Culture strengthening culture
Applications are now closed.
Applications open: 18 September 2019
Applications close: 4 November 2019 11:59pm (AEDT).
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.
6–11 February 2020
30 January 2020
On country learning
An opportunity to learn
Across artforms, career
Engage in a diverse cohort
For more details about the program, including key dates and requirements, please see our FAQ.
The Custodianship program is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, arts workers and cultural practitioners from across art forms and Australia. The program will encourage participants who are at various stages of their careers and are ready to reflect on their skills, capabilities and what custodianship and leadership may mean to them.
The program attracts learners who are open to new ideas, able to learn in a group situation and willing to share knowledge and insights with others. Participants who have roots with their custodianship responsibilities and want to learn more about enacting a vision for their communities.
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.
- Introduce yourself, tell us where you from? Why you do what you do? And why is it important to your cultural identity? (3-minute video).
- Why would you like to join 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 connect with others?
- How do you see your role as an advocate for the arts?
- Timeliness and relevance of the program to the applicant’s professional and cultural development.
- An active and reflective approach to leadership development.
- Ability to engage with diverse ways of learning and connecting with others.
- Commitment to the advocacy and improving the sustainability and wellbeing of the arts sector.
For more details on the selection process and Australia Council policy, 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 section.
If you can’t find an answer, please send us an email at I.email@example.com or call us toll-free on 1800 226 912.
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.
Ian RT Colless: First Nations Capacity Building Project Officer
Ian is a from the Dharabuladh (Therabluat) clan of the Gundungurra people, and a mixture of Irish and Walsh heritage. He is the Grandson of the late Aunty Dawn Colless who made many milestones, awarded the Australian Centenary Medal (a Federal award to honour people who have made a contribution to Australian society or government), and chosen to be a torchbearer for the 2000, XXVII Olympiad in the Blue Mountains.
Ian is a graduate of Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (NHSPA). He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Creative Industries. A Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Honours) from Edith Cowan University’s, Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts (WAAPA), and a Masters of Arts from New York University’s (NYU), Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development. At NYU Ian completed an Independent Study and designed a curriculum, through full-time study, coursework and participation with the American Ballet Theatre (America’s National Ballet Company) and observation of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (NYC).
Our leadership programs
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.
The program is designed for mid-career and
established leaders with over ten years’ experience in the sector.
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. We welcome applications from practitioners from a range of art forms, from across Australia and selected countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
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.
Please read the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders program pages for further information, including key dates and requirements.
Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.
Who is the Custodianship program for?
The Custodianship program is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, arts workers and cultural practitioners from across art forms and Australia. The program will encourage participants who are at various stages of their careers and are ready to reflect on their skills, capabilities and what leadership and custodianship means to them. The program encourages learners who are open to new ideas, able to learn in a group situation and an ability to share knowledge and insights with others. Participants who have roots with their custodianship responsibilities and want to learn more about enacting a vision for their communities.