The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund distributes more than $1m to Australian creators

December 11, 2018

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund continues to invest in Australia’s cultural future, allocating a total of $1,049,145 towards 37 projects with writing and visual arts organisations in its second round of 2018 funding.

Key beneficiaries include the National Museum of Australia, to commission non-fiction essays from Australian writers on Living with the Anthropocene; The Guardian, to enhance its coverage of Australian books and writing; and Kaldor Public Arts Projects, for its five-month artist takeover of the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “Our Cultural Fund will grant a total of $2.2m this financial year. The invaluable grants we commit support organisations and champion our wide array of members – authors, journalists, publishers, visual artists and educators – ensuring they are encouraged and supported to create works that contribute substantially to the future of our cultural sector.

“Our support of writers’ panel sessions at four national writing and poetry festivals across Australia, as well as Sydney Contemporary’s ‘Talk Contemporary’ program, are important in providing a voice to the creative community and a platform for discussions which explore current issues of value to cultural life.”

Funding for the 37 projects, many of which is for three-years, is in addition to the IGNITE and CREATE grants for individuals and three recently announced Fellowships worth $80,000 each:

Author Fellowship – Jeff Sparrow

Fellowship for Non-Fiction Writing – Bernadette Brennan

Fellowship for a Visual Artist – Karla Dickens

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund officer, Nicola Evans, says, “This year, the Cultural Fund has supported significant mentorship and development opportunities for our young and emerging Australian writers, publishers and visual artists to enable them to develop new skills, acquire knowledge and create new works that will further their careers as well as investing in our dynamic writing, publishing and visual arts sectors.”

These projects include: the Copyright Agency New Writer-in-Residence program at University of Technology, Sydney; the Melbourne Press Club’s Young Journalists Project 2019; the Broome Aboriginal Media Association for Goolari Media to mentor and train emerging Indigenous playwrights; and Fremantle Press for a showcase of new authors from Western Australia to meet festival directors from around the country during Perth Festival Writers Week.

Full list of Cultural Fund second grant round 2018 recipients

Children’s Literature

  • The Children’s Book Council of Australia: $12,000 for its 2019 CBCA National Conference

Cultural Institution

  • National Museum of Australia: $25,000 to its Living with the Anthropocene, Non-fiction essay collection.
  • State Library of NSW: $22,500 to its Going Places, Authors on Tour Project.
  • Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts Ltd: $25,000 to its New Platforms for Artist Development & Audience Engagement.


  • Australian School Library Association: $5,000 for its Leading Learning in Literacy: 50 years of the Australian School Libraries Association.
  • Australian Literacy Educators’ Association: $10,245 to its ALEA 2019 National Conference.
  • Australian Association for the Teaching of English: $5,800 toward Supporting English teachers to select and teach Indigenous stories.


  • Sydney Writers Festival 2019: $25,000 for panel sessions.
  • Perth Festival Writers Week 2019: $15,000 for panel sessions.
  • Adelaide Writers Week 2019: $20,000 for panel sessions.
  • Queensland Poetry Festival: $10,000 for panel sessions.
  • Sydney Contemporary: $25,000 for Talk Contemporary panels.


  • Chicago Quarterly Review: $15,000 to the Australian Edition of the Chicago Quarterly Review.
  • Kill Your Darlings: $7,240 to fund KYD/Varuna Copyright Agency Fellowship.
  • Island Magazine Inc: $20,000 toward Contributors’ fees 2019.


  • Red Room Poetry: $38,000 toward the Poetry Object Prize and Partnerships – Cross-Curricular/Disciplinary Outreach


  • TLB Society Inc: $21,000 toward The Lifted Brow Prize for Experimental Non-Fiction + related writing workshops.
  • First Nations Australia Writers Network: $20,000 for FNAWN Poetry and Short Story Prize and workshops.


  • The Guardian: $30,000 to grow readership of Australian writers and books.
  • Melbourne University Publishing: $10,000 to fund Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry.


  • Sydney Theatre Company: $30,000 in investment and support for new writing.
  • Australian Theatre for Young People: $45,000 toward its ATYP Fresh Ink National Writers’ Program 2019.
  • Broome Aboriginal Media Association Aboriginal Corporation: $20,000 to Goolarri Media to mentor and train emerging Indigenous playwrights.

Trade Association

  • Australian Publishers Association: $30,000 to fund Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative Guides.
  • The Melbourne Press Club Incorporated: $10,000 to its Supporting Young Journalists Project 2019.
  • Australian Society of Authors: $115,000 toward the Copyright Agency Developmental Mentorships for Writers and Illustrators.


  • University of Technology: $120,000 to fund the Copyright Agency’s new Writer-in-Residence over three years.
  • Jumbunna Institute, UTS: $30,000 to fund its Blak Letter Law over two years showcasing literary collaborations linking Indigenous writers and jurists.
  • Centre for Media History, Macquarie University: $14,940 over three years toward the Brian Johns Annual Lecture Series.
  • University of Queensland Library: $90,000 over three years to fund its Creative Writing Fellowship.
  • National Institute for Experimental Arts/The Big Anxiety Festival, UNSW: $6,620 toward the Big Anxiety Writers Program.

 Visual Arts

  • Kaldor Public Arts Projects: $20,000 to Kaldor Studio, Five-month Artist Takeover at the Art Gallery of NSW.
  • Guildhouse: $24,400 over two years toward The Guildhouse Collections Project.
  • Australian Centre for Contemporary Art: $54,000 over three years to fund its Influential Australian Artists Series showcasing critical moments in artistic practice.


  • Express Media: $60,000 to put toward its Toolkits over three years.
  • Writing NSW: $30,000 over three years toward Boundless, a project showcasing and supporting Culturally Diverse Writers.
  • Fremantle Press: $2,400 to showcase New Authors to Festival Directors.

The Cultural Fund offers two rounds of grants throughout the year. For more details head to

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