The Artist and her Works launch, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art. Photo by: Emma Pegrum

The Foundation

Sheila is a national philanthropic foundation with the aim of overturning decades of gender bias by writing Australian women artists back into our art history and ensuring equality for today’s women artists.

Sheila will have succeeded when a visit to a state or national gallery shows equally the art, lives, stories and ideas of women and men, when students learn about our great women artists in equal measure to the great male artists, and when the women graduates from our art schools are equally represented in the art community.

Sheila has three main strategic focuses:

All three programs have been designed to create maximum impact for the areas they focus on and each has unique and important stories to uncover and tell to a wider audience.

Our Progress

Huge progress has already been made since the Foundation's official launch in May 2019 including:

Supporting the Countess Report

The Countess Report collects and publishes gender parity data every four years that has already facilitated significant improvements to women’s representation in the 10 key sectors of Australian contemporary art.

Progressing Digital Access to the Cruthers Collection

Work is well underway on making the Collection accessible online, to help historians, researchers, curators and artists rethink Australian art history and incorporate women’s voices and stories.

Growing Into the Light

Into the Light is a national research project to fill the gaps in Australian art history. We completed the pilot project in 2017 and are currently working to fund the remainder.

Acquiring significant historical artworks

Placing artworks by lesser-known Australian women artists in public collections will provide a more balanced and realistic view of Australia’s art history.

Supporting emerging and contemporary women artists

We focus on practical support such as fellowships, symposia and acquisitions to public collections, including the creation of the annual Michela and Adrian Fini Artist Fellowship.