The peer-nominated awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions in music, literature, community arts and cultural development, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre and dance.
Community arts and cultural development leaders Marianne Wobcke (established leader) and Mama Alto (emerging leader) receive awards for their exceptional work. They are joined by leading artists Sue Healey (Dance), Chelsea McGuffin (Theatre) and Cat Jones (Emerging and Experimental Arts).
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP congratulated the recipients.
“Cultural and creative expression add to the richness and diversity of our national life, something which has been reinforced through the COVID-19 pandemic as Australians have turned to arts and culture for inspiration, connection and well-being,” said Mr Fletcher.
“The Australia Council Awards are a fitting recognition of the distinguished contribution the recipients have made to cultural, economic and social well-being through their art forms and practice.”
In lieu of a physical awards event, this year’s recipients will be showcased in a series of online presentations on the Australia Council website.
Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said the online format of this year’s awards allowed for everyone to share in the celebration. “Everyone is invited to join us in celebrating the contributions of eight remarkable Australian artists, who each in their own way reflects the vibrancy of Australia’s diverse cultural life,” said Mr Collette.
“Arts and creativity reflect who we are as a nation, helping us to see different perspectives and understand and connect across different experiences and cultures. They are crucial in understanding and shaping our sense of national identity.”
The recipients of the 2021 Australia Council Awards are:
- William Barton (NSW) – Australia Council Don Banks Music Award
- Arnold Zable (VIC) – Australia Council Lifetime Achievement in Literature
- Sue Healey (NSW) – Australia Council Award for Dance
- Vivienne Binns OAM (ACT) – Australia Council Award for Visual Arts
- Cat Jones (NSW) – Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts
- Mama Alto (VIC) – Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development
- Marianne Wobcke (QLD) – Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development
- Chelsea McGuffin (QLD) – Australia Council Award for Theatre.
For more information on the Australia Council Awards and Award Recipients, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.
Image: Mama Alto – photo by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea