NSW Young Artist in Residence

Under the Young Artist In-Residence Program Youth Action commissions a young artist 12- 24 years of age to create an artwork for the cover of our annual report and other design elements, co-designing its concept in relation to our theme for the year. We are proud to highlight and support emerging artists across NSW. 


We are seeking design submissions to co-design Youth Action’s 2023-24 Annual Report and additional design elements on the theme of young people’s voice, with a focus on why it’s so important for young people’s voices to be included in conversations that directly impact them and their communities.

Please note that the artwork pieces will be used throughout the report and elements will be used for Youth Action’s branding.

We are looking for artworks submitted as a digital file. We will be preferencing digital submissions using Illustrator.

Please send us your artwork before Friday 25 August, 2023 11:59AEST by WeTransfer to info@youthaction.org.au or contact us for more information. 

Artists not selected for this year’s open call will be added to our database with the potential to be commissioned throughout the year. Submitted artwork will not be used in anyway unless in an agreed contract between Youth Action and artist.  

Submissions have been extended to Friday 8 September, 2023 11:59AEST.

More information

  • Are you between the age of 12-24? Are you a young person living in NSW?  
  • Have a look at Youth Action’s previous Annual Reports below for reference.
  • Design a digital artwork responding on the theme of young people’s voice, with a focus on why it’s so important for young people’s voices to be included in conversations that directly impact them and their communities. Youth Action’s branding colours can be viewed here.  Take a look at our socials to see how we have been using our branding. Think about how you could create a unique artwork that would complement this. 
  • The format of the report is A4. We will use your artwork for the front cover but we will also take elements of the artwork to use throughout the annual report, on our website, socials and templates throughout the coming year.
  • Send us your biography max 200 words and your artist’s cv (if you have one). We will credit you inside the cover (and also on our social channels and website) and include your biography and headshot. Please also submit a max 500 word artist’s statement that tells the story of how you used the theme in your artwork. 

Instructions for submitting

  1. Put your artwork/s into a folder (Image file size should be max 2000 pixels on the longest side, JPG sRGB). Include your biography 200 words max (include your name, email address and phone number), your artist’s CV (if you have one) and a 500 word max artist’s statement that tells the story of how you used the theme in your artwork).  
  2. Upload the folder to We Transfer and send the file to info@youthaction.org.au
  3. Submit your artwork before Friday 25 August, 2023 11:59AEST.

For any questions about the brief please contact Youth Action’s Communications Officer, Angelica Liem at angelica@youthaction.org.au

Those of you that aren’t successful this time will be added to our database of artist’s for future commissions. Artwork that is submitted will not be used in anyway unless in an agreed contract between Youth Action and artist.  

We look forward to reviewing your submission! 


In 2021 the calibre of the work that was submitted was outstanding. The 2021 artist in residence was Sarah R Muir, with her work, To Be Seen and Not Heard.

Artist Statement | Sarah R Muir

TO BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD: This digital artwork was created as a response to the theme ‘Youth Voice’ and its juxtaposition to my first thought- a phrase that echoes through my childhood; ‘Children are to be seen and not heard’. From a young age, youth are rewarded for obedience, compliance and group-oriented mentality, and there is a heavy expectation applied by senior generations to remain silent and conform to society – to not take action against injustices we experience or witness on issues that affect us. As a response to this phrase and misguided ideology, I wanted my artwork to be seen. I drew it with the intention of a striking, bold appearance and placed emphasis on the gaze of the young person I depicted, using high contrast to build tension and trap my audience in their eyes. I was also very concerned with trying to develop an inclusive portrait- one that I hope most youth can see themselves energetically reflected in, regardless of ethnicity and gender-identity, inspiring action. I drew the portrait with lips parted and half illuminated because I feel it is organisations such as Youth Action that allow youth agency and give us those moments to recollect ourselves before reconnecting with our voices and stepping into a spotlight among the chorus of problems and beliefs.

Artist Bio | Sarah R Muir

I am a Sydney-based Israeli-Australian artist and student currently practicing and refining my work in Chatswood NSW. Growing up, I developed a love of portraiture through a fascination with the multicultural and colourful identities of people I saw online, using the internet to learn about foreign cultures, human experiences and inform myself on global human rights issues. At ten years of age, I started to saturate myself in the arts and other artists, and now am under the belief that the practice of art within itself is a raw and entirely human, unique experience. I have found that there are recurring themes of queer theory, religion, climate change, animal rights and feminist ideology present in my art. I predominantly work in oil painting, drawing, digital art and printmaking.


In 2019 we commissioned young Indigenous artist, Jessie Waratah Simon – Fitzpatrick to create an artwork for the cover of our annual report, co-designing its concept. We chose to reflect the challenges that NSW faced and the strength and innovation that can be born from difficult times. 

Artist Statement | Jessie Waratah Simon – Fitzpatrick

SEED DREAMING: For thousands of years Aboriginal people have used fire farming to care for Country, by burning off the old to create space for the new. I first conceptualised this piece whilst Australia was experiencing one of its worst wildfire seasons. My work explores how the damage can also lead to new beginnings. The almond shaped seeds spring to life after the land has been scorched, bringing rejuvenation and transformative change across the landscape.

Artist Bio | Jessie Waratah Simon – Fitzpatrick

My painting style is strongly influenced by my Warlpiri family, bold colour and vivid movement. I was born and raised in Sydney’s Inner West and identify as an original Australian. My family was claimed by the respected Warlpiri Elder, R. Granites Japanangka, who sadly passed away in 2018. ‘At the age of three!’ my father says, he, my aunties and grandmothers began passing down their knowledge and techniques of art making according to my skin Napurrula, and shared with me their own depictions of the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming). Someday I hope to know my original family’s story from North West NSW, as well as my Chinese, Pakistani, Danish, Irish, Welsh, English and convict ancestors. Warlpiri law women sang for me to be conceived and knew where I fit into their family before I was born, knowing this draws me strength. My mother dreamed of me and my father and grandfather called me from the stars. I have strived to learn from and honour all who have taught and continue to teach me and to give back whenever I can to my community.

Youth Action refers to the national peak body for the Arts, NAVA when considering artist’s payments. Commissions fees are determined based on level of experience and quality of the work in negotiation with the artist. Young artists under the age of 18, require a parent or guardian to sign commission agreements.

Youth Action is the peak body for young people and youth services in NSW.

Youth Action acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We understand that sovereignty was never ceded and recognise their continuing connection to lands, languages, waters, and cultures.

For all media enquiries please contact Kate: 
M 0407 594 916 E kate@youthaction.org.au

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