote Australia are greatly needed on all our panels. We also strongly encourage applications from younger people, older people, as well as people who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse.

Creative Australia receives many more highly suitable applications to the Pool of Peers than there are opportunities.

Some art form areas and locations attract a particularly high volume of applications to the Pool of Peers.

Creative Australia staff review applications and shortlist a Pool of Peers with the skills and knowledge to assess applications to our grant programs.

We consider the balance of representation across all areas, including location and art form, when shortlisting peers.

Creative Australia staff will:

  • review applications
  • shortlist a Pool of Peers with skills and knowledge best suited to assess our investment programs
  • recommend that the Creative Australia Nominations and Appointments Committee and Board appoint the shortlist.

The Pool of Peers is formally approved by Creative Australia’s Board (now known as the Australia Council), and the names of the peers are published on our website.

You will need an account to use our Application Management System. It can take up to two business days for a new account to be approved. If you have an account already you can log in. You will need to create and submit your application from a desktop or laptop computer.

  1. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button at the top of this page to go to our Application Management System.
  2. Login (or register as a new user if this is your first time)
  3. Select ‘Apply for a grant’ from the left panel menu. From the list of opportunities select ‘Apply to be a Creative Australia peer’.

In the application form, you will be asked:

  1. which art form/s you are best qualified to assess
  2. to include a brief biography and work history
  3. what groups of people you have experience working with
  4. to provide contact details for at least one referee who can speak to your experience on the selected panel. A second referee is optional
  5. whether you require any additional support or have access requirements
  6. to confirm that you have read the Peer Handbook.
  1. to confirm that you are aware that applying does not guarantee you will be selected to be a peer.

Creative Australia has ten peer assessment panels:

  • First Nations
  • Arts and Disability
  • Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Dance
  • Experimental and Emerging Arts
  • Literature
  • Multi-Art Form
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts

You may nominate up to three panels in your application that most match your expertise. You can only submit one application.

Government Touring Initiatives

Creative Australia also administers government initiatives that support touring to regional and remote areas, including the Contemporary Music Touring Program and Playing Australia.

If you believe your experience is suitable you can nominate to assess for these panels in the application.

Please contact the Assessment team via assessment@creative.gov.au if:

  • you would like these guidelines in another format
  • you want to submit your application in a different format including video, audio, Auslan or other form.

You can also read more about accessible application formats on our Accessibility page.

We are available to assist you in understanding the role of a peer, the application requirements and how to submit your application. We do not review application drafts.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the support available. Email the team at assessment@creative.gov.au or book a time to chat with us booking form link

If you need help to speak or listen use the National Relay Service.

Panellists

Emma Bennison – facilitator

Emma is the past CEO of Arts Access Australia and Accessible Arts. Emma is an artist and passionate advocate for the arts.

Sofya Gollan – panellist

Multi-disciplinary artist, writer & director, Sofya Gollan, is an award-winning filmmaker and a graduate from both NIDA and AFTRS. As an actor she has worked with the Sydney Theatre Company, the National Theatre of the Deaf USA, but is best loved for being on Play School for over 30 years.

Georgia Mokak – Creative Australia panellist

Georgia is a proud Djugun woman from Rubibi (Broome), raised as a visitor on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country, and has continued to grow as a guest on Larrakia, Wangal and Gadigal Country.

Her practice in producing, advocacy, policy and education is rooted in First Nations futurisms, cultural safety, and intergenerational/intercultural collectivity.

Georgia is a past peer assessor and now works for Creative Australia as Manager First Nations Development Programs, Industry Development.

Christopher Bryant – Creative Australia panellist

Christopher is an Artists Services Officer and works with artists from the application stage through to acquittal. He has a particular focus on theatre and disability arts.

 

Picture this. You apply to be a peer assessor, and your application is accepted. Then you are invited to assess your first funding round. Perhaps you have mixed emotions. You feel honoured to be able to elevate artists doing groundbreaking work; you are anxious to make the best decisions possible; depending on how confident you’re feeling, maybe you question whether you have enough experience or credibility to be at the table.

Now, imagine you are a First Nations artist, an artist with disability, an artist from the LGBTQI+ community, an artist from a culturally or linguistically diverse background. You might even identify with several of these experiences. Not only are you likely to be experiencing all of the uncertainties associated with being a peer for the first time, perhaps these feelings are magnified because you’ve experienced your share of discrimination and microaggressions. On top of that, you know that you will likely be the only person in the room representing your lived experience, so you’re feeling the pressure mounting. Then it dawns on you that you need to share your access requirements with Creative Australia so you can participate fully in the assessment process.

If all that sounds like a lot to contend with, it certainly can be. But fortunately, Creative Australia actively works to diversify its peer assessment panels and is committed to creating a safe and supportive process which encourages peers to explore with Creative Australia what support they need to bring their whole selves to the assessment process, even if they’re unsure what assistance they require. Creative Australia recently produced a webinar on accessible peer assessment, where peers explained how they navigated the assessment process and how their access requirements were met. Creative Australia staff also shared observations about how diversity on assessment panels enhances the process across the board.

While no organisation is perfect when it comes to accessibility, the webinar highlights Creative Australia’s progress to date and its commitment to continuous improvement. So if you’re considering applying to become a peer, or if you’ve assessed before but need guidance about how to ask for what you need, this webinar could be for you. Our hope is that hearing directly from your peers and from Creative Australia staff about how to navigate the process reassures you that the support you need is available and that your perspectives are valued and sought after.

Emma Bennison, past CEO of Arts Access Australia and Accessible Arts

In this session you will learn what is a peer, and hear from three peers about their experience and what they gained.
  • Host: Pip Wittenoom, Director Project Investment.
  • Panellists: Kevin Ng and Ali Cobby Eckermann (current peers) and Dane Hunnerup (past peer and Artist Services Officer).

This webinar was held on Thursday 21 January 2021 at 12:30pm.

The session provides an overview of the peer’s role in the assessment process and how best to approach it.
  • Panellists: Nardi Simpson, Lucy Mendelssohn, Wenona Byrne and Patricia Adjei.

This webinar was held on Tuesday 24 August 2021 at 12:00pm.

Frequently asked questions

The term for a peer assessor is three years. The new term begins at the start of 2025 until the end of 2027. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re available to take part each time you’re called upon.

During that time, peers can expect to be invited to participate in one to six assessment meetings.

Depending on the panel, peers will assess between 20–120 applications.

We aim to allow peers four to five weeks to read and score the applications.

One application can take 15–30 minutes to read and score.  Please note this will vary depending on your reading pace and working style. Peers become more adept the more meetings they participate in, as you grow more familiar with the criteria, guidelines and process.

Previous peers describe the time commitment required in these interviews.

All meetings are held online using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

For more information on workload, please refer to the Peer Handbook.

Peer fees are determined based on the number of applications assessed plus the length of the meeting.

We pay superannuation in accordance with the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992.

We don’t provide formal training; however, peers are offered a technical induction to help navigate the online Application Management System and the Microsoft Teams program, which is where the online assessment meeting will take place. Peers also attend a pre-meeting group induction with their fellow peers and Creative Australia staff. You will be paid to attend this meeting.

We will provide a scoring guide for the category you are assessing, a step-by-step guide for using the Application Management System, as well as guidance around protocols and other supporting information as required.

Your Assessment Officer can assist you with any enquiries.

If you’re based overseas, you need to be an Australian citizen or resident and have a current understanding of the Australian creative sector. You need to be able to attend meetings in AEDT/AEST time. We encourage you to chat with us before applying.

Absolutely. We welcome applications from younger people with an in-depth understanding of an art form. Your perspective is vital to a balanced panel.

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email confirming we have received your application.

We will notify you of the outcome of your application by email in December 2024.

We work closely with our peers to understand access needs and create plans as required.

Please refer to our website for things we have helped with in the past and refer to our webinar on access.

We are always open to new ways of working with our peers and encourage you to tell us how we can best support you through the assessment process.

This can include things like:

  • Auslan interpretation
  • captioning
  • having a support person and/or carer attend the assessment meeting with you
  • support finding a suitable space to assess and attend the assessment meeting for you and/or your support person or carer.

We can also provide support for childcare, cultural practices and internet access.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the support available. Email the team via assessment@creative.gov.au or book in a time with us to have a chat.

If you need help to speak or listen use the National Relay Service.

 

No, however you will not be able to sit on the panel you have submitted an application to.

Assessment meetings are held online using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

Creative Australia receives many more highly suitable applications to the Pool of Peers than there are opportunities.

Some art form areas and locations attract a particularly high volume of applications to the Pool of Peers.

We consider the balance of representation across all areas, including location and art form, when shortlisting peers.

If you are not selected as a peer in the next pool, there may be an opportunity for you to assess as an industry advisor.

Industry advice is another assessment model we use at Creative Australia. Industry advisors assess targeted opportunities and awards, advising Creative Australia staff on the most competitive applications based on a deep, practical understanding of their field. Creative Australia staff, and in some cases Creative Australia’s Board (now known as the Australia Council) or a co-investment partner, determine which applications will be supported based on this advice.