Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: Linden New Art

ProjectLinden Projects Arts Industry Placement Program

Amount$80,000 over 3 years


ProgramPast Programs | Arts and Culture

Enabling financial sustainability Developing and strengthening relationships with education partners and donors
Building organisational capacity Building the practical knowledge and skills of the next generation of arts managers for better transition from study to the workforce
Collaboration and partnership University of Melbourne, Melbourne Business School, Creative Partnerships Australia, Public Galleries Association of Victoria, National Exhibitions Touring Services Victoria

On-the-job training strengthens the next generation of arts managers

Linden New Art is leading an innovative student placement program which enables students to apply their learning into practical outcomes. With few opportunities to gain practical skills in the arts sector, and even fewer employment opportunities for graduates, participating students will gain hands on experience across all aspects of gallery management.

Image Students from Linden’s Arts Industry Placement program participating in a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to country presented by David Tournier from the Boonwurrung Foundation. Photograph: Melinda Martin

Linden Projects Arts Industry Placement Program will provide students with a better understanding and experience of the sector, enabling them to test ideas, develop knowledge and identify career paths as they transition into employment, as well as broaden Linden’s artist and audience reach.


  • Each year for three years, up to twenty students from the University of Melbourne’s Master of Arts and Cultural Management and Master of Art Curatorship courses are invited to participate in the Arts Industry Placement program and work closely with the Linden team.
  • Students receive a tailored mentoring program, as well as a series of professional development workshops, including discussions with leading arts professionals.
  • The students work closely with the Linden team in the Linden Projects Space enabling them to engage with an organisation beyond an internship program and apply the knowledge gained from their study to a real working environment, such as curating exhibitions, engaging with artists and contractors, installing exhibitions, marketing and developing public programs and even real life experience of writing that winning job application.
  • The recent lockdowns in Melbourne have delayed some aspects of the program delivery and adaption to a virtual program has been key to keeping students engaged and excited. We can’t wait to welcome back the students to the gallery spaces in 2022.
  • Melbourne Business School has developed a robust measurement and evaluation strategy for the program. The aim is to come up with a replicable and sustainable model of delivery for adoption to other courses offered by the University of Melbourne’s Arts faculty, as well as adaptation by other creative industries, to build capacity in the arts sector. Feedback from the students is actively incorporated into the program each year.
  • To date, a number of students have found paid employment at the end of the course, with another undertaking an internship at the National Gallery of Australia.


Updated December 2021.

“The placement complemented my studies perfectly and provided me with invaluable practical guidance and a fascinating insight into various aspects of the arts that will benefit my career tremendously." Ronelle Coetzer, student, December 2021.