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.

Chief Executive Program, in partnership with National Arts Strategies

Welcome To The Chief Executive Program

The Program

The Chief Executive Program (cep) Is Designed for Experienced Arts Leaders to Explore how To Create Meaningful and Radical Change Within Their Communities and Organisations, Serving as Influencers Within the Sector.

The NAS approach is unique. Their programs engage with industry leading business schools, world class institutions and a wide international alumni network to give participants a global perspective of arts leadership and approach to their development. The program aims to strengthen and diversify the cultural ecosystem nationally and globally, enabling new types of cultural leaders to change the status quo.

Participants will spend a year with NAS and an international cohort of 50 artistic and executive leaders. Through the program, participants will learn from leading experts, and from each other, increasing their knowledge and understanding of major themes affecting arts and culture in Australia through a global lens. Participants will gain new perspectives, tools and connections to increase their abilities and impact, joining an alumni group of over 250 leaders from various industries internationally. The next program is delivered with Harvard University.

The next CEP will commence in July 2019 and will include two trips to the US (13-18 October 2019, Harvard and 19-23 April 2020, Sundance). Further information about the program is available from the NAS website.

In partnership with:

Up to three established Australian arts leaders or executives will receive an Australia Council Scholarship of US$25,500 per person to support their international participation in the CEP. The scholarship covers course fees, material, accommodation and meals. Travel to the US is not included. The Australia Council scholarship is only open to Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents.

Applications will be processed by NAS and selected on merit in consultation with Australia Council for the Arts.

For more information and to apply visit the National Arts Strategies website by clicking on the button below:

All Australian applications will be considered for the Australia Council Scholarship.

International Leadership program (Indo-Pacific)

In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the International Leadership Program invites applicants from nine eligible Indo-Pacific countries to apply for the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs in Australia.

Apply for a fully funded scholarship in one of our groundbreaking programs to transform your leadership and create impact for your organisation, practice or community.

Join colleagues from across our region to explore arts leadership through a different lens and learn through a range of experiences during your visits to Australia.

Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.


Creative Connections: an online learning series for the arts and creative sector

Learn. Adapt. Respond. 

Creative Connections is an online webinar series for the cultural and arts sectors and will offer practical, accessible and useful content delivered by industry experts on key topics and emerging themes.

As a direct response to the current challenges faced by the arts sector, we acknowledge the isolation felt by artists and practitioners at this time, and the impact that temporary closure of many arts organisations is having on our collective wellbeing.

Watch now the recorded sessions.


Arts Leaders program

The Arts Leaders Program is designed to transform our sector’s knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our established practitioners. The program brings together leaders from Australia and eligible Indo Pacific countries across artforms and career levels, to inspire and enhance arts leadership. The Arts Leaders Program is a personal and professional development opportunity – it will enhance your skills and capabilities, develop your networks and provide a platform for growth.

Applications are now closed.


Future Leaders program

The Future Leaders Program is designed to transform our sectors knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our emerging practitioners. The program brings together a group of diverse leaders to engage with current and relevant themes affecting the future of the arts. Together, you will work through common challenges and opportunities faced within the sector today. 

The Future Leaders Program is for emerging leaders within their first ten years’ experience in the sector. The program is open to arts leaders working independently, within organisations or the broader community. 

Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.

Future Leaders Program


The Australia Council is pleased to partner with the Institute of Community Directors (ICDA) and Our Community to publish the Arts and Culture Governance Spotlight Report. The report highlights the unique nature of our sector but also provides an effective comparison and benchmark with other not-for-profit companies and organisations. The research validates our understanding of the current state of governance in the arts and highlights new insights about governance practices that we should respond to. The report reinforces that what we face in the arts is felt across the not-for-profit sector.

Ensuring the sustainability of arts organisations is vital to a creatively connected nation. Our cultural and creative sectors are facing significant forces of change and evolution. It is no longer possible to rely on traditional business models, modes of operation or engagement.