Debra Porch Award

Debra Porch, my eiffels 2004-08, knitted mohair, wool and souvenir Eiffel Towers. Image courtesy: The Estate of Debra Porch. Photograph: Joachim Froese

Applications are now closed.

Residency dates: March – May 2020

Website: Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society

Amount: A$5,000 for travel; all other costs for the three-month residency at Cemeti will be covered.

Applications close: 3 December 2019 (11:59PM AEDT)

Art form: Visual Arts

Notification: late-December 2019

Technical and administrative support will not be available after 5pm on the closing date.

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About the opportunity

The Australia Council is launching a program of reciprocal residencies between Australia and South and Southeast Asia region with the support of the Debra Porch Award. Each Award has a total value of $15,000.

Artist Debra Porch’s practice focused on memory, mortality and the relationship between presence and absence. Working and teaching during art residencies she undertook in Thailand, Vietnam, Armenia, Paris and in Australia became vital in her art and life. These rich experiences were significant influences in her work and exhibitions.

In honour of Debra Porch’s life’s work, this award supports the mobility of an Australian artist to a different country in the South and South East Asia region each year to undertake a visual arts residency, stimulate strong connections and build long-term engagements. In reciprocation, an international artist from the host country will be invited to Australia to do the same. 

For the initial year, an Australian visual artist will be awarded a scholarship for a supported residency at Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The residency is supported by Cemeti with introduction of the artist to the local sector, assistance with research, network building with relevant communities and the option to exhibit at the end of the residency period. This residency runs alongside two other international artists at Cemeti. 

To complement the offer, an Indonesian visual artist will be awarded a reciprocal scholarship for a supported residency at UNSW Galleries in Sydney, Australia at a later part of the year.



  • Roberta Rich  
  • Dian Rahmawati (Reciprocal) 

Travel support

The funding of $5,000 is intended to be directed towards return flights from Australia to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, visa and travel insurance and all other personal incidental and living costs. The accommodation, studio, local travel, research, use of machines and tools, workshops, public events and exhibition and other associated local costs at Cemeti, will be met through the Debra Porch Award.

Please note it is the responsibility of successful applicants to book their own travel. 


The Australia Council invites applications from visual artists at any stage of their career. 

Please check the general eligibility requirements on the Australia Council website.

Selection Criteria

You are required to respond to the following selection criteria.

1.  Potential of the artist/artists:

  • quality of work previously produced
  • artistic merit
  • ability, skills and creative thinking that suggests strong artistic potential
  • public or peer response to work previously produced

2.  Viability:

  • the skills and artistic ability of the people involved and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • realistic and achievable planning, resource use and evaluation
  • the role of any partners involved, including confirmation of their involvement
  • proposals which involve working with diverse audiences or communities
  • demonstrated cultural competencies and appropriateness
  • proof of commitment to Asia engagement 

3.  Impact on career:

  • how the proposed activity strengthens your artistic practice
  • the relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • how the proposed activity enables you to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
  • how the proposed activity strengthens your capacity as an arts professional

Diversity and access

The Australia Council encourages applications from applicants who identify as First Nations, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people living in regional and remote areas. 

The Australia Council’s programs and processes are designed for accessibility and best use by a diverse demographic. We work with individual applicants to find the best approach to accommodating access, childcare, carer and other support needs. Please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the closing date to discuss your access and support requirements.

Supporting material

Additional material can be submitted to help support your expression of interest, including artist biographies, letters of support, additional written material, images, and video footage of previous work. Support material may help the assessors gain an understanding of the quality of your work, and where relevant, the skills and role of other artists or partners involved.

You are not required to submit a budget with your expression of interest. 

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online, click here.

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs. However, if you cannot supply artistic support material via a URL, we will accept artistic support material in the following formats:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF) 

Selection process

Australia Council staff will consider applications according to the selection criteria above and will seek recommendations by Cemeti.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by early late-December 2019.

Important information for administered grants

If you plan to have your grant administered by a third party, applicants will now need to ensure that the administrator is registered on the Australia Council online system before you begin your application. This means you cannot complete or submit an application if your administrator is not registered.

How to submit an application

Click on the ‘Apply Now' button at the bottom of this page. Applications must be submitted via the Australia Council’s online Application Management System (AMS).

You will need to register for access to the AMS, instructions for how to do this can be found on the landing page once you have clicked on the ‘Apply Now’ button. 

Make sure you register well before the closing date. It can take up to two business days to process your registration.

Please contact us at if you are unsure if you should register as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.

Note: Applications to International Development funding opportunities do not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.

If you are applying as an organisation, please specify the staff member(s) who will participate in this activity as part of your application. If this changes, please notify us as early as possible as this may affect the status of your application.


For any questions in relation to the program, please contact Nithya Nagarajan, International Market Adviser, South/East Asia on (02) 9215 9324 or email:

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