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Encounters Fellowships offer First Nations cultural practitioners a unique professional development opportunity with placements at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra and experience at partner cultural institutions in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The Encounters Fellowships are made possible through the support of our generous donors. In 2024 we are excited to welcome six new Fellows.

A group of five women and three men stand either side of a tree trunk. Their faces have white paint across the forehead.
2024 Encounters Fellows (from left) Samara King; Natalie Davey; the Museum's First Nations outreach manager, Shona Coyne; Nerelle Nicol; Jamie Hampton; Sammi Snedden; David Doyle; and Ngamberi-Kamberri Ngunnawal traditional custodian Paul Girrawah House

Meet our 2024 Fellows

Natalie Davey

Natalie comes from Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. She has Bunuba, Walmajarri, Scottish and English heritage and identifies as a custodian from Bunuba Danggu Muway.

She is a multidisciplinary artist and spends much of her creative time at Mangkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing.

Natalie also works at Wangki Radio, the local community radio station in Fitzroy Crossing. She is a producer and broadcaster along with her father, Bullen Rogers. They present a regular language program called ‘Danggujarra’.

From a young age, Natalie has had a love of the natural world and how everything is connected. She enjoys creating through building, art, writing and storytelling. Natalie sees art as a vital life practice, helping her to remember better, work through ideas and/or issues and create understanding and beauty in the world.

Through language, Natalie creates systems of understanding between seasonal observations and collections. She is dedicated to sharing the world around her and bringing people together through cultural understanding.

Cultural affiliations/language group
Danggu Muway, Bunuba, Walmjarri, Kriol, Australia Standard English

Community and/or cultural work focus
Fitzroy Valley, Kimberley, Western Australia

Wangki Radio


Pinning insects, building databases, audio-visual storytelling, writing, listening to Country

David Doyle

David is a Barkindji and Malyangapa man from Menindee, New South Wales. He lives on Barkindji Country in Broken Hill with his wife and two children.

David works for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, is a member of Menindee Aboriginal Elders Council, owns and operates Wontanella, a cultural tourism business, and holds numerous other positions on advisory councils and boards.

David’s arts practice is tied to cultural connection to Country and to his ancestors, with his main work being sculptural. He spends time with his elders, seeking guidance, gathering oral histories, arranging visits to museum collections to view Barkindji artefacts and photographing their various forms and carved designs. He then incorporates this research into his artworks.

David also teaches cultural practice in his home town of Menindee, has released a book of poetry and enjoys cooking bush foods in a contemporary style.

Cultural affiliations/language group
Barkindji and Malyangapa

Community and/or cultural work focus
Menindee and the wider Barkindji Nation

Royal Flying Doctor Service
Self-employed artist and cultural tourism operator

Senior Aboriginal Health Practitioner
Owner-operator of tourism business

Barkindji bush food plants, bush medicine, art, culture and cultural practice, fishing and beekeeping

Jamie Hampton

Jamie is a Warlpiri and Arrernte man from Alice Springs, Central Australia. His family comes from Yuendumu, 250 km north-west of Alice. His skin name is Jungarrayi.

Jamie’s work is focused on his Warlpiri family from Yuendumu. His main passion is repatriation; specifically, helping his community return sacred objects and important collections back to Country so that important cultural knowledge can be transferred to younger generations of Warlpiri.

Jamie has worked in the museum and cultural sector for four years and hopes to help his community build the relevant infrastructure to care for, manage and hold their own cultural heritage material on Country in Yuendumu.

Jamie is very passionate about his work and has always been closely connected to his culture. He learnt this from his father and grandfathers, who are now guiding him on this journey.

Cultural affiliations/language group:
Warlpiri and Arrernte

Community and/or cultural work focus:
Warlpiri and Yuendumu, the Warlpiri Project

South Australian Museum

Warlpiri Repatriation Officer

Repatriation and cultural heritage research and exhibitions, collection management and digital infrastructure, storytelling, truth telling and oral histories, keeping places, storage management and conservation

Samara King

Samara is a Karajarri woman from Broome, Western Australia. She is currently living in Perth and completing a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on engagement between museums and First Nations researchers, and how archival photographs are shared and exhibited.

Samara is an aspiring curator with a wealth of experience in the arts sector. She has worked for the Rottnest Island Authority, the Western Australian Museum and the National Library of Australia. Samara is Board Secretary at exhibition touring company Art on the Move and a guest curator at the Midland Junction Arts Centre in Perth.

Samara is passionate about First Nations cultural heritage management. She is currently employed at The Keeping Place, an Indigenous-owned, not-for-profit software company.

Cultural affiliations/language group

Community and/or cultural work focus
Karajarri and Western Australia

The Keeping Place

Exhibition curation and design, collection research and conservation, cultural heritage management, digitisation

Nerelle Nicol

Nerelle was born and raised in Far North Queensland on the homelands of the sunrise Kuku Yalanji people. She now lives on Djabugay Country on the northern beaches of Cairns.

After an extensive career in the public service advocating for her people, Nerelle was inspired to explore her creative skills to highlight important issues. Since 2012 she has developed her social history research and curatorial skills to share untold social and political history stories.

Her goal is to use her unique perspective and artistic abilities to create meaningful and inspiring presentations that evoke emotion, spark conversation and leave a lasting impression on those who experience her work.

In addition to working on a significant historical story for a new exhibition, Nerelle is currently building on the success of her recent Lugger Bort exhibition, which she is seeking to present during the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

Cultural affiliations/language group
Jura clan of the Birri-Gubba Nation, around the Bowen/Ayr region, and Erubam Le and Ugaram Le from the eastern parts of the Torres Strait region

Community and/or cultural work focus
Far North Queensland

Independent researcher

Oral histories and storytelling, digital platforms and communications, exhibition development, curatorial/interpretation and design, collection access, research and history

Sammi Snedden

Sammi is a Dunghutti and Wiradjuri emerging artist and curator who has grown up on Darug land. Her passion for connecting to culture and community has been passed down to her by her grandparents from an early age.

As a young child, her late grandfather David Wright taught her a weaving technique called stringing. Years later Sammi reignited her passion for weaving by learning to weave baskets, which informs her art practice today.

Sammi is an experienced workshop facilitator, delivering First Nations weaving workshops to schools, galleries and libraries. Sammi recently curated her first show, The Enlightenment, at First Draft Gallery, Sydney, featuring her contemporary woven lampshades, along with art and poetry.

While pursuing her art practice, Sammi has worked as a First Nations Programs Producer at the Museums of History NSW, developing and leading new productions as well as delivering longstanding programs.

Cultural affiliations/language group
Dunghutti and Wiradjuri

Community and/or cultural work focus
Gadigal/Darug, Sydney

Museums of History NSW

Programs Producer, First Nations

First Nations contemporary art, weaving, curatorial practice, exhibition interpretation and design

Explore Encounters Fellowships

About the Program

Learn more about the Museum's flagship professional development program.

Previous Fellows

Meet earlier Fellows, with alumni working across the Australian cultural sector.


The National Museum thanks all the generous donors and supporters of the Encounters Fellowship Program, with special acknowledgement to those who have donated anonymously.

For the 2024 Fellowship Program we particularly thank our major benefactor – The Kerridge Foundation.

We also thank the Prince’s Trust Australia, who supported the establishment of the Encounters Fellowship Program, and the Encounters Fellowship Alumni.


British High Commission Canberra, Stephen Byron AM, Sarah Davies AM, Dick and Pip Smith Foundation, Daniel Gilbert AM, Meredith Hinchliffe AM, David Jones AM, Fiona Jose, Maureen Kerridge, Dr Kathrine Reynolds, Michael Triall AM and Jenny Gage Triall, The Rossi Foundation, Stephen Wedd, Sally White OAM

Fellows and Patrons

Dr Marion Amies, Margaret Anderson, In memory of Michael James Ball AO, Helen Bauer and Helen Lynch AM, Elizabeth Bennett, Eva Besan AO and Marc Besen AC, HM & JE Brown, Jennifer Dobbin, Ross Gough, Margie Seale and David Hardy, Alexander and Domitille Hartman, Prof Andrea Hull, Fiona James, Ian Lawrence, Marjorie Lindenmayer, Colin Macdonald and Li Li Teh, Ben and Marina Maguire, Rachel McLennan, Emeritus Prof Ingrid Moses AO, Simon Murnane, Andrew Phelan AM and Monica Phelan, Richard Refshauge, Kindred Spirits Foundation, Susan Robertson, Emeritus Prof Robert Shanks AM and Josephine Shanks, Graham Smith, Amber Stewart and Nicholas Perini, Helen Trinca, Tracey Whiting AM, Kim Williams and Catherine Dovey, Jennifer and Paul Winch, Kylie Winkworth, Suzanne Wood, Kaely Woods and Micheal Woods


Dr Michael Allam, Robin and Mary-Anne Anderson, Barbara Austin, Jane Baba, Sally Bachelard, Anna-Rosa Baker, Sarah Balzer, Nerida Barges, Talitha Barrett, Lyn Beasley, Glenys Beauchamp, Carolyn Behm, Angela Berry, Jeanine Bevan, Andrew Blanckensee, Lynne Booth, Keith Bradley, Fiona Brand, Nicole Bright, Elizabeth Bromham, Jan Brown AM, Derrick Brown, Dorothy Brownrigg, Peter Burchfield, Dr Geoffrey Burkhardt, Anthony Bushell, Nancy Caldwell, Mick Callinan, Ian Campbell, Carol Cartwright, Alex and Linda Church, Robin Clark, Christine Clark, Cathy Clutton, Penny Collings, Joan Corbett, Shirley Cornish, Brian Crisp, Cathy Crompton and Tony Henshaw, Customworks Ltd, Dimity Davy, Haydn Daw, Alan Dawson, Helen Disney, Simon Dwyer, Robert Edwards, Professor Geoff Farrell, Carolyn Forster OAM, Linda Freasier, Lee Fuller, Colin Gageler, Barbara Gaudry, Miles George, Robin Gibson, Wayne Godfrey, Joan Goodrum, James Gould, John Gray, Elizabeth Gray, Patricia Haggard, Catherine Harris, Sally Anne Hasluck, HeatherHenderson, Dr Thelma Heyde, Julie Hotchin, Dr Anthea Hyslop, Dr Rob and Valerie Irwin, Joseph Johnson, Mike Johnston, Michael and Anne Johnston, Monica Kampfer, Imogen Kelly, David Kennemore, Guna Kinne, Dr Joan Kitchin, Denis Klein, Patricia Kneebone, Matoyla Kollaras, Dr Paul Kriedemann, Dawn Laing, Robert Laird, Trevor Lee, Cate Lemann, Lady Jodie Leonard, Nicholas and Ann Lidstone, Wendy Lindgren, Annette Lock, Diana MacDonnell, Graeme Mayo, Dr Robin McLachlan, Judy McPhee, Rob and Joan Merrell, Dr Paul Meyer, Rosemary Miller, Eveline Milne, Phillip Moore, Jill More, Anne Moroney, Anne Moten, Neil Motteram, Neil Munro, Dr Anthony Nicholls, Lorraine Ovington, Mark Parkinson, Tony Purnell, The Hon Margaret Reid, Barbie Robinson, Clive Rodger, Philip Roper, Bridget Sack, Emeritus Prof Margaret Sankey, Warwick and Tina Sicklen, Dr Marian Simpson, Wendy Smith, Margaret Smythe, H L Stead, Cindy Steensby, Rodney Teakle, Warwick and Sandra Trimble, Linnett Turner, Tom Tyrrell, Dierk von Behrens, Josephine Walsh, Susan Wannan, Denis Warne, Ross Warren, Dawn Waterhouse OAM, Joy Wheatley, Maitland Wheeler, Patricia Williams, Doreen J Wilson, Leonard Wise, Daniel Wong, Bill Wood, Lady Laurel Yeend, Halina Zachara, Kathleen Zantuck

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