As a commitment to nurturing artists we provide a number of award opportunities.

The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award

2017 Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award Submission Guidelines

2017 Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award Application Form

Applications are now closed for the 2017 Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award. If you are interested in submitting a late application please contact our Associate Producer Charlotte Bradley at [email protected] 

The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award is the most prestigious award for Indigenous playwrights in Australia. The $25,000 award includes a $15,000 commission for a new play and a cash prize of $10,000. Applications are open nationally to writers of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. They are assessed by a panel including both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.

Now in its sixth year The Balnaves Award has become one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, be it for Indigenous or non-Indigenous Australians. The calibre of entries and winners has consistently proven the depth of talent in the Indigenous theatre industry.

In the past four years the award has recognised playwrights Katie Beckett, Leah Purcell, Jada Alberts and Nakkiah Lui, but also inspired many Indigenous artists to dream up new plays. The award is open to everyone from the most experienced playwrights, to people just starting out on their first plays and any writer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decent is encouraged to apply, regardless of whether or not they have written for theatre before.

Actor, singer and writer Ursula Yovich (A Christmas Carol, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie ) won the Award in 2016 with a commission to write a play that touches on traditions and rituals in Indigenous culture that are little known to the non-Indigenous community.

Since 2011 The Balnaves Foundation has supported the presentation of two Indigenous-led works per year as part of Belvoir’s annual season. To further their commitment to the telling of Indigenous stories through theatre, the Foundation has committed $25,000 per year to this annual award for an Indigenous playwright. The Balnaves Foundation is committed to working towards reconciliation and has supported numerous Indigenous arts projects including the creative development of I Am Eora and Black Diggers for Sydney Festival.



2016 – Ursula Yovich
2015 –
Katie Beckett
2014 –
Leah Purcell
2013 –
Jada Alberts
2012 – 
Nakkiah Lui

The NSW Philip Parsons
Fellowship for Emerging

Applications for the 2017 Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights will open in the second half of 2017.

The Philip Parsons Fellowship is given to an early career playwright with a strong and unique theatrical voice. The Fellowship is an integral part of Belvoir’s ongoing artistic development activities and commitment to new Australian work.

The Fellowship is presented, in partnership with Arts NSW, to an emerging playwright whose work demonstrates an original and compelling theatrical voice. The Fellowship money forms a $15,000 commissioning fee for the writer and $7,500 towards creative development, with a view to developing a new work with support from Belvoir’s artistic staff.

The Philip Parsons Fellowship attracts the highest calibre of young Australian playwrights. Many Fellowship recipients have developed commissions that have been highly acclaimed. Productions include Is This Thing On? by Zoë Coombs Marr, The Seed by Kate Mulvany and The Great Fire by Kit Brookman.

Applicants for the Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights must be in the first eight years of their professional practice and must reside in New South Wales. Writers may submit one play that is 45 minutes or longer that has been produced in a professional or co-operative company.

The Fellowship is given annually in conjunction with the Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture. The Fellowship and Lecture commemorate the life and work of Philip Parsons, AM. Dr Parsons was an influential teacher and mentor to many of Australia’s young theatre artists.

The Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights is supported by Arts NSW.



Past recipients

2016 – Holly Austin, Adriano Cappelletta and Jo Turner (writing team)

2015 – Nakkiah Lui and S.Shakthidharan

2014 – Julia-Rose Lewis

2013 – Ian Meadows

2012 – Kit Brookman

2011 – Zoe Coombs Marr

2010 – Matthew Whittet

2009 – Tahli Corin

2008 – Khoa Do

2007 – Tommy Murphy

2006 – Patrick Brammall and John Leary

2005 – Brendan Cowell

2004 – Kate Mulvany

2003 – Jonathan Gavin