The Dreaming Award

Key dates

Applications are now closed.

Amount: $20,000

Application close:  7 December 2020

Applications close at 3pm AEDT on the closing date.

Notification: you will be notified by 31 March 2021

Activities: commencing from 1 July 2021

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 Dreaming Award

The Dreaming Award was established in 2012 to support an inspirational young First Nations artist aged 18-30 years to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnerships. The mentor/partner will be another established professional artist or partner nominated by the artist who will guide and mentor the applicant to assist in the development of work. This award will be presented at the 2021 First Nations Arts Awards.

About the First Nations Arts Awards

The First Nations Arts Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work and achievements of First Nations artists. On the evening of the 27 May, the following awards will be presented:

  • the prestigious Red Ochre Awards for outstanding lifetime achievement for a senior male and female artist
  • the Dreaming Award for recognition of an emerging First Nations artist
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship to support the creation of a major work by an artist
  • acknowledge awards given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists across Australia Council Programs including the First Nations Emerging Career Development Award. 


  • Open to First Nations Australian artists living here or overseas.
  • Age open to 18-30.
  • Disciplines include dance, literature, poetry, visual arts, theatre, community arts and music. 
  • You cannot apply for activities that have already commenced.


The First Nations Arts Strategy Panel will be assessing the Dreaming Award.

Assessment criteria

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

1. The strength of the project concept

  • clear articulation of creative process
  • partnerships and/or long-term sustainability
  • project budget and viability.

2. The artistic merit of the concept

  • vision, ideas and artistic rationale
  • level of innovation, ambition, experimentation and risk-taking
  • significance of work within area of practice.

3. The cultural integrity of the project

  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols
  • evidence of considered consultations and engagement with participants
  • relevance and timeliness of work.

4. Professional development benefits for the applicant and the art form involved

  • capacity to strengthen skills and abilities of artists/arts workers
  • strength and clarity of proposed mentoring/partnerships 
  • relevance and timeliness of activity.

5. Experience of the artists and/or arts workers involved, with skills appropriate to the project.

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

Application form

You will need the following detail included in your application:

  • summary of your project 
  • outline your artistic practice relevant to this application, focussing on career highlights and key achievements
  • details of the Mentor and/or partner and what role will they play in your project
  • start and end date of your project
  • timeline of your project
  • what impact will this project have on your career
  • in no more than 2,000 words tell us about the significance of the project based on your artistic and/or professional development
  • budget.

Support material

  • a current CV 
  • letters of support 
  • artistic support material
  • name and CV of your mentor (max 2 x A4 pages) this can include artistic support material and/or name and letter of confirmation of partner.

Additional Support Material

  • You may also supply the names of other people and/or organisations’ who support you in your application.

Handy tip:

  • Have any support material such as CV (no more than 2 pages), letters of support, mentor details, website URLs, videos, etc ready to enter/upload prior to commencing your application.

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 Dreaming 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’.


To discuss your application, please contact:

Joanne Brown - Manger First Nations Strategic Development Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts 

Phone: 02 9215 9045 (toll-free on 1800 226 912)  

Exit off canvas