First Nations Emerging Career Development Award

The Australia Council is announcing details of its investment opportunities for individuals and organisations

Although the arts and cultural industries, along with all Australians and communities around the world, have experienced incomparable disruption from the impacts of COVID-19, we have never lost sight of the enormous public value of the arts for all Australians. 

It is important that we resume our programs and strive to enable creativity to continue to connect us in recovery and in the future; it will be essential for Australia’s recovery. Our creative sector will be indispensable in helping to rebuild communities and our economy to assist navigating Australia’s path out of the crisis. We are working at speed to re-open as many suspended programs as possible to contribute to this recovery and roll out new responsive initiatives.


Nominations are now closed

The First Nations Emerging Career Development Award 2019 is a one-off opportunity. It is the result of  Australia Council’s Workplace Giving scheme 2018-19. Through the generous contributions from our staff and board, $10,000 has been raised to help further the career of an emerging First Nations artist or arts worker.

Not to be confused with the Dreaming Award (which will open later in 2019 and be awarded at the National Indigenous Arts Awards), the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award is open to Australian First Nations artists between 18-30 years old, living in Australia or overseas. This unique opportunity is available to artists and arts workers in all disciplines including dance, literature, poetry, visual arts, theatre, community arts and music.

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 First Nations’ Australians artists living here or overseas
  • age range 18-30
  • disciplines include: dance, literature, poetry, visual arts, theatre, community arts, music and art workers.


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 Emerging First Nations Career Development Award'
  3. Complete the fields and select answers with dropdown 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
  7. Otherwise select ‘Submit’

Download the PDF version
 of these guidelines.

Download the accessible RTF version of these guidelines.


To discuss your application, please contact Airlie Welsh, Projects Officer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts on 02 9215 9167 (toll-free on 1800 226 912) or

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