Culture strengthening culture
Applications open: 18 September 2019
Applications close: 4 November 2019
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.
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.
Our leadership programs
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.
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 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.
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.
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.