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National Museum Fellows complete intensive international program

21 November 2019

The National Museum of Australia is celebrating the graduation of the 2019 Fellows from the Encounters Fellowship program, one of the National Museum’s key federally funded projects marking the Endeavour 250 anniversary year.

National Museum Director, Dr Mathew Trinca, said the innovative professional development program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage practitioners.

'After the Encounters Fellowship program had a successful run in 2016, the Museum received federal funding to continue this significant program and deliver the Encounters Fellowship program for 2019. I am proud to see the participants graduate this year and look forward to welcoming future Fellows in the coming years,' said Dr Trinca.

'The program is an important initiative that provides Indigenous cultural practitioners with extraordinary professional development experiences and fosters two-way learning and exchange between the Fellows and staff at renowned cultural institutions in Australia, the United Kingdom and France,' said Dr Trinca.

'These individuals are all exceptional and we have high hopes that they will become leaders in their communities, share their knowledge with colleagues and peers, and implement innovative ideas that further the way Australia tells Indigenous stories,' said Dr Trinca.

The 2019 Fellows, Naomi Appleby, Harold Ludwig, Sherika Nulgit, Kyra Edwards, John Morseau and Kyra Kum-Sing, were announced in July this year. As part of the process, each Fellow selected a community project to develop and deliver using the skills and knowledge they gain from the program.

The intensive program began with an Australian residency at the National Museum of Australia along with placements and cultural study tours at Canberra institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Fellows also completed placements at cultural institutions in the United Kingdom and France including the British Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Cambridge), the Princes Foundation School of Traditional Arts and in Paris, the Musee du qui Branly.

The Fellows will take their new knowledge, experience and connections back to their hometowns to share with their colleagues, to lead their community in museum best practice and work to bring their selected project to life.

The 2019 graduates will join the 2016 graduates to form a network of Indigenous cultural practitioners the Museum will engage with over the course of their careers in the industry.

Media contact: Diane Morris, 02 6208 5497, 0436 030 741 or

Banner photo: Steve Back Photography

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