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Australia Council Fellowships of $80,000 support outstanding, established artists’ or arts workers’ creative activity and professional development for a period of up to two years.

About the program

Australia Council Fellowships of $80,000 support outstanding, established artists’ and arts workers’ activity and professional development for a period of one to two years.

There are nine Fellowships offered in the areas of: Arts and Disability; Community Arts and Cultural Development; Dance; Emerging and Experimental Arts; First Nations; Literature; Music; Theatre; Visual Arts.

If you are successful, the payments will be made in two tranches: $75,000 on acceptance of the funding contract, and $5,000 on acquittal.

All Australia Council grants information including guidelines and application forms are available in accessible formats upon request.

Formats include word documents, audio CD, Braille, Easy English, Auslan and large print. Please note that requests for translated materials may take up to six weeks.

We accept applications for all our programs in accessible formats. Formats include Auslan, audio, video, printed, dictated, electronic and handwritten formats.

Contact Artists Services to discuss your specific requirements. 

Easy English

Click here to read in English how to apply.


Who can apply

Only individuals may apply to this category. You must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident, and a practicing artist or arts worker.

Applications for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals.

Applications for the Arts and Disability Fellowship must come from d/Deaf artists or arts workers, or artists and arts workers with disability.

Please note: You can only submit one application to this closing date of Fellowships.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a Fellowship if:

  • you have an overdue grant report
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are applying as a group or organisation
  • you received an Australia Council Fellowship awarded by any panel, board or committee of the Australia Council since 1996 (excludes Australia Council Fellowships for Early Career Artists 2012-16, Australia Council Fellowships for Established Artists 2012-16, and Music Project Fellowships 2007-2014).

What you can apply for

You can apply for a range of different activity over the Fellowship period. Some examples of the activities we fund are:

  • the creation of new work
  • research and development
  • experimentation
  • collaborations
  • skills development
  • professional development and training
  • residencies
  • mentorships.

Access costs are legitimate expenses and may be included in your application. We encourage applicants to ensure that their work is accessible to everyone. Budgets may include costs associated with making activities accessible to a wide range of people (e.g. performances using Auslan, translation to other languages, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, and materials in other formats).

If you are a d/Deaf applicant, an applicant with disability, or are working with d/Deaf artists or artists with disability, you may apply for access costs associated with the use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, carer or support worker assistance. Please contact Artists Services to discuss your specific needs.

What you cannot apply for

You cannot apply for:

  • projects or activities that do not involve or benefit Australian practicing artists or arts workers
  • projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • projects that have already taken place
  • activities engaging with First Nations content, artists and communities that do not adhere to the Australia Council First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocols.

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

Applications will be assessed by panels of industry advisors, with final decisions approved by the Board of the Australia Council.

You must choose which peer assessment panel you wish to apply to assess your application.

Learn more about assessment panels.

If you are unsure which assessment panel to choose, contact Artists Services.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Industry advisors will assess your application against the following criteria.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the peers advisors may consider. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

Outstanding professional achievement

Industry advisors will assess the depth of experience of the artist or arts worker and the significance of their professional achievement.

They may consider:

  • the quality and diversity of activities you have previously delivered
  • the significance of your career and body of work
  • national or international response to work previously produced.


Industry advisors will assess the viability of your proposal.

They may consider:

  • relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • skills and ability of artists, arts workers, collaborators, or participants involved, and relevance to activity
  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use, including, where relevant, contingency plans, and COVID-safe plans for activities involving public presentations, national or international travel, health and safety plans, and evidence that you have considered the well-being of people involved in the project
  • the timetable of activity
  • evidence of appropriate consultation with participants, audiences or communities
  • appropriate payments to participating artists, arts workers, collaborators, participants, or cultural consultants
  • where relevant, evidence that the Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts have been adhered to
  • where relevant, evidence that you have considered and addressed any access issues associated with your project
  • where relevant, evidence of an environmental impact plan which may include cost-benefits.

Impact of the Fellowship

Industry advisors will assess the impact that the Fellowship will have on you and the sector.

They may consider:

  • how the proposed activity strengthens your practice
  • the impact the proposed activity will have on your career
  • how the proposed activity will be documented, presented or shared with the sector
  • how the proposed activity builds or develops national or international collaborations
  • how the proposed activity contributes to diverse practice in your field.

The types of questions we ask in the application form include:

  • a title for your Fellowship
  • a summary of your Fellowship
  • a brief bio
  • an outline of three key achievements or career highlights
  • an outline of your Fellowship and what you want to do
  • a timetable of activity for your Fellowship
  • an outline of how the Fellowship activity will impact your career and have broader impact
  • supporting material as relevant to your project, including examples of your work, bios of additional artists, and letters of support or permission from participants, communities, First Nations organisations, or Elders.

You should submit support material with your application. The advisors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

We do not normally 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.

However, 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 for advice well before the closing date.

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.

Types of support material we accept

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: advisors 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 on the application form.

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 and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).

2.  Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, 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.

3.  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. It can also outline the support or involvement of key project partners, or evidence of consultation.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

Zanny Begg is a video installation artist who works across drawing and film to explore questions of feminism, migration, and ecological and intergenerational responsibility. Key works include The Beehive (ACMI/Artbank Commission), The City of Ladies (MCA Commission), Prisoners (Deakin Public Art Commission) and Stories of Kannagi (STARTTS, NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors, Commission). 

This fellowship will support Zanny to take on several significant new video art commissions, participate in touring work to international venues, and take time to experiment in a new direction for her practice. This proposal includes projects in Orange, Sydney, Wagga Wagga, Berlin, and Hamburg among other locations, and is grouped around the theme of finding places of refuge in times of uncertainty. Each aspect of this fellowship will contribute to Australian culture through the making and sharing of new works and through the development and sustenance of creative practice.  

Brenda is a contemporary classical composer who creates music for ensembles, orchestras, choirs, dance performances, festivals and concerts. She composes for both European and First Nations instruments from violins and double bass to clap sticks and didgeridoo.  

Brenda’s fellowship will enable her to compose a new song cycle for string quintet, describing her own (Yuin) and other First Nations peoples’ connections to water. She will undertake research and collaborate with traditional Maori composers and musicians in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Navajo composers and musicians in New York State.  

Eliza Hull is an award-winning musician, writer and disability advocate. She recently released ‘Running Underwater’, a song recorded with ARIA Award-winning producer Pip Norman. It is the first song Eliza has written about living with ‘Charcot Marie Tooth’, a disability which she has lived with since the age of five.  Eliza’s music has propelled her onto the national radar, with many notable performances at venues and events including the Sydney Opera House, Ability Fest, Forum Theatre, The Melbourne Recital Centre, Bigsound, internationally at SXSW and more. She has toured with the likes of Ainslie Wills, BATTS, Mia Dyson and The Cat Empire. 

During the fellowship, Eliza will develop her work through mentorship with industry leaders as well as completing a writing residency at Karma Sound Studios in Bangkok, creating with diverse musicians from around the world. She will create 40 new original works, some of which will be used for her forthcoming album exploring disability called ‘Reunion’, which will have collaborations with emerging disabled Australian artists.  

Tristan has become a leading creative voice within the LGBTIQ+ community nationally and internationally, specifically for championing the rights of LGBTIQ+ older people. He co-designs creative projects that give communities access not only to arts experiences, but to broader community and social services.  

Tristan will use this fellowship period to develop and deliver new projects in collaboration with three communities across Australia: youth, older people and LGBTIQ+ communities. As well as these new projects, Tristan will undertake short course study with expert Celebrant and Death Doula teachers to expand his understanding of  and  for  ritual and ceremony. 

Dr. Shellie Morris is one of Australia’s beloved and revered female vocalists and has dedicated the past 25 years of her artistic career to creating and engaging with music as a tool for healing. A remarkable aspect of Dr. Morris’s musical repertoire is her proficiency in singing and composing music in Aboriginal languages, many of which are on UNESCO’s endangered list.  

Her fellowship project, Wabudawu a-yabala, is the documentation of Shellie’s journey home to learn her language and become a senior songwoman, taking a place in the Yanyuwa clan of the Northern Territory. Translating from Yanyuwa to “water path” (road of water), this cleanses the past from the forced removal of her grandmother and the pressure from society that saw Shellie adopted out after birth.  

Alice Pung’s writing has focused on people living on the margins – pregnant teenagers, illiterate mothers, poorer Australians and genocide survivors. Her books have been included in VCE and HSC study lists and are studied in schools and universities in Australia and overseas.  

Alice is a mother as well as a lawyer and, until now, her writing practice has been ‘in addition’ to her work and carer responsibilities. Her fellowship project – a novel titled “Super Vision” – covers an important and underrepresented topic – working mothers. The cumulation of her workplace expertise, life experience, public platform and personal insight will yield a work that will hopefully be enduring and significant; and perhaps even change the national conversation about how we value certain ‘caring’ work.  

Dr Jen Rae’s 18-year practice is situated at the intersections of art, speculative futures and climate emergency disaster adaptation + resilience. Her work is predominantly articulated through transdisciplinary collaborations, multi-platform projects, community alliances and public pedagogies. Jen was a core artist of Arts House’s REFUGE project (2016-22) and is the Co-founder and Creative Research Lead at the Centre for Reworlding.

S. Shakthidharan’s debut play Counting and Cracking, co-produced by Belvoir and Co-Curious in 2019, is a 3-hour epic with 16 actors and 3 musicians hailing from 6 different countries. It had a sell-out season at Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival. The play toured to Edinburgh Festival and Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival in 2022.  His most recent epic The Jungle and the Sea premiered in November 2022 at Belvoir, again with rave reviews and of profound importance for local Sri Lankan audiences.  

Shakthidharan’s fellowship will include a mentorship and development of a new large-scale work at The Public Theatre in New York (which helped create the musical Hamilton). Building on many years of dedicated work elevating South Asian Australian stories and artists, this is a significant opportunity for the artist which will also have impact on the broader Australian theatre sector.

Vicki Van Hout is an Indigenous independent artist with over 20 years’ experience. A graduate of NAISDA Dance College and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York, she went on to perform with major Indigenous dance companies, Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre, before joining forces with Marilyn Miller as a founding member of Fresh Dancers.  

During Van Hout’s fellowship period she will develop ‘In Between the Lines’ which occurs around three major activities, a book publication, a long form mainstage production and a professional development workshop series. Vicki will interweave an important archiving project – rare within the dance world and with the promise of broad impact with diverse diaspora artists, especially First Nations artists. 

Frequently asked questions

Over the past decade, the National Arts Participation Survey, the arts landscape it examines, and the ways in which the sector needs to understand audiences, have evolved.

To support these evolving needs, Creative Australia and Lonergan Research developed new and interactive ways to explore the data from the 2022 National Arts Participation Survey, <em>Creating Value</em>.

This is the second time this method of analysis has been used with the results from the National Arts Participation Survey, with the first set of tools analysing the 2019 National Arts Participation Survey data. In this 2022 update, the audience data and advocacy tools have been expanded. This second edition includes personas based on the population segments, and allows data from the population segments to be interactively explored alongside the Behavioural Index and the Attitudinal Index.

The Audience Data and Advocacy Tools can be used to better understand Australians’ engagement with and attitudes towards the arts.

Knowing and Growing your Audience: Guide to the 2022 audience data and advocacy provides an indication of how the tools may be used. While specific uses of the tools are presented throughout the guide, these examples are not exhaustive and there are multiple ways the tools can be used to explore the data. Users may explore the tools in any way they like.

Insights from the Audience Data and Advocacy Tools can be used for strategic planning and advocacy. Depending on your strategy and goals, the dashboards can be used to identify more information on target audiences.

For example, if your organisation’s target audience is parents of children under 16 in South Australia, you can apply the location filter on the demographics dashboard page and test each quintile or population segment to see which holds the largest proportion of your target demographic. You can then use the other dashboard pages to understand more about the quintile(s) which hold this audience – from understanding their key motivations and barriers to how often they engage with the arts.

This audience may also behave differently depending on whether you are looking at them via Population Segment, Behavioural Index or the Attitudinal Index. These insights may inform your organisation’s strategy in reaching this audience. For example, you may be able to tailor specific communication to this group or remove certain barriers that affect their participation.

Benchmarks can be set by choosing a measure, or measures, of interest to you or your organisation and recording the relevant data points.

A benchmark can be as simple as looking at the percentage of those in a particular segment who are in an age category of interest to you and who give to the arts. This percentage can be used as an initial benchmark measure and revisited in future years.

The dashboards cannot be filtered by artform at this stage. Art form filters may be explored in future versions of the tools.

These are currently the only available demographic filters. Additional demographic filters may be explored in future versions of the tools.

No, only one segment can be selected at a time.

At this stage it is not possible to save your settings or findings within the dashboards.  However, you can download a dashboard view to PDF which will provide a snapshot of the data you’ve created in the dashboards.

A full report is available on our website which details the methods used to develop the Behavioural Index, Attitudinal Index and Population Segmentation Model.

To reset the dashboard, remove all applied filters by clicking on the highlighted filters.  To remove the demographic filters, select ‘All’ in the dropdown menu to apply all categories.

Four filters can be selected at the same time. When using the dashboards, the three demographic filters at the top of the page can be selected at the same time, as well as the index filter.

Applying multiple filters can reduce the available sample size to low numbers. We recommend caution when the sample size (n) reaches 30 or below. Results should then be used indicatively only.

A dashboard is a moving and interactive on-screen graphical summary of information. Within the dashboard there are tabs that hold certain categories of information. Each tab shows various relevant charts. There are five tabs: Types of engagement, Motivations & barriers, Value of the arts, Diversity, Demographics. Each of these tabs illustrate various charts based on their topic.

A persona is a character profile based on the data from the survey. In this guide, personas are based on grouping people together according to their levels of arts engagement and on age, gender, life stage, education and cultural background.

Applications that focus solely on academic studies, or are for activities that are part of assessable coursework are unlikely to be successful with our assessment panels. Assessment panels are also unlikely to support applications requesting the costs of academic fees or courses.

If you wish to apply for study costs, explain to the panel how your project extends, or supplements, the course’s standard curriculum requirements. Also, bear in mind that your project will be assessed on artistic merit of the work.

If you are applying for an Arts Projects grant for funding to complete a training program, course, workshop or diploma, explain how doing so will impact positively on your career or practice.

A segment is a grouping of people who are similar in characteristics of interest. Population segments may be different in size and there is no limit to the number of segments there can be in a population or market.

A quintile is one of five equal, or roughly equal, segments of a population, divided based on a selected variable.