International Arts Tourism Report released

The Australia Council has been busy with its end of year reports. In addition to its annual report, Why Arts Matter, it has released a report on the role that art plays in international tourism for Australia. The report: International Arts Tourism - Connecting Cultures, uses data from Tourism Research Australia to highlight international visitor engagement with arts experiences, cultural institutions, first nations arts and culture and engagement with arts in regional Australia. The report is available at:

University of Melbourne VP (Engagement) appointed as Australia Council CEO

University of Melbourne Vice President (Engagement) Adrian Collette AM has been announced as the incoming CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts. Adrian has extensive arts leadership experience including 16 years as CEO of Opera Australia and as Managing Director of Reed Books, Elsevier. He has been a member of the Australia Council Board since 2013. He will take up the CEO position in January 2019.

Why Arts Matter: Australia Council 2018 report released

The Australia Council has released its annual report which this year includes case studies to demonstrate the impact of the Council’s work in wellbeing, social cohesion, Australia’s international reputation, and the future of work. Key statistics that the Council uses to report its progress for 2017-18 include:

  • Support for the creation of over 10,000 new artworks with an audience reach of nearly 23 million

  • Direct support for 762 individual artists and 609 organisations 

  • More than 46,000 arts activities created by, with or for children and young people

  • Support for 600+ arts leaders through the Australia Council’s capacity building programs

  • 63% of grants awarded to female artists.

The full report is available at:

Female artists feature heavily in Australia Council grants awarded

Congratualtions to Monash Professor Cat Hope who was one of the 63% of female artists who received a grant from the Australia Council in its recently announced awards. The latest round of over 200 grants awarded includes a significant number of awards made to female artists, particularly within the music category where 73% of all grants announced were made to female applicants. The funding results follow on from last year’s report Making Art Work which revealed a substantial pay gap for women in the arts. The report is available at:

Myer steps down

As Rupert Myer’s six-year tenure as Australia Council Chair comes to a close, CEO Tony Grybowski has praised his contribution and role in transforming the Council: “Rupert has provided steady leadership through a period of significant change across arts policy and practice, as well as major shifts in the broader creative industries and digital economy that have also impacted the arts”. New Chair Sam Walsh takes over in July.

Sam Walsh AO appointed as new Chair of Australia Council

Sam Walsh AO  has been announced by Minister Mitch Fifield as the 13th Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts. Mr Walsh, formerly Global CEO of Rio Tinto, has served on the Board of the Australia Council since late 2016 and is the current Chair of the Art Gallery of WA. His previous arts roles include Chair of Black Swan State Theatre, Chair and founding member of the WA Chamber of Arts and Culture, and Chair of the Australian Business Arts Foundation. He will take over from current Chair Rupert Myer AO in July.

Australia Council Fellowships applications close on 5 June

There are still a few days left to get applications for Fellowships to the Australia Council.  Fellowships provide $80,000 to support practicing artists or arts workers for up to 2 years with the creation of new work, research and development, experimentation, collaborations, skills development, professional development and training, residencies and mentorships.

The 2018 round will close on 5 June.  Further details are available at:

Making Art Work: latest Throsby study released by Australia Council

In case you missed it, the Australia Council released the latest report in the series of analyses of artists and their working environment that have been produced by Macquarie economist David Throsby over the past 30 years. This latest report, Making Art Work: An Economic Study Of Professional Artists In Australia, produced by David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya, highlights changes in education and training, career progression and a whole host of other factors surrounding working artists in Australia, between 1988 and 2016. The report is available at:

Australia Council Awards 2018 announced

The Australia Council has announced the eight winners of its prestigious awards that recognise their significant contribution to Australia’s artistic and cultural vibrancy. Congratulations go to:

  • Christian (Bong) Ramilo -  Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Former Artistic Director of the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild, Edwin Kemp Attrill - Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Nigel Helyer - Australia Council Award for Emerging & Experimental Arts
  •  Professor of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Liza Lim - Australia Council Don Banks Music Award
  • Phillip Adams - Australia Council Award for Dance
  • Liz Jones AO - Australia Council Award for Theatre
  • Pat Brassington - Australia Council Award for Visual Arts
  • Bruce Pascoe - Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.


Jenny Watson awarded American Academy in Rome Fellowship

Victorian College of the Arts graduate and Adjunct Professor at Queensland College of Art Jenny Watson has been awarded the Mordant Family/Australia Council Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. The Fellowship provides a two-month residency in Rome which will allow Jenny, one of Australia’s leading artists, the opportunity to explore the world of Italian textile archives and fabric shops and create a new body of work influenced by her time in Rome.

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