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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NIDA awards fellowships for new MFA Cultural Leadership

NIDA is pleased to announce the nine recipients of the inaugural fellowships for the new Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership).

Cultural Leadership class

NIDA is pleased to announce the nine recipients of the inaugural fellowships for the new Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership).

These fellowships are supported by the Australian Government and have been awarded to outstanding applicants who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and advocacy and are passionate about driving innovation and change across the arts and cultural sector.

The recipients were chosen from over 60 applicants for the new course from across Australia. 
The major fellowship of thirty thousand dollars for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander candidate has been awarded to Merindah Donnelly, a Wiradjuri woman from the Kamillario community in Tingha, NSW.

Six fellowships of ten thousand dollars each have been awarded to: Yasmin Masri from Canberra, Tristan Meecham from Victoria, Maeve MacGregor from Tasmania, Adam Deusien from New South Wales and Lucas Stibbard and Katherine Quigley from Queensland.

Two fellowships of five thousand dollars have been awarded to Teik-Kim Pok from New South Wales and Soseh Yekanians from Western Australia.

Lynne Williams is delighted to welcome to NIDA the fellowship winners who will be part of the inaugural cohort of sixteen to undertake the new course.  

“The cohort includes a diverse group of talented professionals already making waves in the arts and cultural sector with backgrounds including creative entrepreneurship and advocacy, production and artistic direction of cultural organisations and festivals, performance art, visual art, craft and design, arts education, arts and health, and arts and disability sectors. We are grateful to the Australian Government for helping us to financially support a large number of the cohort to achieve their goals,” commented Ms Williams.

“The fact that we had so many accomplished applicants for this course reinforces our view that a new generation of cultural practitioners see the need for new approaches to leadership in the arts and cultural sector. There is a recognition that Australia needs a cultural policy which interfaces with those of our international partners and that informed and articulate advocates are needed to ensure arts and culture are at the heart of the life of the nation.

“I am delighted that Robyn Archer AO has agreed to Chair the new course and that she will be integral to its delivery and sourcing industry opportunities for the participants.”

Building on the success of the MFA (Directing) and MFA (Writing for Performance), the MFA (Cultural Leadership) is one of three new graduate courses launching this year, including MFA (Design for Performance) and MFA (Voice).

NIDA’s expanding suite of graduate courses will be housed in the new purpose-built Graduate School. This dedicated space will provide a multi-discipline environment for creative and cultural professionals to explore new practices and develop their skills in response to the rapidly evolving world of arts and culture.

For more information or to apply for 2017, visit

Photography by Robert Catto.  


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