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 offers two scholarships for First Nations artists and practitioners in Cultural Leadership

NIDA is offering Australian First Nations artists, arts practitioners, advocates and leaders the opportunity to take up one of two scholarships to support their career.

Above: 2017 Luminis Foundation Fellowship recipient Mel George

NIDA is offering to Australian First Nations artists, arts practitioners, advocates and leaders the opportunity to take up one of two scholarships to support their career.

NIDA has two full scholarships – the Luminis Foundation Fellowship and the NIDA Scholarship - to offer to First Nations practitioners. The scholarships cover all the tuition costs of the NIDA Master of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership course commencing in 2019, with some contribution to living costs when students are in Sydney.

This MFA course is designed specifically for mid-career producers, directors, and managers working in the cultural sector, and the part-time delivery structure means that students can study while continuing their work. Practitioners can be working anywhere in Australia.

The graduates from this Master of Fine Arts course have a unique understanding of what makes arts organisations run, a solid understanding of the arts in Australia, and a lively, intelligent comprehension of recent and current issues. The course equips students with the skills and knowledge to move forward in their careers in the arts, providing background governance, change management, communication and advocacy, cultural transformation and sustainability, and research generated through practice. The course includes an international placement with NIDA partners across the globe and is chaired by Robyn Archer AO.

First Nations artist Mel George took up the opportunity in 2017. Mel’s focus has been on amplifying the ‘visibility of artistic excellence that exists in the most remote and inaccessible areas of our country.’ Mel was in the role of Cultural Facilitator at Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation, located in Ramingining, Northern Territory, working with and alongside the Yolngu Community helping to foster and preserve their culture through artworks. Mel is now Manager of Ernabella Arts in Central Australia, the longest-standing continuous Indigenous art centre in the country.

Support for her practice at NIDA helped Mel to further develop her knowledge and enabled Mel to better contribute to ‘one of Australia’s most important challenges of having our culture valued’. Mel said that, ‘the fellowship has helped build my confidence and the coursework is giving me a broader perspective of Australian culture and how I can help to contribute to its longevity, sustainability and visibility.’

For more information or to take up this opportunity, please don’t hesitate to contact NIDA. Call Dr Suzanne Osmond for more information on 02 9697 7800 or send an email to To apply, please email a copy of your recent CV to Suzanne as an initial expression of interest by 30 January 2019.

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