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


The 2019 Balnaves Foundation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Fellowship


The Balnaves Foundation and Belvoir are committed to supporting new work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre artists.

In 2019 the Award continues to evolve to meet the needs of the industry. The Fellowship is open to playwrights to write a new play and also to directors or writer/directors that can lead the creation of an Indigenous led new stage work, whether that be a new play, an adaptation or through a devised process.

The Fellowship model will see the selected Fellow (playwright or director or writer/director) receive $25,000 over a year-long period to create a new work, and to spend time over 10 months (equivalent two days per week) in 2020 as a resident artist at Belvoir, subject to negotiation with the Fellow’s availability and location.

In addition to the financial support for the Fellow, resources will also be provided to the project being developed. Creative milestones, placement within Belvoir, resourcing and collaboration will be discussed with the selected Fellow.

The Fellowship model seeks to be deeply collaborative and to support the selected Fellow to deliver a new work for the stage, engage the Fellow in the experience of being in a company structure, in addition to being responsive and flexible to theatre-making processes.

Expressions of interest will be accepted from creatives of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who are writers or writer/directors or directors who have a new theatre work they wish to bring to life.

Expressions of interest will be considered by a panel including Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.

The Balnaves Award has long been recognised as one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, attracting entrants of the highest calibre. Previous winners (including Leah Purcell, Megan Wilding, Nakkiah Lui and Ursula Yovich) have submitted exceptional works that consistently prove the depth of talent in amongst our nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre-makers.

In 2018, the fellowship was awarded to Kodie Bedford, including a residency at Belvoir to develop her play CURSED!.

Since 2011 The Balnaves Foundation has supported the presentation of two Indigenous-led works per year as part of Belvoir’s annual season. 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.

Entries for the Balnaves Foundation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship will open on Monday 17 June, 2019. The submission deadline is  6pm on Friday 19 July, 2019. 

Expression of Interest Guidelines 2019.




2018 – Kodie Bedford
2017 – Megan Wilding
2016 – Ursula Yovich
2015 –
Katie Beckett
2014 –
Leah Purcell
2013 –
Jada Alberts
2012 – 
Nakkiah Lui


The NSW Philip Parsons
Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights

On 7 December 2015 the Fellowship was jointly awarded to two people – Nakkiah Lui and S. Shakthidharan. Read the media release.

About the Fellowship & previous recipients
The NSW Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights and Memorial Lecture commemorate the life’s work of Philip Parsons AM (1926-1993). Dr Parsons was an influential teacher and mentor to many of the students, scholars, actors, directors and playwrights who created the new wave of theatre and drama in the 1970s. Both the Fellowship and Lecture are part of artist development activities at Belvoir.

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 $12,500 commissioning fee for the writer and $7,500 towards a creative development, with a view to developing a new work with support from Belvoir’s artistic staff. (Note: This Fellowship replaces the Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award previously offered by Belvoir and Arts NSW)

Applications are accepted from NSW-based writers whose plays have had a public showing or season in Australia or internationally within the last 12 months. Submitted plays will be assessed by the Fellowship panel and shortlisted writers chosen on the strength of these works. Shortlisted writers will be asked to submit a brief treatment and up to five pages of scene work for a proposed new piece.


Past recipients

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