About the Arts Governance Program


Through research and ongoing consultation, the Australia Council and Our Community have identified the key topic areas for the Australia Council Arts Governance Program. These topics have been thematically grouped, as illustrated below. These circles are not silos, but rather reflect the interdependency of good governance practices in the arts.

The Australia Council Arts Governance Program is a unique, tailor-made training and networking program designed to help Australian arts organisations to thrive.

An initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts and delivered by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (an Our Community enterprise), the program provides practical information to arts organisations on how to get the best out of their boards, and how to enhance the relationship between the board and the organisation’s senior artistic and management staff.

The challenges arts organisations face can at times feel overwhelming, but good management paired with good governance and an optimistic mindset can ensure an organisation stays on top of it all, survives and thrives.

Program Framework

The program will explore all of the themes and topics in the diagram above in greater or lesser depth depending on the program component and the needs and interests of each audience.

Two key themes will run through all program components: the central importance of artistic vision to an arts organisation's vibrancy and success; and the critical role of board culture in creating a high-performing organisation.


Do I have to bring a board member?

Yes. It is mandatory that at least one board member from your organisation attends the workshop. Ideally, this should be the Chair.

Can I bring my entire board?

We are limited by size and practicalities of delivering the workshop. Please contact us if you are interested in your entire board attending the workshop. Please contact leadershipprogram@australiacouncil.gov.au.

I am a new board member. Is this program for me?

Yes. However we strongly recommend that you review or attend the Arts Governance Refresher webinar before attending the workshop. (www.icda.com.au/artsgovwebinars)

I am an experienced board member. Is this program for me?

Yes. This is not a fundamentals of governance program but looks at issues specific to arts governance. It may challenge some assumptions and also offer new potential ways of thinking. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning about arts governance.

I am a CEO/General Manager/Artistic Director and can’t attend the workshop. Can I send another staff member?

The workshop is designed for senior leadership of the organisation. Each participant must have influence at the board level in order for the program to have any impact. Please contact us if you are interested in sending another staff member.

Is the workshop only for small-medium arts organisations?

The full-day workshops are best suited for small-medium arts organisations. However, staff of larger organisations, such as the Major Performing Arts companies, are welcome to attend the workshops, particularly those looking for professional development in governance. Please contact the relevant Arts Practice Director at the Australia Council or Lindy Dang at l.dang@australiacouncil.gov.au or 02 9215 9008 to discuss any governance support for larger organisations.

Is there travel support available?

The Australia Council can provide limited travel support for organisations in remote locations. Please contact leadershipprogram@australiacouncil.gov.au.

Who is the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA)?

ICDA is a governance network for the members of Australian not-for-profit boards, committees and councils, and the senior staff members who work alongside them. An Our Community enterprise, the Institute is Australia's leading provider of information, tools, training and qualifications for Australian not-for-profits.

Where can I get more information?

For more information please contact us at leadershipprogram@australiacouncil.gov.au or 02 9215 9036.

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