NIDA is pleased, through the generosity of the Luminis Foundation, to invite applications to an Indigenous Fellowship for the 2019 Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership). This interdisciplinary Master’s degree is designed for those leading or aspiring to lead change across the international and Australian performing arts and creative industries. Applicants range from artistic directors, theatre makers, producers, curators, arts managers, directors and cultural practitioners.

Funding 50% of the course fee, the Luminis Foundation Indigenous Fellowship for Cultural Leadership supports Indigenous professionals who are already playing a pivotal or emerging role in shaping Australia’s creative and cultural future. Canberra glass artist and curator Mel George (pictured above) was the inaugural recipient of the Luminis Fellowship. She has now been promoted to Manager of Ernabella Arts in central Australia which is the longest serving continuous Indigenous art centre in Australia.

Mel George said: ‘The course is helping me to understand where I fit in the larger Australian cultural landscape and that what I do is important for the cultural sector.’

Two other outstanding First Nations’ arts leaders are in the same cohort of students as Mel George: Merindah Donnelly (recently awarded the Sidney Myer Fellowship) and Bernadette Killin.

This industry-embedded Master’s degree is designed to integrate the work life of the student with their study. The course is delivered via online modules and four five-day campus intensives each year in the state-of-the-art facilities at NIDA’s Sydney campus.

The Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) engages with the debates around pressing current cultural issues and provides in-depth access to outstanding and diverse national and international leaders. The course culminates in an international placement which, for several students, has already resulted in international opportunities.

All short-listed applicants who identify as Indigenous will be considered for the Fellowship – applicants are ranked according to the interview criteria. A further interview is conducted for short-listed applicants. The highest ranked Indigenous applicants are considered and selected by a panel following the second interview. Applications for the 2019 intake of the MFA (Cultural Leadership) are open until 30 September 2018. Please visit for more info.