The best places to start are the govt. agencies: The Australia Council http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/ and Arts Victoria http://www.arts.vic.gov.au/content/Public/Home.aspx . There are a lot of other philianthropic organisations, here are a few I've found:
As for applying for them, Craft Victoria often run forums about applying for grants. Become a member, it's a great organisation.