First Nations Emerging Career Development Award

Key dates

Applications are now closed.

Amount: 2 Awards at $10,000 each

Applications close: 9 November 2020.

Applications close at 3pm AEDT on the closing date.

Notifications: successful applicants will be notified by 30 November 2020

Please note: to apply you must be registered in our Application Management System a minimum of two business days prior to the closing date.

About the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award

The First Nations Emerging Career Development Award 2020 is the result of Australia Council’s Workplace Giving scheme 2019-2020. Through the generous contributions from our staff and board, $20,000 has been raised to help further the career of two (2) emerging First Nations artists or arts workers.

The First Nations Emerging Career Development Award is open to Australian First Nations artists between 18-30 years old, living in Australia or overseas to pursue their professional development. This unique opportunity is available to artists and arts workers in all disciplines including dance, literature, poetry, visual arts, theatre, community arts and music.

The successful applicant’s will be announced at an event hosted by the CEO and the Workplace Giving staff contributors. The successful applicants are invited to attend the morning tea (or submit a video message) and will be acknowledged at the First Nations Arts Awards which will be held in May 2021.

What is workplace giving?

The Council’s Workplace Giving Program is one way to extend our support of Australian art and artists in a personal way. The program was introduced in 2018 and in its first year enabled us to support a second Red Ochre award, ensuring that a male and female recipient were honoured. All workplace donations are held in the Australia Council Donations Fund, separate to operational accounts and this fund is managed by the Australia Council as a deductible gift recipient. Workplace givers may choose any amount to donate, as little as $5 per fortnight, directly from your pre-tax salary.

The First Nations Emerging Career Development Award can be used for Career development which may include:

  • study/course expenses
  • masterclass/workshops
  • travel and accommodation
  • materials
  • living expenses
  • conference attendance.


  • career development activity to be undertaken within 12 months
  • open to Australian First Nations’ artists living here or overseas
  • age range 18-30
  • disciplines include dance, literature, poetry, visual arts, theatre, community arts, music and art workers.

Assessment process

The First Nations Arts Strategy Panel will review applications against the assessment criteria.

Assessment criteria

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the First Nations Arts Strategy Panel members may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

Potential of the artist/artworker

The Panel will assess the potential of the artist/artsworker at the centre of the proposal.

They may consider:

  • artistic merit of proposed project
  • quality of work previously produced
  • public or peer response to work previously produced
  • demonstrated ability, skills and creative thinking.


The Panel will assess the viability of the proposal.

They may consider:

  • skills and artistic ability of the people involved, and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • effective use of resources, with realistic and achievable planning
  • level of confirmation of proposed activities and partners
  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols
  • evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities.

Impact on career

The Panel will assess the impact that the proposed activity will have on your career.

They may consider:

  • capacity to strengthen skills and abilities of artists/arts professionals
  • potential to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
  • relevance and timeliness of activity.

Application form

You will be asked to outline the following in the application form:

1.  Artistic and Career Outcome

Demonstrate how the activity is relevant to your practice and career development

How this activity will strengthen and develop your skills in your area practice and work

Anticipated outcomes from the career development activity

2.  Viability and Budget

Effective planning and use of grant funding

How to apply

To apply log in here to our Application Management System (AMS) if you have an account. You can create an account if you do not already have one.

1)  Select 'Apply for a Grant' from the left panel menu.

2)  From the list of opportunities select 'Apply for the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award'.

3)  Complete the fields and select answers with drop down menus.

4)  Upload any necessary support material.

5)  Select ‘Save’ once complete.

6)  If you are not ready to submit your application you can return to it through 'Your Draft Applications' in the left panel menu at a later date.


To discuss your application, please contact:

Michael Hutchings - Project Manager First Nations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts

Phone: 02 9215 9040 or 0490 299 493 (toll-free on 1800 226 912)


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