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Dr Mathew Trinca, Director, National Museum of Australia

The Encounters Fellowship Program is an inspirational process of two-way learning – the Museum has gained as much from the program as the participants.

The National Museum of Australia’s Encounters Fellowship Program is a life-changing opportunity for emerging First Nations cultural practitioners to build their skills, knowledge and networks in the museum sector. Participants experience a unique hands-on program at the National Museum and leading partner cultural institutions in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Encounters Fellow, 2016

It gave me another direction in life, of what I should be and what I should do… There’s so much to be done now – now that I’ve done this Fellowship.

Encounters Fellows work alongside museum, gallery and other cultural sector specialists, gaining behind-the-scenes experience in areas including collections research and care, curatorial, exhibition planning, digital storytelling, educational programming and leadership skills.

Kylie Caldwell reflection on Encounters Fellowship

The program includes immersive group sessions, practical workshops and individual placements and is tailored to each Fellow to support their aspirations and the cultural work they are engaged in.

Fellows also contribute to important conversations – in Australia and internationally – about how cultural institutions collaborate with First Nations communities and collections. In doing so, they are important voices in guiding museums into the future.

Fellows receive a stipend, with all travel, accommodation and living costs included in the Fellowship.


Our Encounters Fellowships are only made possible through the support of our generous donors.

Your donation will support our 2024 Encounters Fellows to travel to and work in Canberra, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – gaining skills, building networks and exchanging knowledge.

Thank you

We thank all the generous donors and supporters of the Encounters Fellowship Program.

For the 2024 Fellowship Program we particularly thank the 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.

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