Welcome to our programs
The Australia Council Leadership Program is dedicated to transforming our sector’s knowledge, skills and capabilities by supporting emerging and established leaders.
Our program recognises the diverse nature of leadership and builds on the rich knowledge and experience already within our sector. We partner with respected facilitators to foster personal and professional development through knowledge-sharing and connecting people across Australia and internationally.
Grounded in respect, generosity and listening, we tackle the big issues and opportunities faced by our sector. The program is designed to explore new ways of thinking and enact the potential of creativity for change. We are guided by a commitment to our First Nations people(s) as our cultural Elders and leaders.
As a participant in our programs, you will share experiences, form new connections, develop skills and build confidence in your own capabilities. You will benefit from longer-term outcomes for yourself, your practice, your organisation and your community.
We host a variety of programs to nurture creative development and ongoing sustainability within the arts. These programs are designed to address the needs of our diverse sector, from small to large, emerging to established, from independent to organisations. We invite leaders from various backgrounds, careers levels and geographies to get involved.
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.
Communicating the Arts 2019
Communicating the Arts is a three-day conference, taking place from 12-14 November in Sydney, which will explore Cultural Leadership with over 250 delegates from the visual arts, museums and performing arts around Australia.
The act of leading in the cultural sector comes from all levels – artists, curators, senior managers, directors, small and large, the subsidised and independent sectors. It involves both exceptional management of cultural organisations and curating experiences and work which shows different ways of thinking, feeling and experiencing the world.
Over three days, explore best practices and hear from a range of international and national arts colleagues - sharing ideas of how they engage with community, tell new stories and grapple with the big issues of the day, to more practical tips on ethical decision making and collaborating in cross cultural teams.
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.
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.
The program is designed for mid-career and
established leaders with over ten years’ experience in the sector.
Future Leaders program
The Future Leaders Program is designed to transform our sectors knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our emerging practitioners. The program brings together a group of diverse leaders to engage with current and relevant themes affecting the future of the arts. Together, you will work through common challenges and opportunities faced within the sector today.
The Future Leaders Program is for emerging leaders within their first ten years’ experience in the sector. The program is open to arts leaders working independently, within organisations or the broader community. We welcome applications from practitioners from a range of art forms, from across Australia and selected countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
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.
Please read the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders program pages for further information, including key dates and requirements.
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.
Our leadership programs
Program Director: Kevin du Preez, Australia Council
Kevin is a strategist, project director and facilitator with over 20 years’ experience managing policy, strategy, change and leadership development. He has experience working in a range of industries including Government, Arts, Film and Media.
He is currently the Director of Capacity Building at the Australia Council for the Arts. He has been working at the Australia Council since 2010 in various project and management roles. He currently leads a team that delivers professional development programs to improve the sustainability and resilience of the arts sector in Australia. Previous roles at the Australia Council included Project Manager, Strategy and Research; Relationship Manager and Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives.
Kevin has delivered several key projects for the Australia Council including the coordination of the Culturally Ambitious Nation strategic plan, the Australia Council Leadership Program, Arts Governance Program, Youth Arts Summit, Arts Learning Forum, MPA New York Fundraising Study Tour and the Artistic Vibrancy resources.
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.
Future Leaders Program facilitator: Annie Talvé, Project Sisu
Annie is a creative and strategic thinker who has worked on large, complex projects such as mergers and acquisitions, and multi-million dollar infrastructure and service delivery projects. She is a skilled and versatile communicator, group facilitator, project manager, researcher and writer. Working at senior levels in the private and public sectors, Annie has facilitated the people and culture building aspects of public private partnerships (PPPs) and commercial alliances, and business/community arts projects for a diverse range of clients. Annie specialises in cultural research, leadership development and design.
Annie has degrees in philosophy, education (University of Sydney); a masters in organisational change and design (Western Sydney University); and a Graduate Diploma in Convergent Media from Western Sydney University, where she designed a research program focusing on the innovative uses of social media and crowd sourcing by the National Library of Australia’s Trove search engine.