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Celebrating creativity and culture at the 2021 Australia Council Awards

Musician William Barton, author Arnold Zable and visual artist Vivienne Binns OAM are among the eight recipients of the 2021 Australia Council Awards.

The peer-nominated awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions in music, literature, community arts and cultural development, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre and dance.

Community arts and cultural development leaders Marianne Wobcke (established leader) and Mama Alto (emerging leader) receive awards for their exceptional work. They are joined by leading artists Sue Healey (Dance), Chelsea McGuffin (Theatre) and Cat Jones (Emerging and Experimental Arts).

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP congratulated the recipients.

“Cultural and creative expression add to the richness and diversity of our national life, something which has been reinforced through the COVID-19 pandemic as Australians have turned to arts and culture for inspiration, connection and well-being,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The Australia Council Awards are a fitting recognition of the distinguished contribution the recipients have made to cultural, economic and social well-being through their art forms and practice,” Mr Fletcher said.

In lieu of a physical awards event, this year’s recipients will be showcased in a series of online presentations which will be streamed on the Australia Council website from 19 April at

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said the online format of this year’s awards allowed for everyone to share in the celebration.

“Everyone is invited to join us in celebrating the contributions of eight remarkable Australian artists, who each in their own way reflects the vibrancy of Australia’s diverse cultural life,” Mr Collette said.

“Arts and creativity reflect who we are as a nation, helping us to see different perspectives and understand and connect across different experiences and cultures. They are crucial in understanding and shaping our sense of national identity.”

The recipients of the 2021 Australia Council Awards are:

William Barton (NSW) – Australia Council Don Banks Music Award
Arnold Zable (VIC) – Australia Council Lifetime Achievement in Literature
Sue Healey (NSW) – Australia Council Award for Dance
Vivienne Binns OAM (ACT) – Australia Council Award for Visual Arts
Cat Jones (NSW) – Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts
Mama Alto (VIC) – Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development
Marianne Wobcke (QLD) – Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development
Chelsea McGuffin (QLD) – Australia Council Award for Theatre.
More information on the award recipients is also available on the Australia Council website.

Media contact
Brianna Roberts

Media Manager, Australia Council for the Arts

Phone: (02) 9215 9030

Mobile: 0498 123 541




Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030

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