Firstdraft is Australia’s premier space for emerging and experimental arts practice

Established in 1986, Firstdraft is Australia’s longest running artist-led organisation. Its longevity is testament to the sustained commitment of countless artists, writers, curators and arts professionals who have supported and exhibited at Firstdraft over the last four decades. 

Our sustainable model of governance allows us to champion risk and encourage ambition in a professional gallery context. With creative practitioners positioned firmly at our centre we foster a diversity of emerging and experimental practices, people and programs that epitomise excellence and contribute to a dynamic local and global discourse. 

Firstdraft is supported by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW, the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, and the City of Sydney through its Accommodation Grant Program.

In 2018, Firstdraft joined Contemporary Art Organisations Australia (CAOA), a national network of fifteen public, independent, non-collecting contemporary art organisations from all Australian states and territories that advocates for the small-to-medium contemporary visual arts sector in Australia. Members of CAOA are all free and accessible to the public, and are primarily supported through public operational funding. By supporting the development and dissemination of new work and setting best practice standards for the sector, the CAOA network actively delivers a high return on public funding for artists and audiences. As a network, CAOA offers a forum for collaboration across the country – for knowledge sharing, peer support, and for the strategic development of ideas within the broader visual arts sector. Individually, CAOA organisations facilitate production, exhibition, and interpretation of work by living artists.

Firstdraft co-convenes All Conference, a national organising network comprising fifteen artist-led, experimental and cross-disciplinary arts organisations. Representing a crucial stratum of the Australian arts ecology, All Conference members present diverse and innovative artistic programs which support the practices of living Australian artists. They connect these practices to diverse audiences via a passionate localism coupled with significant national and international peer-to-peer networks.


Nadia Hernandez, THIS IS MY ARMY (ESTE ES MI EJÉRCITO), 2018, Firstdraft, Sydney, Photo Zan Wimberley
'party''girl' Curated by Ainslie Templeton, 2017 Firstdraft, Sydney
Bhenji Ra and Angela Goh performance at ‘Rogue Agents’, 2017 curated by Auto Italia South East, Firstdraft, Sydney
Duha Ali, Justine Youssef, Body Cartography, 2017 Firstdraft, Sydney, Photo Zan Wimberley
Kimchi Princi performing at ‘Firstdraft 30 Years’ 2016, Firstdraft, Sydney
Claudia Nicholson, performance at ‘invocation’, 2016, curated by Adonis and Latai Taumoepeau, Photo Jodie Baker
Lisa Sammut, a monumental echo, 2018, Firstdraft, Sydney, Photo Zan Wimberley
Nathan Beard, Zen Objects (i-xxii), 2017 ‘Transcendence’ Curated by Nanette Orly, Firstdraft, Sydney, Photo Zan Wimberley