Frequently asked questions
You will receive your grant payment within two weeks of accepting your funding agreement. Please note we pay our grants in the financial year which they are approved. We will not adjust payment timelines to the particular circumstances of individuals.
The deadline for applications is at 3:00pm AET on the closing date. We strongly recommend submitting before this. Administrative and technical support is only available during office hours (Monday-Friday) 9am to 5 pm AET. Late applications will not be accepted.
Yes, if you have support materials such as letters from project partners, collaborators or participants that are in languages other than English (including Auslan), we can arrange translation or captioning.
Please contact the Artists Services team at least four weeks before the closing date of the grant round to which you are intending to make an application. If you do not contact us at least four weeks before the closing date, we may not have sufficient time to meet your translation needs.
Our online application form also has a checkbox at the top which you can tick if you have attached materials in a language other than English. This alerts the Artists Services team that you have submitted these materials.
We do not accept applications submitted via post. Any material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact Artists Services.
We do not amend, correct, update or change any part of your application once it has been submitted. However, if you receive additional confirmations for activities or artists after the closing date you may alert us to these, and we may bring them to the attention of peer assessors at the assessment meeting. These updates could include confirmation that a proposed activity will take place, a partnership has been secured, or funding from another source has been received.
You can update us about such confirmations by contacting us. Briefly describe the nature of the confirmation and cite your application reference number. You do not need to send us copies of confirmation emails from third parties – if we need to see evidence of the confirmation we will request it.
If you wish to update your application once it has been submitted, but the closing date has not yet passed, you can submit a new, updated application and request to withdraw the original one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant applications can be found and are submitted through our online system. If you are using the system for the first time you will need to register your details before filling out a grant application form.
When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date. Please see the guidelines page for the grant category you are interested in for more details.
Yes, however you must be the applicant. Contact us to discuss your proposal prior to submitting your application.
To apply for this category your project must be circus or physical theatre activity or proposing to support the Victorian circus and physical theatre sector.
This program supports circus and physical theatre practice, it does not extend to dance or dance-theatre.
Following changes to the circus and physical theatre landscape in Victoria during 2021, the Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria are jointly managing new investments to support the circus and physical theatre sector, guided by the principles of the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework.
We define a ‘group’ as two or more individuals who do not form a legally constituted organisation. This can include co-collaborators and collectives. Groups are not eligible to apply to programs open only to organisations.
An ‘organisation’ is a legally constituted organisation that is registered or created by law. For example, incorporated associations, companies limited by guarantee or government statutory authorities are all defined as organisations. Organisations that are not legally constituted are not eligible to apply for funding in grant categories that are open to organisations only. Organisations may be required to provide a certificate of incorporation or evidence of their current legal status. Funding programs for organisations are not intended for sole traders or partnerships.
Yes. However, the contact person for group applications must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
No, international organisations are not eligible to apply for this category.
We provide funding to practising artists or artsworkers. While you may not regularly earn income from your practice, you must be identified and recognised by your peers as a practising artist or artsworker. This may include cultural practitioners, editors, producers, curators and arts managers.
No. If you have an overdue grant acquittal you will not be eligible to apply for any further grants.
No. Only Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents may apply to the Australia Council for funding. Foreign nationals who are permitted to live and work in Australia by holding visas such as a Special Category visa or a Bridging visa are not eligible to apply.
Yes. Creative research and development is a key component of the creative process and can be funded through this category.
Yes. We accept applications in languages other than English, including Auslan.
If any part of your application requires translation into English, please contact the Artists Services team at least four weeks before the closing date of the round to which you intend to apply. We will use our best and all reasonable endeavours to assist in having some or all of the material translated. However we reserve the right to refuse an application in a language other than English if we believe there is no genuine reason to accept such an application, or if the time-frame for translation precludes us from making the materials available for assessment in the round to which it was submitted.
If you wish to request an application form in a language other than English, please contact the Artists Services team at least 12 weeks before the closing date of the round to which you intend to apply.
We reserve the right to refuse an application form translation request if we believe there is no genuine reason for the request. We also reserve the right to refuse an application form translation if the time-frame for translation prevents us from providing a translated form in time for assessment in the round to which it was submitted.
Where you have supplied creative content in a language other than English, we may engage an industry expert to provide the peers with an evaluation of the artistic merit of that creative content.
You can speak with staff at the Australia Council in your first language. Please telephone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (local call anywhere in Australia) and ask to be connected with the Australia Council.
Applications that focus solely on academic studies, or are for activities that are part of assessable coursework are unlikely to be successful with our assessment panels. Assessment panels are also unlikely to support applications requesting the costs of academic fees or courses.
If you wish to apply for study costs, explain to the panel how your project extends, or supplements, the course’s standard curriculum requirements. Also, bear in mind that your project will be assessed on artistic merit of the work.
If you are applying for funding to complete a training program, course, workshop or diploma, explain how doing so will impact positively on your career or practice.
Do you fund feature film, television or documentary?
While we can support screen-based art, we do not generally support activities associated with feature film, television or documentary. See Screen Australia, the Federal Government’s primary agency for production of Australian screen activity. https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/
No, we do not offer quick response grants. Outside of our regular grants program, we do offer a number of other grants and opportunities.
Yes. Early career artists are eligible to apply for funding through this category.
Yes. Organisations can propose a program of projects and/or activities. This could be an organisation’s full artistic program for a given calendar year, for example.
We encourage applicants to be mindful of the following considerations:
The activities should each contribute toward a clear, unifying overall objective – for example, the organisation’s artistic vision. It is important to demonstrate the rationale for the inclusion of these activities and how the overall program will align with the organisation’s vision.
In proposing a program consisting of multiple projects or activities, it is possible that some individual projects may be less compelling than others. If you are submitting an application proposing multiple activities or projects, we encourage you to ensure that a similar level of consideration, planning, and artistic merit is common to each to avoid one component of your program potentially letting down the others.
You may wish to consider using one of the 3 URLs you can provide as support material to link to a document that provides more detail about each individual project or activity in your program.
As a national arts funding body, all Australia Council grant rounds are competitive. Success rates are usually between 15% and 20%. Success rate for this category may be higher depending on demand.
Yes. Projects must have a start date that falls after we notify you of the outcome of your application, and no later than one year from that date. We will notify you of the outcome of your application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.
No. However, applications involving venues and partners are likely to be more competitive if their involvement is confirmed.
Australia Council staff are available to assist you in understanding the purpose of the grant, application requirements, and submitting your application. Staff can assist over email, phone and using Skype. We cannot review application drafts.
Additional support can be discussed where needed. Where the additional support required is beyond the scope of what our staff can provide, we may recommend speaking to an appropriate organisation for further assistance.
The best applications are those where the voice of the artist comes through. Where possible you, ‘the artist’, should write your application. Your manager may administer the grant on your behalf to undertake the financial and reporting requirements.
If you are applying as an unincorporated entity, unincorporated association or partnership you do not need to have an administrator for your grant. However, you must be able to provide an ABN and bank account that are in the group’s name. If you cannot do this you must nominate an administrator. For more information about this, please contact us.
All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN). Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).
Furthermore, the name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant, you will need to nominate an administrator for your grant.
For more information about this, please contact us.
Grants can be considered income by Centrelink. The amount is generally assessed as a lump sum and could affect your Centrelink payment for the financial year. Artists who are running a business (even on a small scale) may have their grant treated differently. It is possible to have your grant paid to an administering body if you wish.
Applicants should contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 for advice. Additionally, Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is an education and information service available to everyone in the community and may be of benefit to applicants who also receive assistance through the social security system. To contact FIS phone 13 23 00.
Yes. The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work in line with industry standards. Payment of artist fees should be reflected in your application budget.
For more information, see our Payment of Artists page.
Our grants program is primarily designed to support projects that have a defined start and end date, rather than ongoing organisational administration costs. Project budgets that include a high proportion of administration costs may be less competitive. However, if you do need funding to cover administration costs directly related to the delivery of your project, you can include them in your grant request.
Grants paid by the Australia Council may be considered part of your income in a financial year and may be subject to tax. You must determine your own taxation liabilities. We suggest you consult your financial adviser or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.
No. The Australia Council encourages applicants whose projects will take place in regional and remote locations to budget accurately and realistically, as it is recognised that costs may differ between regions and major cities.
If you are GST-registered when you receive an Australia Council grant, the Australia Council will pay the grant amount plus GST. The budget provided in your application should be exclusive of GST.
Yes. The Australia Council recognises that funding may be required for access costs incurred by applicants with disability, or for costs associated with working with artists with disability – who may have particular access needs (e.g. use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, support worker/carer assistance). Access costs are viewed as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget. The Australia Council encourages applicants to ensure that their work is accessible to everyone. Therefore, budgets may also include costs associated with making activities accessible to a wide range of people (e.g. performances using Auslan, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, materials in other formats such as Braille or CD).
The application form calculates your grant request as the difference between your total cash income, and your total cash costs. The gap between these two numbers is the grant request. In-kind contributions are not included in this calculation.
Total cash costs – total cash income = grant request
For example –
$50,000 cash costs – $30,000 cash income = $20,000 Australia Council grant request.
Yes. The Australia Council recognises that childcare needs may impede access to employment in the arts. Accordingly, childcare is a legitimate expense to include in an applicant’s budget.
We encourage our applicants to seek funding from other sources to cover the complete costs of their projects. While it does depend on the size of your grant request to us, we would expect that applicants with large grant requests would also secure funding from elsewhere to cover all costs associated with a large-scale project.
Yes. Out-of-pocket expenses such as telephone calls or petrol for travel, are recognised as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget.
Yes. In-kind support refers to resources, goods and services (for example, use of a venue, materials, and/or people’s time) provided by yourself or others either free of charge, or below market value. Detailing in-kind costs in the budget is important as it gives peers a full understanding of the viability of your project and levels of support you are receiving. In-kind costs are also an expense so, when you save your application, any in-kind income you included will auto-populate to the expenses side of the budget.