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Elevate: First Nations Storytelling (Literature)

Career development grant opportunity of up to $10,000 open to writers, poets, editors, illustrators, journalists, arts workers and groups in the literature sector.

Marie Munkara, Signature Works Lab 2019, at 20:50 by Richard Wilson at MONA, Tasmania. Photo by Jorjia Gillis.

About the opportunity

Elevate is a career development grant opportunity of up to $10,000 for First Nations individuals and groups. The opportunity is open to writers, poets, editors, illustrators, journalists, arts workers and groups in the literature sector. Elevate is designed to support and develop career pathways and opportunities which may include capacity building, networking, mentoring, residencies, and audience development for their work.

Elevate is for projects beginning after Thursday 1 February 2024.

Supported activities must last no longer than 12 months from the proposed start date.

To read about the 2024 recipients of Elevate investment, head to the bottom of this page.

Who can apply

  • First Nations individuals and groups
  • You must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident, and a practicing artist or arts professional.


Who cannot apply 

You cannot apply for this grant if:

  • you have an overdue grant report
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are a National Performing Arts Partnership organisation
  • you are a a group based outside Australia.


What can be applied for 

To apply, you will need to provide details of your activity and what you would like to achieve.

Elevate can be used for career development which may include:

  • study/course expenses
  • development of work
  • Masterclass/residencies
  • project research
  • mentoring
  • conference or festival attendance
  • travel and accommodation
  • materials

Creative Australia will review applications against the assessment criteria in consultation with Industry Advisors.

They may consider: 

  • potential of the artist and/or artworker 
  • viability 
  • impact on career.

Potential of the artist/arts worker 

The Panel will assess the potential of the artist/artworker at the centre of the proposal. 

They may consider: 

  • merit of proposal 
  • quality of work previously produced 
  • public or peer response to work previously produced 
  • demonstrated ability, skills and creative thinking. 


The Panel will assess the viability of the proposal. 

They may consider: 

  • skills and artistic ability of the people involved, and their relevance to the proposed activity 
  • effective use of resources, with realistic and achievable planning 
  • level of confirmation of proposed activities and partners 
  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols 
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities. 

Impact on career 

The Panel will assess the impact that the proposed activity will have on your career. 

They may consider: 

  • capacity to strengthen skills and abilities of artists/arts professionals 
  • potential to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand 
  • relevance and timeliness of activity. 

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


  • a title for your project
  • a summary of your project
  • a brief bio of the artist or group applying
  • an outline of your project and what you want to do
  • a timetable or itinerary for your activities
  • a description of the outcome your project delivers
  • a projected budget which details the expenses, income, and in-kind support of the project
  • 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 Elders or organisations.

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 us.

There are four 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: 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 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, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).
  1. 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.

  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. It can also detail 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.

Meet the 2024 recipients

Tisha Perrurle Carter

Lionel G. Fogarty

Lisa Fuller

Ghenoa Gela

Jazz Money

Kirli Saunders (OAM)