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.

International announcement

The Australia Council remains actively committed to supporting Australian artists and organisations to stay connected internationally, and respond to ongoing challenges to cross-border collaboration.

Our current advice is to consider digital and remote options for international engagement at least until 31 December 2021.


Due to current government travel restrictions, the following international investment opportunities will not be available in 2021:

  • International Arts Strategy Outcomes Fund
  • International Residencies Program
  • support to attend international markets and platforms.

Artists and organisations seeking funding for viable international engagement can apply to the Arts Projects grant categories.

Please note that applications for international engagement that include physical mobility are unlikely to be considered as competitive until the Australian Government’s travel restrictions are lifted. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to adapt your international engagement to the digital space for the foreseeable future.

Applicants should ensure duty of care, health and wellbeing, risk mitigation, and adapting to ongoing travel restrictions and physical distancing measures are all considered.

Current situation

The Australia Council has been in dialogue since January 2020 with the Australian arts sector and our international partners on the impacts of COVID-19. During this time, we have worked to support Australian artists and organisations whose international activity is affected to postpone or find suitable adaptations to their plans. We are actively monitoring the international situation and considering available options, both short and long term, for artists and organisations to re-engage.

The impact of COVID-19 on international touring, presentation, residencies, exchange and market development has been significant. Our data from the Resilience Fund shows that 41% of applicants reported their work impacted by international travel restrictions.

The Australian Government’s restrictions on overseas travel from Australia remain in place. Travellers cannot leave Australia unless they receive an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.


The Council’s International Arts Strategy (2015-2020) has been a valuable roadmap in directing and informing our investment. Climate change and environmental responsibility, and a post-pandemic environment, require significant reconsideration of international engagement. The opportunity exists to leverage the Australian art sector’s success and strong networks to innovate in partnership with our international peers.

As such, we are evaluating and refreshing our International Arts Strategy in 2021. It will be replaced with a new strategy incorporating international engagement, mobility and exchange. We see this process as a prime opportunity to build on the Australian sector’s pre-COVID success to innovate international engagement, mobility and exchange for the future.

The Council’s International Arts Strategy (2021-25) will be released in the second half of 2021.

Throughout 2021, a targeted program of connection without physical mobility will be implemented to support artists and organisations to stay connected, ensuring the continuation of vital relationships, collaborations and influence with peers, that in turn lead to future opportunities for Australian artists.

Our priorities include:

  • global First Nations exchanges
  • hyper-local arts with global connections
  • mobility of ideas over physical mobility and touring
  • digital and live hybrid engagement
  • centring equity and diversity in representation of Australian arts internationally
  • amplifying Australia’s creative and cultural engagement with the Asia Pacific and its diaspora communities
  • continuing to advocate for the value of arts and culture to international tourism.


For International Arts Strategy enquiries:

For Grants Program enquiries:

If you are an Australian artist or arts worker overseas, please contact us if you need to discuss your situation. If you haven’t already done so, register with Smart Traveller and refer to this site to see the latest updates on travel restrictions and advice.

If you are an Australian artist or arts worker overseas and require assistance, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for a list of Australian embassies, high commissions and consulates and their contact details.

We acknowledge the distress, hardship and isolation felt by artists and arts workers at this time. For support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Support Act on 1800 959 500.