Australian creators to receive more than $350k from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund

June 24, 2020

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has announced $352,773 in support of 25 new projects in the first of two rounds of funding for 2020 and 2021.

The funding will support a diverse range of new and existing projects to benefit writers, visual artists, and publishers. Among the projects supported, the University of Tasmania will receive funding for a new three-year project, The Hedberg Writers-in-Residence Program; the Stella Prize will receive continued funding of $75,000 over three years for the longlist prize money for writers and judges’ fees; and the State Library of Queensland will receive $15,000 for the David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Manuscript by an emerging Indigenous author.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “The high calibre of applications in Round One highlighted the incredible talent in the Australian creative industry. We have provided support for Australian literary magazines, and a grant to Better Reading for a 10-month promotion of books showcasing independent Australian publishers and new and emerging writers.”

The Cultural Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Copyright Agency and is dedicated to offering grants to leading organisations for projects that deliver opportunities for Australian writers, journalists, editors, English and literary teachers, visual artists and key industry stakeholders in the writing, publishing, education and visual arts sectors.

“We have brought forward the decisions on these grants to assist creators during COVID-19 time, given the crisis the sector is facing. This support provides some help to many of the creative organisations who are now planning for the second half of 2020 and into 2021, and creating new projects to present and promote the works of our writers and artists,” Mr Suckling said.

Key projects receiving funding:

  • Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council in the Northern Territory will receive $10,000 to write and create the children’s book All the Animals, which will be published by a key publisher.
  • Co-curious will receive $20,000 to nurture a group of eight writers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Western Sydney to develop and present their first main stage works for theatre. Each writer will be mentored by S. Shakthidharan and Belvoir Theatre’s Louise Gough.
  • The University of Queensland Press will receive $7,000 for its project, Extraordinary Voice for Extraordinary Times Poems and Podcast. This grant will benefit eight poets directly with writers’ fees and provide diverse communities, including Indigenous, CALD, LGBTQI and other minorities, with the opportunity to have their voices heard.
  • Kaldor Public Arts Projects will receive $10,500 for its do it (homework) project, which will connect mid-career Australian artists with schools, providing them with a direct income at an uncertain time and the chance to work in different ways, including the creation of new instructional artworks for schools to be shared via digital platforms.

Sample book artwork spreads designed by Joanna Hunt for Allen & Unwin / Tjanpi (November 2019). Stills are from the Tjanpi Desert Weavers stop-motion animation Ngayuku Papa (My Dog): Bluey and Big Boy; story & narration by Maureen Butler, directed by Jonathan Daw and Maureen Butler, 2018.

“While the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund mostly supports single projects for up to a year, so that we have greater flexibility with our budget from year to year, for this round we have approved three-year funding for six extraordinary projects to ensure they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

“Further, to continue to support our members and the creative sector during this pandemic, we have brought forward our second round of funding for organisations for 2020 and these decisions will be announced in early July,” adds Mr Suckling.

The Cultural Fund offers two rounds of grants throughout the year. For more details and a full list of the funded projects, head to

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About the Copyright Agency

The not-for-profit Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images, art and survey plans. We manage the educational and government licences for the use of text and images, as well as the Resale Royalty scheme for artists (by Government appointment). Our members include writers, artists, surveyors and publishers. Membership is free.

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