How we work

The Research and Strategic Analysis Department undertakes research, analysis and evaluation that places the Australia Council at the forefront of knowledge about the arts.

We commission robust research, analyse data from a range of sources, and conduct evaluation work that informs the strategic planning, monitoring and advocacy work of the Australia Council itself and the arts sector more broadly.

The department consists of two teams – Research and Evaluation and Industry Analysis.

Research and evaluation

The Research and Evaluation team is passionate about building a sound evidence base for decision making – both within and outside the Australia Council.


  • Collaborate with stakeholders about their research needs
  • Compile secondary research
  • Create research projects to fill information gaps
  • Communicate findings in a way that makes them relevant
  • Advise on evaluation of programs and decision making within the Australia Council.

Major Projects 

  • Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts
  • Evaluation to support the implementation of the new Australia Council peer panel system
  • Research on international activity funded by Council 
  • Exploring Audience Development for Indigenous Arts
  • Artist careers, including surveys of artists and analysis of Census data

Industry analysis

The Industry Analysis team is dedicated to improving the quality and usability of data in the arts sector through efficient and accurate collection and analysis.  


  • Collate, analyse and present interesting and meaningful data about the arts
  • Work with data partners to fill arts data gaps
  • Advise on data collection activity across the Australia Council

Major Projects 

  • State of the Arts
  • Art Facts 

Research Strategy Panel

In 2013, the Australia Council established the Research Strategy Panel to advise on its research program. Its role is to provide guidance to the Council’s research program in line with its Strategic and Corporate Plans, to offer advice on research priorities, to recommend applications of research to Council’s strategy, policy, advocacy and operations, and to monitor the research outcomes of the Research and Strategic Analysis team.

The Research Strategy Panel comprises five expert advisors with a diverse range of skills and expertise. Its current members are:

  • John Daley (chair)
  • David Throsby 
  • Megan Brownlow
  • Andrew Middleton
  • The Chair of the Statistics Working Group of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers

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