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.
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.
Future Form: Transforming Arts Business Models
Our cultural and creative sectors are facing significant forces of change and it is no longer possible to solely rely on traditional modes of operation or engagement.
Future Form is an opportunity for small to medium arts organisations to transform and innovate their core business model.
In a supported environment, led by industry experts, up to 24 participants from 12 organisations will be guided through a four-phase process to discover, ideate, experiment and evolve.
Future Form provides time and space for participants to reimagine and respond to the future.
Applications are now closed.
Arts and Culture Governance Report
The Australia Council is pleased to partner with the Institute of Community Directors (ICDA) and Our Community to publish the Arts and Culture Governance Spotlight Report. The report highlights the unique nature of our sector but also provides an effective comparison and benchmark with other not-for-profit companies and organisations. The research validates our understanding of the current state of governance in the arts and highlights new insights about governance practices that we should respond to. The report reinforces that what we face in the arts is felt across the not-for-profit sector.
Ensuring the sustainability of arts organisations is vital to a creatively connected nation. Our cultural and creative sectors are facing significant forces of change and evolution. It is no longer possible to rely on traditional business models, modes of operation or engagement.
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.
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.
Applications for the 2019 round 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.
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.
The Custodianship Program Core Facilitator: Mark Yettica-Paulson
An Indigenous leader from the South East Queensland and North East NSW regions, Mark Yettica-Paulson is from the Birrah, Gamilaroi and Bundjalung peoples. He is the founder and Chief of Super Native Unlimited, specialising in creative and cultural leadership development. Mark brings decades of wisdom from his career in leadership development and community education across the corporate and government sectors.
Mark is currently the Deep Collaboration Lead for Collaboration for Impact, Australasia’s leading capacity building & learning network for responding to complexity through effective collaboration. He has facilitated leadership programs and advised organisations such as NAB, the AFL, Medibank Australia, Australia Post and The Foundation for Young Australians. He was Joint Campaign Director for Recognise, the recent campaign for a National Referendum to amend the Australian Constitution to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and remove discrimination.
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 lead facilitator: Ananth Gopal, Polykala
Ananth Gopal is a Harvard-trained facilitator, actor and geographer. He’s an associate artist with Melbourne Playback Theatre Company and teaches cultural geography at the Universities of Melbourne and Wollongong.
He is a doctoral researcher at
the Australian Centre of Cultural Environmental Research, investigating the
links between diverse cultural groups and Australian environmentalism.
has completed Adaptive Leadership training at the Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University and uses those insights in his work with Polykala, an
experiential training/facilitation business he co-directs.
Future Leaders lead facilitator: Tom Henderson, Polykala
Tom Henderson is a specialist facilitator with experience working in a range of complex social and cultural environments.
He helped facilitate the extensive public consultations of the regional forestry agreements (RFAs) in Victoria, designed an Australia-first Muslim-Jewish coalition’s anti-bigotry program and delivers nation-wide training in Diversity and Inclusion for leading not-for-profits and arts organisations.
Tom is a graduate of the Groupwork
Institute’s Advanced Diploma in Group Facilitation and has undergone intensive
training in Adaptive Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard