Glorias Fellowships awarded to outstanding performing artists

6 December 2018

Above from left: Rob Collins, Sara West, Harriet Gillies

The 2018 Gloria Payten and Gloria Dawn Foundation Fellowship awards have been announced. The major awards allow existing performing arts practitioners who have trained at performing arts school to develop their work overseas and return to Australia to share their experiences.

At a meeting representing the Trustees of the Foundation last week, Mark Gaal from NIDA, Matt Delbridge from Victorian College of the Arts, Brendon Lunney, Chairman of the Foundation, and Terence Clarke, the Secretary of the Foundation met last week to consider the 17 applications.

‘The standard of applications was very good and the committee agreed that had there been more funds to award we would have had no hesitation in offering more Fellowships,’ said Brendon. ‘We agreed on three applicants who are all outstanding artists in their field. The 2018 Gloria Payten and Gloria Dawn Fellows are Robert Collins, Harriet Gillies and Sara West.’

NIDA graduate and actor Robert Collins (Acting, 2013) said he will use the Fellowship to travel to Los Angeles to build on his extensive Australian experience. Collins starred in Sydney Theatre Company’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and as Mufasa in Disney’s musical The Lion King Australian national tour. He is well known to Australian TV audiences in Cleverman on ABC and The Wrong Girl on Network 10 for which he won 2017 Best New Talent at the TV Week Logie Awards. He has also appeared in feature films Top End Wedding and Angel of Mine.  ‘This is a tremendous career development opportunity for me to use the fellowship to travel to Los Angeles and gain insights into the American film industry’ he said. ‘I strive to forge meaningful links to industry for Indigenous actors through networks I have established, and actively seek out opportunities to share my knowledge.’

Director, creator, performer and NIDA Graduate Harriet Gillies (Directing, 2012)  is using the Fellowship to travel to the east coast of North America, New York and Montreal, to develop skills and opportunities as a maker of avant-garde and interdisciplinary theatre. The opportunities include developing work, secondments and attending festivals. Gillies has a wealth of international and Australian experience in multidisciplinary theatre roles, having developed work with Sydney Festival, Next Wave Festival, The Watermill Centre in New York, Underbelly Arts Festival, Melbourne Fringe and more. Gillies has worked with Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Downstairs, La Boite, Carriageworks, Bundanon Trust and others.

‘With the limited number of Australian festivals and the fiscally tight environment it is becoming increasingly difficult for emerging avant garde artists to compete against more established and esteemed international artists,’ she said. ‘This Fellowship will allow me to take up incredible professional opportunities.’

Writer, director and actor Sara West trained at Flinders Drama Centre Bachelor Creative Arts (2010). She applied to the Fellowship to attend a New York Film Academy Filmmaking Workshop where each student writes, directs, shoots and edits a series of short film projects of his or her own. While there she will also  develop her understanding of the industry in New York. Sara has worked with some of Australia’s leading theatre, television and film companies. Her credits include Belvoir Theatres London tour of The Wild Duck, Malthouse Theatre/Griffin Theatre Companys Ugly Mugs, Sydney Theatre Companys Travelling North, Griffin Theatre Companys Dreams in White and Belvoir Theatre Company. West has worked on ABC TV’s Anzac Girls and Network 7s Winter and was nominated for a Logie for her role Liza Minnelli in Shine Australia’s TV biopic – Peter Allen.

‘My career in the entertainment industry so far has been one of extraordinary opportunities,’ she said. ‘I’ve reached a point however where I want to create, not just one character, but opportunities for other women to do the same. I want to make films.’

The annual Fellowships will be available again next year. More information about the awards are available here: https://www.nida.edu.au/alumni-and-industry/fellowships/glorias