National Arts and Disability Awards

The 2019 National Arts and Disability Awards took place at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra on Tuesday 3 December.


The Australia Council National Arts and Disability Awards celebrate the work and achievements of established and emerging artists, and the significant contribution of artists with disability to the vibrancy of Australian arts. The inaugural presentation of these awards occurred in 2019, as part of a three-year strategic funding commitment by the Australia Council which was announced in 2018. Two awards will be presented annually – The National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) $50,000 and The National Arts and Disability Award (Emerging Artist) $20,000. 

The new program responds to the Council’s research, which highlights the importance of profiling, celebrating and acknowledging the achievements of trail blazers and leading lights at all stages of career development. These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by Australian artists in all areas of practice. 


The awards

The National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) celebrates the achievements of an Australian artist:

  • whose outstanding and sustained contribution to their chosen field/s of arts practice has been recognised nationally and/or internationally.

The National Arts and Disability Award (Emerging Artist) recognises a young Australian artist demonstrating outstanding leadership, who:

  • is 35 years of age or under (at the time of nomination)
  • has made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field/s of practice. 

The Arts Access Australia’s National Leadership Award recognises and supports new and emerging leaders in the arts who identify as being Deaf or disabled


2019 Awards recipients:

Dion Beasley 
Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award (Emerging Artist) ($20,000)

The award-winning artist and illustrator behind ‘Cheeky Dogs’, Dion Beasley is a 28 year old Alywarr man who lives in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. He uses his passion for drawing as a means of communicating with others. 

Learn more about Dion. 

Janice Florence 
Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award (Established Artist) ($50,000)

Janice is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Weave Movement Theatre. Based in Melbourne, Janice has been a pioneering force in the field of inclusive dance and physical theatre for the past 30 years and in the wider arts sector. 

Learn more about Janice. 

Madeleine Little 
Arts Access Australia’s National Leadership Award ($10,000)

Madeleine is a passionate theatremaker who is currently researching accessible theatre practice at the University of Southern Queensland. She is dedicated to a disability-led future, with a mission to pursue greater opportunities, resources, advocacy and recognition for all Deaf and disabled artists and arts workers in Australia.

Learn more about Madeleine.  

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