Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: University of Melbourne

ProjectHutchinson Indigenous Fellowship



ProgramPast Programs | Arts and Culture

This grant was approved under our previous grants policy (Jan 2014 – March 2017)
Reducing inequality Open only to Victorian Indigenous artists
Building capacity Enables the University of Melbourne to offer a major residency annually and in perpetuity
Collaboration and partnership Developed in partnership between HMSTrust and the University of Melbourne and based on a collaboration between  the Wilin Centre (Southbank Campus) and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Conservation (Parkville Campus)

Hutchinson Indigenous Fellowship, $45,000 annual residency in perpetuity.

$1 million grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust establishes a far-reaching new Indigenous arts residency program, named in honour of Darvell M Hutchinson AM, who steered HMSTrust for a remarkable 50 years .

Image Deborah Cheetham AO, University of Melbourne with Darvell Hutchinson AM

Created to enable a Victorian Aboriginal artist to undertake a significant project of their choice every year, the fellowship will build an alumni of Victorian Indigenous artists who have been provided with a unique opportunity to explore ideas, enhance skills and develop new iterations of Indigenous cultural practice.

Each residential fellowship lasts for one year, with a cash grant of $40,000 plus up to $5,000 for materials (indexed for inflation). It offers each artist appropriate support from a range of specialist resources at the University of Melbourne including the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Conservation at the Parkville campus.

The residency offers an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the range of facilities at the University of Melbourne. This includes enrolment in the Grimwade Centre’s Specialist Certificate in Cross-Cultural Conservation and Heritage with progression to a Master’s program, without any formal education prerequisites.

Based at the University’s Southbank campus, it will allow recipients time and space away from their usual environment or obligations, opening up opportunities for reflection, research, presentation and production. The HIF will be open to Indigenous arts practitioners who identify with at least one of the 11 language families of Victoria.

Applicants must have a successful record of at least three years as an Indigenous arts practitioner and at least three years’ relevant experience in a related industry. A degree in a relevant discipline is desirable but not mandatory. Applicants need to provide a clear vision and purpose of their residency and a set of outcomes, and state how it will benefit from the resources at the University of Melbourne, how it will increase the profile of Victorian Indigenous cultural practice and how it will enhance the career of the applicant. The selection process is managed by an expert selection panel, chaired by Deborah Cheetham and comprising representatives of the University of Melbourne, the curator of Indigenous art from a major Victorian gallery, an arts leader with relevant experience (in 2014 and 2015 this was Dr Gerard Vaughan AM, now Director of the National Gallery of Australia), and a representative of HMSTrust (as observer).



Last updated 30 July 2018

"The creation of the Hutchinson Indigenous Fellowship offers an incredible opportunity to amplify the voice of South Eastern Indigenous knowledges and links a name which is the very definition of longevity in Australia’s Philanthropic community with the longest continuing culture and arts practice in the world." said Deborah Cheetham AO, University of Melbourne