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International Professional and Artistic Development

Up to $15,000 matched funding to support international professional development activities.

About the program

The Music Australia Export Development Fund forms a bold partnership between the Australian Government and the Australian music industry – a matched funding initiative, designed to provide financial support to a diverse range of Australian artists at distinct phases of their international careers. 

The program has been developed to support emerging, breakthrough and established acts and is made available to Australian citizens or permanent residents who are current practicing music professionals. This includes solo artists, instrumentalists, bands, ensembles, DJ/producers and electronic artists, producers, songwriters and composers.

The International Professional and Artistic Development fund (Category 2) is designed to support international professional development activity with matched funding of $3000 to $15,000. Find out more in What you can apply for. 

Information session

Watch our webinar information session (here or below) with Music Australia Director Millie Millgate and Council member Danielle Caruana (aka Mama Kin) to learn more about the scheme and how to apply.

To guide initial investments, the Music Australia Council endorsed the following definition of ‘contemporary music’, which you must meet to be eligible. 

“Australian contemporary music is any genre or subgenre of music currently composed, written, produced by Australians and licensed, recorded, presented, and distributed through commercial and non-commercial activity. For the purposes of Music Australia’s initial investments, the focus will be on musical works that are new, original and relevant to contemporary Australia”.  

If you don’t meet the definition above for contemporary music, you may be eligible to apply for our Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups, Arts Projects for Organisations, or International programs.

  • Activity must start between 2 October 2024 and 1 January 2025, and be completed within 12 months. 
  • An applicant can submit a maximum of one application to each category of the Music Australia Export Development Fund.
  • The budget in your application needs to demonstrate matched funding (see ‘What we mean by matched funding’ for more information).
  • Your activity must meet the following definition of contemporary music: “Australian contemporary music is any genre or subgenre of music currently composed, written, produced by Australians and licensed, recorded, presented, and distributed through commercial and non-commercial activity. For the purposes of Music Australia’s initial investments, the focus will be on musical works that are new, original and relevant to contemporary Australia.”
  • Open to Australian artists, composers, creators individually or in groups.
  • Organisations and music businesses may apply on behalf of their artists.
  • First Nations applicants are encouraged to apply as additional investment will be made available to support First Nations artists across all three categories.

You cannot apply for this grant if:

  • You have already submitted an application to this category
  • You have an overdue grant report
  • You owe money to Creative Australia
  • You have applied to our Arts Project grant rounds for the same activity.  

You must complete a budget using  this template. Submit the completed form as support material with the title ‘[Applicant Name] – Budget Detail Form’. Your application will be ineligible if you do not upload a completed budget form. 

Using the template, calculate your income and expenses then carefully transfer the green shaded total amount from the template to the Music Australia request field in the application form. 

Your budget does not need to have a net zero balance, but we ask that you explain your budget surplus or deficit in the spreadsheet if applicable.   

The budget in your application needs to demonstrate matched funding. Every application (individual, group, organisation or company) must demonstrate that they are contributing an amount equal to, or more than, the total funding request, ensuring that the co-investment by industry is, at a minimum, matching the Government’s investment.

What we mean by ‘matched funding’:

  1. You are required to match the Music Australia Export funding for your project on at least a 50:50 basis.
  2. Your share of project costs is 50% of eligible expenditure up to the maximum grant limit and all remaining costs not met by the grant.
  3. You cannot use in-kind (non-financial) contributions for matched funding.
  4. You cannot use other government grant sources to match the Music Australia Export grant.
  5. You will need to provide documentary evidence of your ability to fund your share of project costs in your support material.

Evidence might include:

  • Advanced ticket sales for upcoming tour
  • Festival guarantees
  • Previous tour reconciliations.
  • Advance from a label or publisher
  • Merchandise sales
  • Upcoming or past royalty payment
  • Commitment to a future sync placement
  • Available bank balance.
  • Crowd funding (including Australian Cultural Fund (ACF) generated income).

A minimum of $3,000, up to a maximum of $15,000, whereby the recipient must demonstrate an investment of an equal or greater amount to the funding request.

The International Professional and Artistic Development Fund (Category 2) is designed to support activity that includes:

  • Co-writing sessions
  • Invitation to a songwriting camp
  • Contribution towards overseas recording expenses such as tracking, mixing, mastering
  • Engaging an international producer
  • International residency or fellowship
  • Attending an international trade fair, trade show, conference, forum
  • Visa costs to work in overseas territories

As well as costs directly associated with the activity listed above, you may apply for all costs associated with completing your export activity. Eligible costs include but are not limited to:

  • artist and creative worker fees
  • flights, accommodation, per diems, ground transport costs
  • travel insurance
  • visas
  • freight or baggage costs
  • childcare, carer and access costs
  • tickets and/or registration costs to attend events
  • costs associated with reducing the environmental impact of your activity.

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.

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, and 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. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. 

Applications will be assessed by industry advisors.  

Learn more about how we assess your application. 

As well as meeting the eligibility requirements listed above, industry advisors will review your application using the criteria below.


Assessors will consider whether your activity is feasible. Some ways to consider viability are listed below.

  • The activity is confirmed
  • Evidence of matched funding at a minimum of 50% of the total budget
  • Realistic budgeting and touring logistics
  • The relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • The skills and abilities of those involved, and their relevance to the activity
  • Well-researched and rationalised activity, particularly if this is your first engagement with an international market
  • Measures being applied to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people involved in the project
  • Measures being applied to ensure the proposed activity is accessible
  • Where relevant to the project, evidence that the protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts have been adhered to, or the relevant cultural protocols for the international jurisdiction in which you are working.


Assessors will consider the impact of your activity. Some ways to consider impact are listed below.

  • The extent to which this activity develops an international market or relationship, or enhances international networks, audiences, and profile.


Assessors will consider how your activity meets one or more of the principles and actions of the five pillars identified in the National Cultural Policy – Revive, and the goals of Music Australia.

This may include:

  • First Nations arts and culture are First Nations-led
  • Artists and arts workers have career structures that are long-term and sustainable, supported by vocational pathways
  • Creative industries and practice are future focused, technology enabled, networked and globally recognised, including through reciprocal exchange, export and cultural diplomacy
  • Arts and culture are generative (creating new works and supporting emerging artists) and preservative (protecting heritage and conserving cultural memory)
  • Development of original music
  • Growing the market for contemporary Australian music
  • Training and skills development for artists, and industry professionals

You must submit support material with your application. The industry advisors will review your support material including your budget, evidence of your matched funding and whether the activity is confirmed. It can also be used to gain a better understanding of your activity, and arts practice.  

Your application will be ineligible if it does not include support material providing evidence of your matched funding, and your budget spreadsheet.  

We strongly advise you to include evidence of confirmed activity (such as letters and invitations).  

The following support material may also be included with your application:  

  • how cultural protocols have been or will be observed and permissions obtained (if relevant to your activity) 
  • evidence of your practice relevant to the activity for which you are seeking funding, such as a website link, audio and/or video link (maximum duration 10 minutes in total), images and/or written material.  
  • biographies and CVs for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in the activity (no longer than 2 A4 pages in total).  
  • risk management – for international travel, you may submit a one-page risk management plan (in any format). If you require a template, you can download a template here 

We prefer to receive information via web links (URLs). 

You may submit up to three URLs per application. For example, you could include a link to your website, a link to a video or audio file, and a link to scanned documents demonstrating your matched funding and letters of confirmation.  

If you are not able to provide URLs, you may upload support material as attachments (up to two PDF or Word documents). You may collate documents to include multiple pages.

We do not accept support material submitted by post.  If you need help submitting material online, or you are not sure what support material to submit, please contact us. 

To help with future applications, we have summarised feedback from the previous round/s of the Export Development Fund.
Please note that Music Australia receives many more applications than it is able to fund and has the difficult task of deciding between many strong proposals in order to allocate limited funds.
General feedback (in addition to the essential eligibility criteria):

  • do not assume assessors have existing knowledge of the artists’ work or activity
  • use the Activity Details section of the application form to list the proposed dates, activity, location/s and whether the activity is confirmed
  • if applying to more than 1 category, be clear about the plan for the specific category you are applying for – do not copy the same text across each application. Each category is assessed on its individual merits, by different assessment panels
  • include clear evidence of ALL your matched funding – labelled in your support materials as ‘Matched funding evidence’ or similar
  • unlike many other grant programs, your budget does not need to balance – a surplus or deficit with a clear, brief explanation is acceptable when applying to this fund.

The strongest applications:

  • include clear, concise and relevant support material that is easy to access
  • clearly explain why the time is right for the proposed activity, and the potential impact
  • clearly demonstrate why the applicant/s are targeting the proposed country/ies or territory/ies for the activity
  • show a well thought out, realistic and productive timeline of activity, leveraging available opportunities
  • explain who the artist/s will be working with and why, including specific names and organisations
  • include all, or a high proportion, of confirmed activity
  • may use metrics and data, such as streaming numbers and audience/engagement insights (where relevant), to strengthen the application
  • include a clearly articulated budget with costs that are commensurate to the proposed activity.

We encourage those who have applied and been unsuccessful for previous rounds of this fund to use this feedback to strengthen their application, and re-apply for future rounds where possible (noting date eligibility requirements).

Frequently asked questions

Activity must start between 2 October 2024 and 1 January 2025 and be completed within 12 months.  

If the activity in your application starts before 2 October 2024, your application will not be eligible.  

For activity that starts after 1 January 2025 please see the dates listed below and apply in the appropriate round. 

Yes – there will be additional rounds of this fund in 2024 and 2025. Please note that opening and closing dates are provisional and may change. There will be eligibility restrictions for applicants who are successful in previous rounds.

Opening date: 6 August 2024
Closing date: 1 October 2024
Activity to commence from 1 January 2025 – 31 March 2025

Opening date: 7 October 2024
Closing date: 3 December 2024
Activity to commence from 1 April 2025 – 30 June 2025

Opening date: 3 February 2025
Closing date: 1 April 2025
Activity to commence from 1 July 2025 – 30 September 2025

Matched funding is Music Australia’s way of partnering with creatives who are engaging in activity that has income streams embedded, partners who are co-investing, or previous income/cash contributing to it. Matched funding is not limited to a cash injection upfront, but may include projected income from this or other activity.

No, this grant round is for export activity only. There are other grant opportunities that support domestic touring activity such as the Contemporary Music Touring Program, and Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups or Organisations. We also recommend you sign up for Music Australia updates to be alerted to other Music Australia opportunities.

There is no mandated proportion of confirmed activity required to be eligible, however applications with support material confirming most or all of their activity will be more competitive.

Yes, we encourage applications from all genres for activity that meets the definition of contemporary music outlined above.

Yes. Please contact our Artists Services team to discuss your accessibility requirements. More information on accessibility is available on our website at Accessibility. 

Yes, we do. More information is available on our website – Languages other than English.

No, the music activity must be in support of music you produce.

Yes. Please note that references to an organisation throughout the application form also includes commercial companies such as a record label, management firm or publisher.  

As you can only make one application per category using your account in the Application Management System, we suggest your artist(s) set up an account in their name to apply.

No. Your proposed activity must not take place in the country where you are permanently based.

No. The activity must be in a country other than Australia.

You should include the full cost of flights and accommodation in each application in case you are only successful in one. If successful, your granted amount may be revised to avoid duplication of expenses.

Please indicate whether expenses have been duplicated across multiple applications by answering yes or no to the question: ‘Expenses included in other Music Australia applications’.