Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards

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The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were created in 1984 by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sidney Myer. The awards were created to commemorate his life and his love for the arts. They intend primarily to enhance the status of performing arts in Australia and recognise outstanding achievements in dance, drama, comedy, music, opera, circus and puppetry.

There is one Individual Award ($60,000), one Group Award ($90,000) and one Facilitator's Prize ($25,000).[1]

The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards are announced and presented early each year for the preceding year. The awards are decided on a national basis and each nomination is considered by a judging committee. While past achievement is recognised, consideration is also given to the potential of an individual or group to continue their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts into the future.


Year Individual Award Group Award Facilitator's Prize
2021* Clare Watson, James Berlyn, Jenny M Thomas All the Queens Men, Blakdance, Speak Percussion Australian Digital Concert Hall, Erin Milne
2020* Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn], Sally Chance, Robin Fox Metro Arts, Second Echo Ensemble, The Street Theatre Andrew Ford, Sean Pardy
2019 Barrie Kosky Ensemble Offspring Richard Watts
2018 Genevieve Lacey Bleach* Festival Annette Downs
2017 Kate Mulvany Dancenorth Nicole Beyer
2016 Gavin Webber Australian Theatre for Young People Kathy Burns
2015 Ursula Yovich MOFO and DARK MOFO Daniel Clarke
2014 Lally Katz The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean
2013 Daniel Keene and Elena Kats-Chernin CIRCA Jill Morgan AM and Mohindar Dhillon
2012 Iain Grandage Ilbijerri Theatre Company Philip Rolfe
2011 Eddie Perfect Windmill Theatre Skinnyfish Music
2010 Paul Capsis? Australian Art Orchestra? John Paxinos?
2010 Julie Forsyth? The Black Arm Band[2] jointly Mandawuy Yunupingu and Footscray Community Arts?
2009 Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter[3][4] Big hART[3] Paul Petran[3]
2007 Ros Warby jointly The Song Company and Tasdance Ian Scobie
2006 Nigel Jamieson TaikOz Bill Hauritz
2005 Benedict Andrews Back to Back Theatre David Bates[5]
2004 Rod Quantock jointly awarded to: Melbourne Workers Theatre and Tracks Dance Theatre Lee-Ann Buckskin
2003 Stephen Page and Indigenous winner Kylie Belling Acrobat Sarah Miller and Indigenous Facilitator's Prize Lafe Charlton
2002 Lisa Gasteen and Indigenous Individual Winner Aaron Pedersen Urban Theatre Projects Mary Vallentine and Indigenous Facilitator's Prize - jointly awarded to Lynette Narkle, Paul McPhail and David Milroy
2001 Paul Grabowsky and Indigenous Individual Winner David Page Northern Rivers Performing Arts Inc Ian Roberts (producer)[6] and Indigenous Facilitator's Prize Richard Frankland
2000 Lucy Guerin Leigh Warren & Dancers Jill Smith
1999 David Pledger Strange Fruit Liz Jones
1998 Nick Enright Australian Chamber Orchestra Stephen McIntyre
1997 Robyn Nevin Playbox Theatre Rhoda Roberts
1996 Peter J. Wilson jointly awarded to Company B Belvoir and Expressions Dance Company Wendy Blacklock AM
1995 jointly awarded to Hannie Rayson and Paul Livingston Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra David Blenkinsop
1994 Michael Kieran Harvey Legs On The Wall Julie Dyson AM
1993 Geoffrey Rush Doppio Teatro Inc. and Bangarra Dance Theatre Marguerite Pepper
1992 Meryl Tankard Chrissie Parrott Dance Company Lindy Davies
1991 Kim Walker jointly awarded to Synergy and Chamber Made Opera Phillip A'Vard
1990 John Beckett Bran Nue Day Productions
1989 Sue Ingleton The One Extra Company and Bharatam Dance Company Sir Rupert Hamer
1988 Neil Armfield Salamanca Theatre Company John Larkin
1987 jointly awarded to Peter Wilson and Richard Bradshaw Astra Chamber Music Society
1986 Chris Westwood Flederman Ensemble
1985 Peter Oyston Dance Works
1984 Jack Davis jointly awarded to Circus Oz and Sydney Dance Company

* In 2020 and 2021, as a result of the devastation and isolation wrought by COVID-19, the number of Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards recipients was expanded to eight. The Awards recognised the essential role of arts and culture in affirming our sense of self and Australia's community spirit as a nation.


  1. ^ "Sidney Myer Fund & The Myer Foundation". Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  2. ^ "The Black Arm Band receives top award". The Fred Hollows Foundation. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Beaumont, Lucy (27 March 2009). "Rich award no hoax for Archie and Ruby". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Ruby Hunter, b. 1955". National Portrait Gallery (Australia) people. 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  5. ^ David Bates who brought the Spiegeltent to Australia and who has been responsible for its wonderful eclectic programming."Sidney Myer Fund, The Myer Foundation, Annual Report 2005-2006" (pdf). p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 October 2009.
  6. ^ "Sidney Myer Fund, The Myer Foundation, Annual Report 2001-2002" (pdf). p. 31.

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