NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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From left to right: Andrew Reeves, CEO and Managing Director, Inghams, Ruby Williams and Annidette Puni, Inghams First Nations Scholarship Recipients and Leasa Beasley, General Manager Communications, Inghams

2024 NIDA Life Changing Scholarships Ceremony Celebrates Generous Support

NIDA celebrated another remarkable year of nurturing artistic talent at the 2024 Life Changing Scholarships Ceremony, held in the Playhouse Theatre. The event was attended by key supporters, scholarship recipients, their families, NIDA staff, and board members for an evening dedicated to the advancement of Australian arts education.

The ceremony commenced with an Acknowledgement of Country extended by Travis Cardona, Head of First Nations at NIDA, who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Speeches were given by Catherine West, the newly appointed Chair of NIDA, Sarah Christie, Senior Development Executive at Amazon Studios and Liz Hughes, CEO of NIDA.

The Life Changing Scholarships are granted to provide financial assistance to students who will shape the future of the arts industry, creating a more inclusive and accessible landscape. This year, thanks to NIDA’s supporters, donors, Trusts and Foundations, Partners and Sponsors, NIDA witnessed a milestone achievement, with over $1 million allocated towards 20 life-changing scholarships.

 Scholarship recipients at the event.

2024 Scholarship recipients at the 2024 NIDA Life Changing Scholarships Ceremony.

The 2024 NIDA Life Changing Scholarships were awarded as follows:

Matthew Doyle, NIDA's Uncle in Residence, presented the Balnaves Foundation First Nations Scholarship, on behalf of The Balnaves Foundation, to Shevon McCormack (Technical Theatre and Stage Management). Tim Fairfax AC presented two Tim Fairfax AC Scholarships to Bradley Bulger (Acting) and Nelson Gilmour (Directing). Daniel Stephenson presented the YouTube Scholarship to Sam Laki (Acting). Andrew Reeves, CEO of Ingham's, presented the two Ingham's First Nations Scholarships to Ruby Williams (Directing) and Annidette Puni (Dramatic Writing).

Sarah Miller, Director of Learning and Innovation, and Chair of the Scholarship Committee, presented the Edward Federman Scholarship and ARA Indigenous Scholarships on behalf of Edward Federman, Managing Director of ARA Group. The Edward Federman Scholarship recipient was Emily Taylor (Dramatic Writing). The first ARA Indigenous Scholarship recipient was Bea Doyle (Acting), and the second ARA Indigenous Scholarship recipient was Dakota Love (Acting).

Scholarship Recipients

Tim Fairfax AC with Bradley Bulgerand, one of the Tim Fairfax AC Scholarship recipients. Liz Hughes, NIDA CEO  with Daniel Stephenson, Content Partnerships Manager, YouTube AU and NZ presenting the YouTube Scholarship to Sam Laki.

Loren Bradley presented the Finch Scholarship to Brigitte Haviland (Dramatic Writing). Michael Hassett, Founder and CEO of Technical Direction Company, presented the Technical Direction Company Scholarship to Anthony Acaya (Live Production and Technical Services). Sarah Christie, Senior Development Executive at Amazon Studios, presented the two inaugural Prime Video Scholarships, one to Krishna Patel (Dramatic Writing) and the other to Nicole Puni (Directing). Lisa Santo-Buchler presented the Animal Logic Entertainment Scholarship to Clement Rukundo (Directing). Andrew Cameron AM presented the Andrew Cameron AM & Cathy Cameron Scholarship to Lucy Rossen (Directing).

Rudi Mc Gregor and Bernadette Cooper presented the Brian Walsh Memorial Scholarship to John Mashar (Acting). We are grateful to the numerous individual donors who have given this scholarship in memory of Brian Walsh. We would particularly like to thank Amanda Laing and Shaun Heron, from Foxtel.

Brian Walsh Memorial Scholarship

From left to right: Liz Hughes, NIDA CEO, Rudi Mc Gregor, Shadow Productions and Bernadette Cooper presenting the Brian Walsh Memorial Scholarship to John Mashar.

Deanne Weir presented the Weir Anderson Foundation Scholarship to Ooen-s’tae McDonald (Acting). Giselle Barlow presented two William Rubensohn Foundation Scholarships, one to Brent Russell (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) and the other to Nathaniel Lawson ( Props and Effects). Catherine West presented the Helen Dumbrell Scholarship on behalf of the NIDA Foundation Trust to Tahnee White (Acting).

The Helen Dumbrell Scholarship, among others, was made possible through a generous bequest to NIDA by the late Helen Dumbrell; an enduring legacy of philanthropy in supporting arts education.

NIDA is extremely grateful to the generous donors and supporters who make these incredible scholarships possible.

Interested in finding out how you can support the next generation of NIDA students?  
Please contact Lisa Hamilton

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