Co-investing with the Australia Council

The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory body. For nearly half a century the Australia Council has invested in artists and arts organisations at all stages of the creative process and at critical moments in their careers. The Council also undertakes strategic development work to raise the profile of Australian arts and to develop new markets and audiences for our artists across Australia and around the globe.

The Australia Council has a long and proud history of partnering with philanthropic foundations, corporations and individual donors to co-invest in the arts. Together we have realised unforgettable creative experiences, and supported the talents of extraordinary artists who have enriched the lives of Australians everywhere.

The Council's 2015-19 Strategic Plan A Culturally Ambitious Nation sets out bold aspirations for the artistic and cultural life of our nation, and the role we play in realising them. The strategy was developed after a major period of reform and reflects the most significant transformation in the Council's history. For more information about our strategic and corporate plans please click here.

Supporting the arts through the Australia Council

The Australia Council is committed to growing the private, public and philanthropic funds available to support the arts.

To make this possible we are listed on the Registrar of Cultural Organisations and operate the Australia Council Donations Fund, which has endorsement as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) confirmed by the ATO. This means that by donating through the Fund you can be confident that 100% of your donation will support Australian arts and that every donation of $2.00 or more is tax deductible.

Every year hundreds of donors, including individuals and trusts, foundations and corporations, have co-invested with us to support our vision for a world where Australian arts lead. We hope you will join us.

We have the experience and the expertise that creates opportunities in the arts. 

Donate now

The Martin Bequest recipients

Our congratulations to all the 2017 Marten Bequest recipients, twelve scholarships worth $600,000 were awarded through the Australia Council on behalf of Perpetual.

  • Mish Grigor (NSW): acting
  • Nikhila Madabhushi (VIC): architecture
  • Harrison Lee (NSW): ballet
  • Ross McHenry (SA) and Kathryn McKay (WA): instrumental
  • Sam Holt (NSW): painting
  • Caitlin Maling (WA): poetry
  • Rebecca Slater (NSW) and Scott McCulloch (VIC): prose
  • Marian Tubbs (NSW): sculpture
  • Elizabeth Lewis (QLD) and Alasdair Kent (WA): singing

Co-investing priorities and opportunities

Developing talent

International fellowships and residencies give talented Australian artists the opportunity of travelling abroad to explore collaborations, build networks and develop their artistic practice.

$40,000 to $100,000

Recognising success

Awards and scholarships recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of individual artists and arts practitioners, enabling them to build on their successes.

$20,000 to $40,000

Backing our young arts leaders

Professional development opportunities both here and overseas will enhance the skills of the next generation of innovative art leaders, administrators and curators preparing them for the challenges ahead.

$10,000 to $20,000

Mordant Family/Australia Council Fellowship

Mordant Family/Australia Council Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (AAR) is made possible through co-investment by the Mordant Family and the Australia Council. This prestigious opportunity enables an Australian artist to spend two months in Rome as part of the American Academy’s Affiliated Fellowship program. Every year since 2016 an Australian artist has had the opportunity to pursue their work in an inspiring, collaborative and supportive environment, with accommodation and studio space in the AAR’s historic building in Rome, thanks to the generous support of the Mordant Family.

Expressions of Interest Now Open 

Creating new transformational projects

The Australia Council welcomes your ideas to find new, innovative and transformational projects that foster excellence in the arts.

Co-investing with the Australia Council will impact on every corner of Australia’s arts sector, nationally and international

To discuss these opportunities further or to donate now, please contact Enid Charlton +61 2 9215 9067 or

Useful Links

Macquarie Group Foundation First Nations emerging curator award 2017

Macquarie Group Foundation First Nations emerging curator award 2017

This opportunity is now closed.

Applications open: 1 July 2017

Notification to artist: 25 August 2017

Announcement of winner: 25 September 2017

The Macquarie Group First Nations Emerging Curator Award celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 30th Anniversary of the Macquarie Group Collection, the theme of which is The Land and Its Psyche. The award is a partnership between the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts to support an inspirational First Nations emerging visual arts curator in their professional development and curatorial practice.

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

The Australia Council will refund the registration fee for the Champions 2019 Venice Biennale contribution up to two months prior to each program: 5 May or 29 September 2019. The Champions’ donation is a gift, freely given, and as such cannot be subject to refund.



The Australia Council is committed to growing the private, public and philanthropic funds available to support the arts. 

The Marten Bequest

The Marten Bequest

The Marten Bequest - $50,000 over two years

One grant round is offered each year for these scholarships. In 2017, the closing date is:

10 April 2017 for projects starting after 1 July 2017

The Australia Council administers travelling scholarships from The Marten Bequest on behalf of Perpetual as trustee. The scholarships provide financial support in the artistic disciplines of ballet, acting, singing, instrumental music, poetry, prose, painting, sculpture and architecture. The scholarships offer talented young artists the chance to explore, study and develop their artistic gifts through travelling either overseas or interstate.

Eligible applicants must be born in Australia and be aged between 21 - 35 year old (17 - 35 for ballet) at the closing date.

Click here for more information.

The new Australia Pavilion is now complete, Image credit: John Gollings

Maddocks Art Prizes (NSW/ACT & VIC) 2017

Expressions of interest have now closed

The Prizes provide an opportunity for two emerging/ early career contemporary visual Australian artists  (one from VIC and one from NSW/ACT) to visit the Venice Biennale, regarded as the foremost showcase for contemporary visual arts in the world.

Prize winners will receive one return economy airfare to Venice, six nights of accommodation in an apartment provided by Maddocks and $3,000 cash. The total value of each prize is approximately $15,000.

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