Tell me more about the Arts Leaders Program
Applications are now closed.
Applications open: September 2021
The Australia Council Arts Leaders Program is dedicated to transforming our sector’s knowledge, skills and capabilities by supporting established arts leaders of diverse art forms from around Australia and the Indo-Pacific.
The Arts Leaders Program is designed to transform our sector’s knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our established practitioners. The program brings together a range of practitioners to engage with and develop the future of the arts. The Arts Leaders Program is a personal and professional development opportunity – it will enhance your skills and capabilities, develop your networks and provide a platform for growth.
Residentials30 April-4 May 2020
11-18 October 2020 (Indonesia)
15-20 April 2021
Online Sessions7 July 2020
8 September 2020
24 November 2020
2 March 2021
An opportunity to explore
Financial support for
For more details about the program, including key dates and requirements, please see our FAQ.
The Arts Leaders Program is for mid-career to established arts leaders with over ten years’ experience in the sector. The program is open to arts leaders working within an organisation, independently or in community. We are looking for applications from a range of art forms from across Australia and selected countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
How to submit an application
You can submit your application via our online application system. If you have access requirements, please get in touch so we can assist you.
Your application should include a short introductory video, four questions responding to the selection criteria as well as your CV as support material. Please refer to our FAQ section to determine if your video submission is mandatory.
- Introduce yourself and tell us why you do what you do (3-minute video)
- Why this program and why now?
- How have you explored and developed your leadership so far?
- How do you engage with diverse ways of learning and connecting with others?
- How do you see your role as an advocate for the arts?
Applications will be reviewed internally and alongside industry advisors. Your application will be based on merit, response the selection criteria below, and in line with Australia Council’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Applicants may be invited for an interview.
- Timeliness and relevance of the program to the applicant’s development.
- An active and reflective approach to leadership development.
- Ability to engage with diverse ways of learning and connecting with others.
- Commitment to advocacy and improving the sustainability and wellbeing of the arts sector.
For more details about the application and selection process, please see our FAQ section.
Diversity and access: Leadership program
The Australia Council encourages applications from people who identify as First Nations, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people living in regional and remote areas.
We actively work with individuals to support access needs – including childcare, cultural practices, financial and/or learning access needs as required. We encourage applicants to contact us via phone or email to discuss further. Learn more about diversity in leadership.
For questions about the program, including costs, travel requirements, eligibility and our international program, please see our FAQ.
If you can’t find an answer, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02 9215 9058, 02 9215 9036 or 02 9215 9024.
Arts Leaders Program facilitator: Professor Judith McLean, QUT
Professor Judith McLean is currently Chair Arts Education (QUT/QPAC) and Scholar-in-Residence (QPAC). She has extensive Board experience and is currently a company Director at Queensland Tourism and Events. In this role, Judith chairs the events business which focuses on sport, lifestyle, arts and cultural policy and practice (2009-). She was also on the board of Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2009-2013); Chair, Southern Cross Soloists (2009-2015); Inaugural Chair of Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd (2003-2007) and Chair & Board Member of Queensland Theatre Company (1995-2004).
Judith works in the performing arts, events and education areas as an educator, director, executive coach and company director. Over the past 13 years she has led management and executive leadership programs in corporate settings, including the health, defence, financial, media and public sectors.
Our leadership programs
Creative Connections: an online learning series for the arts and creative sector
Learn. Adapt. Respond.
Creative Connections is an online webinar series for the cultural and arts sectors and will offer practical, accessible and useful content delivered by industry experts on key topics and emerging themes.
As a direct response to the current challenges faced by the arts sector, we acknowledge the isolation felt by artists and practitioners at this time, and the impact that temporary closure of many arts organisations is having on our collective wellbeing.
Watch now the recorded sessions.
What does leadership look like in 2020?
We are delighted to announce the next cohort of leaders to take part in our 2020 leadership programs. These individuals will transform their knowledge, skills and capabilities. 2020 also marks the first year of the Custodianship Program adding to our commitment to our First Nations people(s) as our cultural Elders and leaders.
Grounded in respect, generosity and listening, the programs tackle the big issues and opportunities faced by arts workers. Participants explore new ways of thinking and enact the potential of creativity for change.
The Australia Council Leadership Programs are dedicated to transforming our sector’s knowledge, skills and capabilities by supporting emerging and established leaders.
Diversity in Leadership
This information session was held in September 2019 for arts and cultural practitioners with disability to find out more about the Australia Council Leadership Program.
In this session, we hear from Future Leaders Alumni, Dan Graham, in conversation with Director of Capacity Building at Australia Council, Kevin du Preez. Dan talks about his experience of the Future Leaders Program, including what a residential looks like, how he approached the application process and where he did his secondment.
This session was developed in partnership with Accessible Arts, NSW peak arts and disability organisation.
Arts Governance program
The Arts Governance Program is a national opportunity for organisations to enhance their governance practices through a program tailored specifically to the arts. The program aims to enhance governance skills, supporting leaders to prosper and arts organisations to thrive.
The program is comprised of two components, an arts governance workshop series and webinar series, both of which are aimed at the leaders (including board members/chairs, as well as senior management and artistic staff) of small to medium arts organisations.
Unearthing First Nations leadership by developing different ways of knowing, being and doing. Connecting legacy between past and future generations. The Custodianship Program is designed by First Nations leaders for First Nations leaders to transform sustainability in culture, practice, community and the arts.
Gathering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts leaders from across Australia, the Custodianship Program transforms people. Cultural practitioners, artists and arts workers from across art forms and career levels will explore what custodianship and leadership means in diverse contexts. They will learn from self, from others and with peers. Designed by First Nations people, participants are guided by role models, cultural teachers and Elders.
Arts Leaders program
The Arts Leaders Program is designed to transform our sector’s knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our established practitioners. The program brings together leaders from Australia and eligible Indo Pacific countries across artforms and career levels, to inspire and enhance arts leadership. The Arts Leaders Program is a personal and professional development opportunity – it will enhance your skills and capabilities, develop your networks and provide a platform for growth.
Applications are now closed.
International Leadership program (Indo-Pacific)
In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the International Leadership Program invites applicants from nine eligible Indo-Pacific countries to apply for the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs in Australia.
Apply for a fully funded scholarship in one of our groundbreaking programs to transform your leadership and create impact for your organisation, practice or community.
Join colleagues from across our region to explore arts leadership through a different lens and learn through a range of experiences during your visits to Australia.
Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.