Australia Council invests close to $12 million in arts and cultural projects

AAR-Lismore-CBD-public-artwork-by-Holly-Ahern-and-Eden-Crawford-Harriman-photo-by-Brendan-BeirneA boost for literature and creative projects engaging young people are among the highlights of the latest round of investment delivered by the Australia Council.

The investment of $11.9 million will support 283 creative projects and cultural activity for the benefit of all Australians. First Nations arts and culture featured strongly in the latest round of investment, as did projects involving digital technology.

“This investment will support diverse, impactful projects for the benefit of audiences right across Australia,” said Australia Council Executive Director for Arts Investment, Alice Nash. “It is also promising to see a strong rebound of international arts and cultural activity aligned with the return of international travel.”

“There are also several important projects supporting resilience, recovery, and mental wellbeing following times of crisis,” said Nash.

Some highlights from the latest round of investment include:

Creative projects engaging children and young people:
• Western-Sydney based Story Factory’s program promoting a love of reading and writing for school students and the broader public.
• West Australia’s Sensorium Theatre’s multi-sensory immersive theatre work for children with disability.

A range of projects involving digital technology:
• A contemporary dance work by Alisdair Macindoe utilising artificial intelligence (AI).
• Not-for-profit group Same Drum – a virtual reality (VR) work, created by a Noongar theatre-maker and a leading digital media artist with an oral history from a Noongar Elder.
• Australian musician Paul Mac will transform a train in service on the Sydney network into a space of possibility, wonder and communion with his techno train project during Sydney WorldPride 2023.

Creative initiatives promoting resilience and recovery:
Arts Northern Rivers will provide tailored services for flood-impacted artists and organisations.
Lismore Regional Gallery will develop community engagement and public programs as a direct response to the recent floods.

First Nations arts and culture projects promoting the transfer of cultural knowledge.
• A project by Tjarlirli Art Indigenous Corporation including a recording of history and stories from Tjarwina Porter, one of the oldest living women in the Western Desert.
• First Nations and Lebanese writer Mykaela Saunders will draw on the poems written by her Uncle, published in the Koori Mail in the 1990s.
• Mudburra woman and musician Eleanor Dixon – from the remote Northern Territory community of Marlinja – will create her debut solo album. The project will include performances in three languages (Mudburra, Garrawa and English).

A range of regional arts activity including:
• Support for the international Red Dirt Poetry festival held in Alice Springs.
Fremantle Biennale’s light show and cultural storytelling project, First Lights, to tour across regional Western Australia and beyond, engaging with traditional owners and artists from each location.

Strong support for literature including:
• New works from individual authors including Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Jessica Au, Laura Jean McKay, Karen Wyld and Kate Burt.
• Australian Children’s Laureate Gabrielle Wang receives support towards her work promoting reading and writing.

International arts activity, showcasing Australian culture to the world:
• A significant tour of Yirrakala bark paintings by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will expand understanding of the exemplary work of Australian First Nations artists.
• Support for Australian artists Nicola Gunn and James Batchelor to present work as part of the studio program for the international contemporary dance meet, Tanzmesse.

The Australia Council received a total of 1,119 eligible applications in this round, spanning First Nations Arts; Community Arts and Cultural Development; Dance; Emerging and Experimental Arts; Literature; Multi-art form practice; Music; Theatre; and Visual Arts.

The Australia Council’s Arts Project grants are peer assessed by independent industry experts from across the country.

For more information including a full list of recipients, visit: for details.

Image: The Gateway – a Lismore public artwork by Holly Ahern and Eden Crawford-Harriman – photo by Brendan Beirne