Australian Art Workers Survey
Thank you for taking part in this survey. We encourage all visual artists and art workers based in Australia to provide information in order for us to develop a picture of the socio-economics in our area of practice. Such research is increasingly important and urgent given the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the sector and the continuation of federal funding cuts.

This survey is designed for the following purposes:

* to work towards collectivising the arts,
* to gain an understanding of the structural disadvantages of practicing as an artist in Australia,
* to establish what actions we are willing to take in order to address these issues
and to share these findings broadly with artists, policy makers and the creative industry at large.

All data from these 28 questions will remain anonymous in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principle guidelines.

The survey will be open for 3 weeks from 18 April to 11 May 2020, with findings published online in the coming months. If you want to be kept up to date please sign up to the mailing lists of or

For any questions, please email:

In solidarity,
Nina (Artists' Union)
& Nicholas (1856).


The organisers wish to acknowledge that this work is largely produced on the traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung and the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations. We pay our respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Nina Ross with thanks to the Artists' Union (Australia) working group.  
The Artists' Union working group was formed in 2019. The findings of this survey will help the collective establish the most pressing issues facing artists and workers, and assess ways forward for a more unified and less precarious sector. Please get in touch at

1856 is a program of exhibitions and events in and around the Victorian Trades Hall, focused on the cultural production of the labour movement and the work of artists. It is curated by Nicholas Tammens with the support of a group of artists, arts workers, and unionists. 
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1. Are you an artist? *
2. Are you an arts worker (curator, writer, installer etc.)? *
3. Do you teach or have you taught art at a TAFE or university? *
4. How do you identify? *
5. Do you identify as Indigenous, as a Torres Strait Islander, or both? *
6. What age are you? *
7. Do you have a disability? *
8. Do you have any dependent children? *
9. Regarding these children, are you the primary carer? *
10. Are you a single parent? *
11. Are you, or have you been, a carer for someone with special needs (not as an employee)? *
12. How much income did you earn as an artist/arts worker in the last financial year, 2018-2019? (Keeping in mind that the total of a grant is not personal income, only your personal wage or fee derived from that total) *
13. How much did you approximately spend on your practice (as an artist or arts worker) in the last financial year from 2018-2019? Including materials, presentation, freight, gallery fees, competition fees etc and expenses covered by grants. *
14. Do you have additional employment outside of your artistic or cultural work? If yes, are you: *
15. In these jobs, how much did you earn in the last financial year (2018-2019)? *
16. Are you a member of a union as part of another profession? If yes, which one? If no, please write no. *
17. Has this membership provided any benefit or support towards your work in the arts sector? If yes, in a few words please explain how. If no, please write no. *
18. If you are employed casually, part time or self employed, do you consider yourself under-employed? *
19. Have you ever received any Government benefits due to an unstable income from working as an artist or arts worker? *
20. Do you currently receive Government benefits or have you received any in the past 2 years? *
21. What are the 5 most important issues currently facing visual artists and art workers in Australia? *
22. What are the 5 most significant issues currently impacting your participation in the arts? *
23. What actions would you be prepared to take to address these issues? *
24. As a visual artist or arts worker, would you pay to be a member of an arts union? *
25. If yes, how much would you be willing to pay for an arts union membership annually? All union fees are generally tax deductible.
26. What would you most like an arts union to provide for artists and arts workers? *
27. Are you or have you ever been a member of NAVA? If not, why not? *
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