Insights from Quadrant

Follow the money
(with difficulty)

UPDATE: The Australia Council responds to the query below (emphasis added):

Our systems update is still underway, and we expect to return to a dynamic interface for awarded grants information as soon as this is complete. We are unable to provide a completion date at this stage, but will continue to update the public via our website.

There is no statutory obligation for us to publish recipients of grant funding, however we do publicly list awarded grants for the last two financial years in line with best practice guidelines. This information is currently contained within the file on our website.

Nakkiah Lui is an award-winning writer and actor and a young leader in the First Nations arts community. She has received three grants from the Australia Council since 2012. This includes the Dreaming Award for a young and emerging First Nations artist, presented at the National Indigenous Arts Awards in 2012.

Ms Lui’s appearance in the television program referenced is not a funded project, and as such it would not be appropriate for us to comment on this.


One of the greatest services rendered by the Australia Council was the provision on its website of a search function — pictured above as it was — that allowed the curious to learn, quickly and easily, which individuals and groups had been gifted with grants, where, and for how much. That utility vanished in early February and, almost two months later,  has not been restored, prompting the follow-up query below. When an answer arrives it will be added as an update.

Dear Briana,

you might recall that back in early February — the 7th to be precise — we corresponded about the sudden disappearance from the Australia Council website of the handy search function that made it so very easy for visitors to learn which grant recipients were getting how much for what, when, and in which electorate.

You assured me the search would be restored in what I took to be short order:

Access to the awarded grants through the file that is currently available on the website is a temporary solution as the systems are updated.

The intention is to return to a dynamic interface for the awarded grants information.

Well here we are, almost two months on, and the search function remains missing from your website.

Just at the moment this has me especially miffed, as I am keen to learn the sum(s) awarded to indigenous playwright Nakkiah Lui, who you might have seen on the ABC the other night as a guest compere of Get Krack!in. As The Australian quoted Ms Lui,

“My character goes on this rapid character arc from doing the floss (dance), to ripping off her Spanx undergarments, to trying to poo on a cushion (embroidered with the face of one of the Kates). It’s fantasy.”

So, in light the Australia Council’s extended delay in restoring the function, could you tell me:

a/ how many grants and their dollar amounts Ms Lui has received


b/ the date on which the Australia Council intends to restore the grant search function, thus allowing Australians to see quickly and easily where their tax dollars are being spent.


etc etc

For those who might have missed Ms Lui’s ABC appearance, complete with “uncensored shots of a flaccid penis, a bloody menstrual cup being rinsed slowly and clumsily, and a fully dilated cervix, baby’s head crowning, as its ultimate parting image” the episode — #8 — can be watched on iView


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