Opportunities for First Nations Artists

The arts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reflect the unique cultural heritage of the world’s oldest living culture. The Australia Council grants program maintains Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decision making on applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, groups and organisations. For more information about core grants and other opportunities visit our funding page.

Aside from our core grants program, which is open to individuals, artists and organisations on an ongoing basis, the Australia Council also offers the below opportunities, which are open only to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists.


The Red Ochre Award $50,000

The prestigious Red Ochre Award pays tribute to a senior Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person for their outstanding lifetime achievement in the arts and their contribution to the recognition of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander arts, both nationally and internationally.
Nominate now

The Dreaming Award $20,000 

The Dreaming Award recognises an inspirational young artist aged 18-30 years and supports them to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships, either nationally or internationally. 
Learn more

The Custodianship program 

Unearthing First Nations leadership by developing different ways of knowing, being and doing. Connecting legacy between past and future generations. The Custodianship program is designed by First Nations leaders for First Nations leaders to transform sustainability in culture, practice, community and the arts.

Learn more

The Australia Council Fellowship for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Arts $80,000 (now closed)

The Australia Council offers a Fellowship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts of $80,000 support outstanding, established artists’ creative activity and professional development for a period of up to two years.
Learn more

Please visit our funding page to find all the other current opportunities available to all artists and arts workers.


Need help with your application? Contact a Grants Officer now.

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