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.

Payment of artists

The Australia Council affirms the principle that artists should be paid for their work and earn income from copyright and royalties. We recognise that underpayment and non-payment affect artists’ incomes and career sustainability.

The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be paid for their work.  We consider the payment of artists to be integral to effective budgeting and planning, and we require information on artists’ payment to be available within funding applications.

Industrial laws, agreements and standards

The Australia Council notes that there are industrial laws, awards and agreements that apply to employment.

Legally binding industrial awards and agreements that set pay scales and conditions include those monitored by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).

There are also industry benchmarks to guide rates of pay for work and copyright. Arts industry organisations that have recommended appropriate industry standards, include:

  • the Australian Writers’ Guild
  • The Australian Production Design Guild
  • the Australian Society of Authors
  • the National Association for the Visual Arts. have recommended appropriate industry standards.

Where an industry standard clearly applies, applicants are expected to meet those rates of pay.