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Empower through education

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Encounters Fellowships at the National Museum are made possible with the support of our donors.

This program is in its fifth year and has seen 12 First Nations future cultural leaders hone their skills in museology – impacting thousands within communities across the country.

This selective program provides successful candidates with the opportunity to work alongside experts at the National Museum in Canberra, other Australian national institutions the British Museum in London as well as other institutions around the globe.

Fellows gain behind-the-scenes experience in areas including collections research and preservation, exhibition planning, digital storytelling, educational programming and project management.


Your donation will support our Encounters Fellowships intake to:

  • Travel to and work in Canberra, the UK, France and Canada – gaining skills, knowledge, relationships and networks.
  • Enable each of the Fellows to create and deliver a community-based project.
  • Enable Museum staff to collaborate and work on Country with the Fellows and their communities.
  • Provide long-term mentoring support and engagement with the National Museum and its staff.

The impact of the previous Encounters Fellowships programs (2016 and 2019):

  • Successful delivery of community-based programs including: digital mapping initiatives, language revitalisation programs, digital repatriation programs and the production of travelling exhibitions.
  • Graduates of the 2019 program have been invited to undertake further study at leading international institutions, including The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, London, England; Grassi Museum of Applied Arts, Leipzig, Germany; British Museum, London, England; University of Cambridge, England; and the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
  • Creation of award-winning language-preservation programs – revitalising First Nations dialects in North West Queensland.
  • Curation of nationally touring First Nations exhibitions.
  • Employment at leading cultural institutions and peak bodies including the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, Arts Northern Rivers, Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation, Gab Titui Cultural Centre and James Cook Museum.

Thank you

We would like to thank and acknowledge our donors to the Encounters Fellowships Appeal, including those who would like to remain as anonymous.

Donors $50,000+: The Kerridge Foundation

Donors $10,000–$49,999: Alexander Hartman and Domitille Bernard, British High Commission, Daniel Gilbert AM, David Jones and Melinda Conrad, Fiona Jose, Keith Kerridge and the late Maureen Kerridge OAM, Kim William AM and Catherine Dovey, Kindred Spirits Foundation, Meredith Hinchliffe AM, Michael Traill AM and Jenny Gage Traill, Rossi Foundation, Sally White OAM and Geoffrey White OAM, Stephen Byron AM, Sarah Davies AM, Stephen Wedd, The International Foundation for Arts and Culture, Dick and Pip Smith Foundation

Donors $1,000–$9,999: Dr Marion Amies, In memory of Michael James Ball AO, Helen Bauer and Helen Lynch AM, Marc Besen AC and Eva Besen AO, Jennifer Brown, Jennifer Dobbin, Ross Gough, Dr Anthea Hyslop, Fiona J James, Fiona Jose, Ian Lawrence, Wendy Lindgren, Diana MacDonell, Colin Macdonald and Li Li Teh, Ben and Marina Maguire, Joan Merrell, Emeritus Professor Ingrid Moses AO, Simon Murname, Andrew Phelan AM and Monica Phelan, Emeritus Professor Dr Robert Shanks and Josephine Shanks, Amber Stewart and Nicholas Perini, Tracey Whiting AM, Paul and Jennifer Winch, Kylie Winkworth, Suzanne Wood, Kaely Woods and Michael Woods

Donors $50–$999: Dr Michael Allam, Margaret Anderson, Robin and Mary-Ann Anderson, Barbara Austin, Jane Baba, Sally Bachelard, Anna-Rosa Baker, Sarah Balzer, Nerida Barges, Lyn Beasley, Jeannine Bevan, Lynne Booth, Nicole Bright, Jan Brown AM, Dorothy Brownrigg, Dr Geoffrey Burkhardt, Anthony Bushell, Mick Callinan, Carol Cartwright, Alison Chinn, Alex and Linda Church, Robin Clark, Dr Catherine Clutton, Penny Collings, Catherine Crompton and Tony Henshaw, Customworks Ltd, Dimity Davy, Haydn Daw and Susan Daw OAM, Helen Disney, Simon Dwyer, Professor Geoff Farrell, Linda Freasier, Lee Fuller, Wayne Godfrey, James Gould, Elizabeth and John Gray, Catherine Harris, Heather Henderson, Dr Thelma Heyde, Julie Hotchin, Dr Joseph Johnson OAM, Mike Johnston, Imogen Kelly, Matoyla Kollaras, Trevor Lee, Cate Lemann, Lady Jodie Leonard, Nicholas and Ann Lidstone, Wendy Lindgren, Diana MacDonell, Graeme Mayo, Robin McLachlan, Joan Merrell, Eveline Milne, Philip Moore, Anne Moroney, Anne Moten, Neil Motteram, Neil Munro, Dr Anthony Nicholls, Lorraine Ovington, Charles and Karen Pittar, Tony Purnell, Clive Rodger, Philip Roper, Bridget Sack, Margie Seale and David Hardy, Warwick and Tina Sicklen, Dr Marian Simpson, Wendy Smith, Margaret Smythe, HL Stead, Rodney Teakle, Warwick and Sandra Trimble, Linnett and David Turner, Dierk von Behrens, Josephine Walsh, Denis Warne, Maitland Wheeler, Doreen J Wilson, Leonard Wise, Daniel Wong, Lady Laurel Yeend, Halina Zachara

Dr Mathew Trinca, Director, National Museum of Australia:

Education and the sharing of knowledge are central to the Museum’s ambitions. An ambition realised through our inaugural Encounters Fellowships Program. This was an inspirational process of two-way learning – the Museum has gained as much from the program as the participants.

The National Museum of Australia gratefully acknowledges the Australian Government’s support of the Encounters Fellowships Program.

The Museum would like to thank The Prince’s Trust Australia which, as key partner of the inaugural 2016 fellowships, generously supported the program and its recipients. This program is only possible with the ongoing support of the Museum’s private donors and sponsors.

A logo block containing four logos - National Museum of Australia, Prince's Trust Australia, National LIbrary of Australia, Australian Government
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