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.

The 2019 Balnaves Foundation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship has been awarded to playwright and Trawlwoolway, Pakana/Palawa man from Lutrawita/Tasmania, Nathan Maynard.

Entries for next year’s fellowship will open mid 2020.



2019 – Nathan Maynard
2018 – Kodie Bedford
2017 – Megan Wilding
2016 – Ursula Yovich
2015 – Katie Beckett
2014 – Leah Purcell
2013 – Jada Alberts
2012 – Nakkiah Lui

The Philip Parsons Playwrights’ Lab for Early-Career Playwrights

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 have been a part of artist development activities at Belvoir since 1996.

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

In 2019, the fellowship is evolving to take on an exciting new shape by becoming a 12 month development lab for five individual participants made up of four writers (or co-writing teams) and one story developer / dramaturgical / directorial participant. Lab participants will work with Belvoir across the 12-month period through 2020 in order to develop a new work.

Historically, the Philip Parsons Fellowship has attracted 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 MarrThe Seed by Kate Mulvany and The Great Fire by Kit Brookman.

Applicants for the Philip Parsons Writers Lab for Early-Career Playwrights must be in the first eight years of their professional practice and must either live in New South Wales or have had their work presented in New South Wales in the last 24 months.

The inaugural Lab participants will be announced in conjunction with the Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture.

Entries for the Philip Parsons Fellowship are now open.

Submission must complete the Application Form, identifying whether the applicant is applying as a playwright or dramaturg/director and address the relevant criteria identified in the Application Guidelines.

Download the Writers Lab Application Guidelines here.
Download the Application Form here.

The Philip Parsons Fellowship for Early-Career Playwrights is supported by Create NSW.

Past recipients

2018 – Kendall Feaver
2017 – Emme Hoy
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