Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative 2019-21

Applications open: February 2019

Applications close: Tuesday 2 April 2019

This initiative seeks to invest in individuals with disability to undertake an artistic collaboration involving mentoring that will lead to a major step forward in their arts practice, and build foundations for an enduring career. The purpose is to support collaborations by artists with disability that fuel ambition, embolden ideas and innovation, build networks and capacity, and strengthen future works.

Guidelines and assessment criteria for the Mentoring Initiative will be available from January 2019.

Applications are encouraged from artists and arts workers with disability seeking to collaborate with a mentor, and from artists and arts workers with disability seeking to be the mentor in a collaboration.

Please contact the Australia Council grants team if you wish to discuss making an application to another grant category. 


In September 2018, the Australia Council announced a new arts and disability commitment over three years (2019-21) following research and evaluation of support of artists with disability. The findings highlight the importance of role models and mentors, and of disability-led practice. This informed two new three-year initiatives focusing Australia Council support for arts and disability to identified need and impact: the Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative 2019-21 and the National Arts and Disability Awards.


For information and any questions relating to this funding, please contact our Grants Enquiry Team:

Phone (voice): 02 9215 9000 or toll free 1800 226 912
National Relay Service: 1800 555 677  
The National Relay Service offers a range of options for making a call, all of which are welcome. Visit the NRS
Skype: please email us and arrangements will be made for a Skype call.

An Auslan Interpreter Service is available. If you require the use of this service when meeting with our staff, please email us and we will arrange an interpreter. To ensure an interpreter is available we will need to receive your request at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

Australia Council Disability Commitments

The Australia Council aims to be a disability confident and competent organisation. We strive to be an innovator in the areas of disability and accessibility, to support artists and arts workers with disability to have access to our full resources and to implement good practice across all programs and initiatives.

Our current Disability Action Plan (2017-19) sets out our goals and commitments to specific actions across the areas of access, arts practice and leadership. Find out more about the Australia Council’s commitments to disability and inclusion here.

Accessibility resources

The Australia Council for the Arts is committed to ensuring greater access to the arts for all Australians. This includes providing access to our programs and services for people with disabilities. Find out more about accessibility here.

Social Model of disability

The Australia Council uses the Social Model of disability:

‘Disability’ results from the interaction between persons with impairment, conditions or illnesses and the environmental and attitudinal barriers they face. Such impairments, conditions or illnesses may be permanent, temporary, intermittent or imputed, and include those that are physical, sensory, psychosocial, neurological, medical or intellectual.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, 2006 The Social Model of disability distinguishes between the impairment of the person (the condition, illness or loss/lack of function) and disability (the barriers present in society). These barriers are seen as being the disabling factors which prevent or limit opportunities. Disability may be permanent or temporary, and is often not visible. Mental health is included in this definition.

The term ‘disability’ can also include deaf or hard of hearing people. The Deaf community may not always identify as having disability or impairment, and may define themselves as a culturally and linguistically diverse group due to their use of Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

This information is also available for download in docx , rtf and pdf formats. This information will also form the basis of a captioned video with Auslan interpretation.

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