Opportunities for First Nations Artists

You are warmly invited to take part in a Survey of First Nations Music Artists.

With the development and growth of the First Nations music sector prior to COVID-19, the Australia Council wishes to gather and hear the voices of First Nation musicians. We have identified musicians that reflect the diversity of First Nations artists around Australia and we invite you to participate in this survey.

Access the survey 

Impacts of COVID-19 on First Nations arts and culture

This paper outlines the immediate and longer term needs, concerns and potentially catastrophic impacts for First Nations arts and culture in light of COVID-19. This includes potential for the most significant loss of arts, culture and language since the arrival of the First Fleet. Drawing on research and sector intelligence, the paper highlights opportunities for First Nations arts specific support and cross-portfolio advocacy and engagement.

Download the paper


First Nations' Roundtables

The Australia Council for the Arts will be hosting a series of First Nations' Roundtables for arts and creative independents, and organisations, to discuss the current situation that affects us all in relation to COVID-19.

We appreciate that you are all managing challenging circumstances and that people want to have a First Nations perspective on these rapidly changing times.

A weekly Roundtable will enable people to connect, share and put forward ideas on how we navigate this period of the COVID-19 challenge.

Register to the Roundtables 


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

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

First Nations Writers' Residency (Applications are now closed)

The Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with Magabala Books are calling on applications for the First Nations Writers’ Residency to be held in Broome between 4 -13 May 2020. The residency will enable 6 participants to be immersed in their craft of writing and have the space to reflect and reconnect to their practice in collaboration with likeminded creatives. 

Learn more 


Signature Works  $10,000 - $25,0000 (Applications are now closed)

Signature Works is an invitation only opportunity. Signature creative works impact artists, audiences and markets. The richness of creative ideas translated to an engaging experience for audiences, furthers market growth opportunities and provides an insight into the vitality and vibrancy of First Nations arts in the national and international arts landscape.

Learn more

Chosen up to $50,000 (Nominations are now closed)

Chosen allows First Nations communities to take control and plan for how they will nurture younger people from their community/sector in the arts and/or culture. Chosen sets out to reinvigorate the cultural practice of master apprentice relationships and mentorships within the arts community and sector, successful projects will facilitate intergenerational transfer of knowledge.
Apply now

The Red Ochre Award $50,000 (Nominations are now closed)

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.
Learn more

The Dreaming Award $20,000 (Applications are now closed)

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 (Applications are now closed)

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 Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FESTPAC) - Expressions of interest (Applications are now closed)

FESTPAC-Hawaiʻi 2020 will feature live performances, cultural workshops, hands-on demonstrations, film, storytelling and more, exemplifying the diversity of traditional and contemporary arts and culture across Oceania.

Australia Council for the Arts are calling on expressions of interest from individuals, groups and organisations to be part of the Australian Delegation.

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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