Australia Council for the Arts

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Australia Council for the Arts
Founded 1967
Founder Government of Australia
Type Cultural institution
Area served
Product Australian cultural education

The Australia Council for the Arts, informally known as the Australia Council, is the official arts council or arts funding body of the Government of Australia.


It is responsible for funding arts projects around Australia, formulating and implementing policies to foster and promote the arts in Australia. The Council also advises governments and industry on arts-related issues. Each year, the Australia Council provides over 1700 grants to artists and arts organisations. In addition, it supports strategies to develop new audiences and markets for the arts both in Australia and overseas. The Australia Council itself, is funded by the Attorney-General's Department (Australia) from 2013.[1]


The Australia Council was formed in 1967 by Prime Minister Harold Holt as a body for the public funding of the arts[2] and was given statutory authority in March 1975 by the Australia Council Act. The Council's predecessor, the Australian Council for the Arts was established in 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton as a division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Council then incorporated other government projects, such as the Commonwealth Literary Fund and the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board. It operates in co-ordination with the various state government agencies.[3]


The Australia Council is composed of seven boards; each board has seven members including a chair, except the Major Performing Arts Board, which has eight members.

The seven boards are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts
  • Dance
  • Literature
  • Major Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts[4]


  2. "Australia's Prime Ministers - Meet a PM - Whitlam - Inoffice". National Archives of Australia. 2 February 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Australia Council: How Do the Boards Work?". Australia Council for the Arts. 2 February 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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