The Australia Council for the Arts and Arts Access Australia have announced the three recipients for the third annual National Arts and Disability Awards, which recognise Australian artists and arts workers with disability, who have made an outstanding contribution to the artistic and cultural life of the nation. Sydney-based composer Georgia Scott, singer-songwriter Eliza Hull who is baed in regional Victoria, and Northern Territory-based artist Timothy Cook were named as this year’s recipients.

National Disability and Arts Awards

Emerging Artist Award recipient Georgia Scott. Photo Supplied.

“We are delighted to recognise these three wonderful artists – who each in their own way demonstrate the power of the arts to connect us and to change lives. The awards are part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring all Australians can access and benefit from participation in arts and culture,” said Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette. “We are also pleased to confirm our continued investment of almost $1 million over the next three years to support sustainable careers and celebrate the achievements of artists with disability through the National Arts and Disability Awards, Mentoring Initiatives, as well as a new fellowship for d/Deaf and Disabled artists, and to continue our partnership with Arts Access Australia.”

Indigenous artist Timothy Cook received the Established Artist Award, recognising a long career as one of Australia’s most celebrated living artists, both nationally and abroad. Originally from the Tiwi Islands, Cook has been an inspirational figure to many younger artists facing adversity.

Sydney-based composer Georgia Scott received the Young Artist Award, recognising her meteoric rise over the past few years. Scott, who lives with cerebral palsy, has had great success writing for numerous ensembles, including premiering her one-act opera Her Dark Marauder as part of Sydney Chamber Opera’s Breaking Glass in April last year. The opera, which used the aesthetic of Sylvia Plath’s poetry as a lens through which to explore the representation and stigmatisation of women with psychological disabilities on stage and in society, was a finalist in the 2021 APRA AMCO Art Music Awards for Dramatic Work of the Year. Scott also uses her work to engage with concepts and attitudes surrounding disability, aiming to help undo ableist ideas in the industry, as well as being a vocal advocate for gender equity in the arts and more broadly. Early this year, Scott was also named as one of TSO’s Australian Composers School participants for 2022.

National Arts and Disability Awards

Jane Sheldon in in Georgia Scott’s Her Dark Marauder. Photo © Daniel Boud

Victoria-based singer-songwriter Eliza Hull received the National Leadership Award, presented by Arts Access Australia, recognising her innovative and heartfelt work in contemporary music. Hull’s compositions have been featured on various ABC TV programs, including The Heights and And Then Something Changed, about being a child with disability, which she also wrote and produced.

“The National Arts and Disability Awards recognise and celebrate the talents of Australian d/Deaf and disabled artists, and the vibrant and critically important contribution we make to Australian culture,” said Arts Access Australia CEO Matthew Hall.

The awards will be presented during an accessible online ceremony from 2pm AEDT today (24 November). More information about the awards, recipients and ceremony can be found here.