The Australia Council has announced the winners of the 2018 Australia Council Awards, with composer Liza Lim taking out the Australia Council Don Banks Music Award. The annual awards recognise and celebrate the significant contributions of leading artists to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of Australia, in the areas of music, literature, community arts and cultural development, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre and dance. The recipients will receive their awards at a ceremony at Sydney’s Carriageworks on March 6.

“These national awards are a critical way for the Australia Council to recognise the remarkable achievements of individual Australian artists, as well as highlighting the broader contribution of all our artists to enhancing the lives of Australians,” Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski said. “The recipients of the 2018 awards are leaders in their respective fields. They have individually and collectively made highly significant contributions to the development of artistic practice and to challenging existing ways of exploring how we express identity and how we connect with one another.”

Liza LimLiza Lim at the 2017 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards

Lim, who took out both the Instrumental Work of the Year and Vocal/Choral Work of the Year awards at last year’s APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards, has won this year’s Australia Council Don Banks Music Award, named in honour of the composer, performer and the first Chair of the Music Board. The award acknowledges the achievements of a distinguished artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia. Last year’s Don Banks Music Award went to Gondwana Choirs founder and Artistic Director Lyn Williams.

The Award for Dance has been won by choreographer Phillip Adams, founder and Artistic Director of Phillip Adams BalletLab while Artistic Director and CEO of Victoria’s La Mama Theatre Liz Jones AO has won the Award for Theatre. Australian photo-media artist Pat Brassington won the Australia Council Visual Arts Award.

Bruce Pascoe has taken out the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature while Nigel Helyer will receive the Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts. Christian (Bong) Ramilo has won the Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development, while Edwin Kemp has won the Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development, which recognises a young artist or arts worked demonstrating outstanding leadership in community arts and cultural development.

“Almost all Australians engage with the arts multiple times on a daily basis,” Grybowski said. “The Arts play a central role in wellbeing, in building more creative and cohesive communities, and are a complex and layered reflection of our nation. With that in mind it is essential that we celebrate and support the rich and diverse artistic talent we are fortunate to have.”