Celebrating the recipients of the 2022 Australia Council Awards

Robert-Dessaix-Dr-Judy-Bailey-OAM-Judith-Pungkarta-Inkamala-Dr-Jenny-Fraser-Helen-Herbertson-Susie-Dee-Pat-Rix-and-Leah-Jing-McIntoshDr Judy Bailey OAM, Robert Dessaix and Judith Pungkarta Inkamala are among the eight artists to be honoured at the 2022 Australia Council Awards. The awards recognise the contribution of outstanding artists to their artforms and to the cultural life of the nation.

Beloved jazz musician and composer Dr Judy Bailey OAM receives the prestigious Australia Council Don Banks Music Award, recognising her career as a trailblazer for female jazz musicians.

Judy Bailey, reflecting on her career, said she thought of herself, “as an instrument through which passes the music of life and love – an endless river. And the music flows on even after the instrument has ceased to play.”

Eminent author Robert Dessaix receives the Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature, recognising his unique literary voice and sustained contribution to literature.

“[A writer is] someone who is going to look first to words to describe the world and tell stories. You want to weave something beautiful, like a silk cocoon. Most of my writing is about what makes up a good life,” said Dessaix.

Senior pottery artist, Western Arrernte woman Judith Pugkarta Inkamala receives the Australia Council Award for Visual Arts.

Also receiving honours are Susie Dee (Theatre), Helen Herbertson (Dance), Dr Jenny Fraser (Emerging and Experimental Arts), Leah Jing McIntosh (Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development), Pat Rix (Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development).

“It is a privilege to recognise these remarkable artists – whose work has connected us and helped shape our cultural identity,” said Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM. “The Australia Council Awards have been held in various forms for more than 30 years, recognising the luminaries and trailblazers of Australian arts and culture.”

The 2022 recipients will be celebrated in a series of in-depth videos, offering insights into their motivations, inspirations, and aspirations. The videos are available on demand on our website.

Robert Dessaix (TAS) Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature

Dr Judy Bailey OAM (NSW) Australia Council Don Banks Music Award

Judith Pungkarta Inkamala (NT) Australia Council Visual Arts Award

Dr Jenny Fraser (QLD) Australia Council Award for Emerging & Experimental Arts

Helen Herbertson (VIC) Australia Council Award for Dance

Susie Dee (VIC) Australia Council Award for Theatre

Pat Rix (SA) Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development

Leah Jing McIntosh (VIC) Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development

This year’s Australia Council Awards are being celebrated during ABC Arts Week. Tune in to hear conversations from leading Australian artists as part of Arts and Minds – presented in partnership between the Australia Council and the ABC.

Image: Robert Dessaix, Dr Judy Bailey OAM, Judith Pungkarta Inkamala (photo by Bec Capp), Dr Jenny Fraser, Helen Herbertson, Susie Dee, Pat Rix and Leah Jing McIntosh (supplied)