Australia Council Awards 2021

Key dates

Nominations are now closed.

Nominations open: Friday 10 July 2020

Nominations close: Tuesday 1 September 2020 (3pm AEST)

The new 3pm AEST closing time falls within business hours. This allows Artists Services staff to troubleshoot any issues and generally support applicants as the deadline approaches. This was not possible with our previous, midnight, closing time.


Award Categories

Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature acknowledges the achievements of an eminent literary writer who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian literature. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Don Banks Music Award is named in honour of Don Banks, a composer, performer and the first Chair of the Music Board. The Award acknowledges the achievements of a distinguished artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Visual Arts acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian visual art. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the practice of emerging and experimental art. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Dance acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian dance. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Award for Theatre acknowledges the achievements of an artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Australian theatre. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development is named in honour of Ros Bower, a journalist, television producer, community arts pioneer and founding Director of Council’s first Community Arts Board. The Award acknowledges the achievements of an artist or arts worker who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to community arts and cultural development. The recipient of this award will receive $25,000.

Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development recognises a young artist or arts worker (aged 30 years or under at the time of nomination) demonstrating outstanding leadership in community arts and cultural development (CACD). The award was established in honour of Kirk Robson who tragically died in a car crash in 2005. Kirk received the Council’s Young and Emerging Artists Initiative and was the Artistic Director of The Torch Project. The recipient of this award will receive $10,000.


About the Awards

The Australia Council Awards acknowledge the contribution that Australian artists have made to the arts and cultural life of the nation.

These prestigious national awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by Australian artists in music, literature, community arts and cultural development (CACD), emerging and experimental arts (EEA), visual arts, theatre, and dance. They are awarded by the Board of the Australia Council, informed by key industry advisors.

The Australia Council will announce the Awards to distinguished Australian artists early in 2021.

Past recipients include some of our most eminent artists. The 2020 Australia Council Award recipients are:

  • Margaret Wild – Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.
  • Deborah Conway AM – Australia Council Don Banks Music Award.
  • Brook Andrew – Australia Council Visual Arts Award. 
  • r e a – Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts.
  • Michelle Ryan – Australia Council Award for Dance.
  • Tommy Murphy – Australia Council Award for Theatre.
  • Kath Duncan – Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development.
  • Autumn Skuthorpe – Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development.

Awards nomination requirements

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.

Please note that you may nominate more than one artist however each nomination has to be submitted as a new form.


How to submit a nomination

Follow these steps:

  1. 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
  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’
  9. Select 'Submit a Nomination' from the left panel menu.

Handy Tip:

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

Click on the ‘Apply' button at the bottom of this page. Nominations must be submitted via the Australia Council’s online system.

Note, submitting a nomination for an Award does not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.

Download the accessible RTF version of these guidelines.


Contact

If you need advice about applying, contact an Artists Services Officer now.

Learn more about the 2020 Australia Council Awards. 

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