National Arts and Disability Awards 2019-21

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.

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Award Categories

The National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist): $50,000

The National Arts and Disability Award (Young Artist): $20,000


The Australia Council National Arts and Disability Awards 2019-21 celebrate the work and achievements of both established and young artists, and the significant contribution of artists with disability to the vibrancy of Australian arts. 

The Council’s research has highlighted the importance of profiling, celebrating and acknowledging the achievements of trail blazers and leading lights at all stages of career development. These prestigious national awards are one of the ways we do that.

The Australia Council is now calling for nominations for the 2020 awards.


About the Awards

These prestigious national awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by Australian artists in all areas of practice – music, literature, community arts and cultural development (CACD), emerging and experimental arts (EEA), visual arts, theatre, dance or a combination of any of these areas.

We welcome nominations that demonstrate the rich intersectionality across diversity areas which Australia’s arts and disability sector is known for. 

The awards selection is informed by a panel of key industry advisors.

If you have any questions about how to nominate, please contact us.


The National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) celebrates the achievements of an Australian artist:

  • whose outstanding and sustained contribution to their chosen field/s of arts practice has been recognised nationally and/or internationally. 

The recipient of this award will receive $50,000.


The National Arts and Disability Award (Young Artist) recognises a young Australian artist demonstrating outstanding leadership, who:

  •  is 35 years of age or under (at the time of nomination)
  • has made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field/s of practice.

The recipient of this award will receive $20,000.


Nomination Criteria

Nominators must:

  • complete the nomination form
  • provide a CV for the nominee (max of 2 x A4 pages)
Nominators may:
  • provide a maximum of two letters of support for the nomination. 
All nominations must be made by third parties

Other important information:

·  past recipients of the Australia Council Awards or National Indigenous Arts Awards are eligible to be nominated for the National Arts and Disability Awards

·  nominators are encouraged to contact the Australia Council well in advance of the closing date if support is needed around more accessible or alternative formats for nominations or accompanying materials


How to submit a nomination:

To nominate 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 'Submit a Nomination' from the left panel menu.
  2. Then under 'Awards' select 'Start a new award nomination'
  3. Ensure you select the correct award from the list of options
  4. Complete the fields and select answers with dropdown menus
  5. Upload any necessary support material
  6. Select ‘Save’ once complete
  7. If you are not ready to submit your nomination you can return to it through 'Your Draft Applications' in the left panel menu at a later date
  8. Otherwise select ‘Submit’

Download an accessible document of these guidelines.


Learn more about the National Arts and Disability Awards. 

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