The Dreaming 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.


Applications are now closed 

The Australia Council for the Arts 2020 Young and Emerging Dreaming Award is now open for applications. 

About the Dreaming Award

The Dreaming Award was established in 2012 to support an inspirational young 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.


  • Open to First Nations Australian artists living here or overseas
  • Age open to 18-30
  • All artforms 

Application form

You will need the following detail included in your application:

  • a brief summary of the project (100 characters or less)
  • a detailed description (8000 characters or less) explaining:
    • what you plan to do
    • how you plan to do it
    • its aims and expected outcomes
    • Why is this opportunity important as a young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artist?
    • budget

Assessment criteria

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy Panel will assess the application based on the following assessment criteria:

  • the strength of the project concept
  • the artistic merit of the concept
  • the cultural integrity of the project
  • professional development benefits for the applicant and the art form involved
  • experience of the artists and/or arts workers involved, with skills appropriate to the  project.

Required 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.

Other 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 nomination.

This award will be presented at the National Indigenous Arts Awards in May 2020.

About the Awards

The National Indigenous Arts Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. On the evening of the 27 May 2020, the following awards will be presented:

  • the prestigious Red Ochre Awards for outstanding lifetime achievement
  • the Dreaming Award for recognition of an emerging artist
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship to support the creation of a major work by an artist. 

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’.


For any questions in relation to this award, please contact Jorjia Gillis, Project Manager, First Nations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts on (02) 9215 9040 or

Learn more about the National Indigenous Arts Awards.

Exit off canvas