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Empower through education

Colour photo of a woman weaving an object. - click to view larger image
Kylie Caldwell

The Encounters Fellowships at the National Museum is only made possible with the support of our donors.

This program is in its fifth year and has seen 12 individual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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 the 2021 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 Indigenous dialects in North West Queensland.
  • Curation of nationally touring Indigenous 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 $10,000–$19,999: British High Commission

Donors $1,000–$9,999: Daniel Gilbert AM, David Jones, Sue Wood, Fiona Jose, Fiona J James, Ben and Marina Maguire, Dr Marion Amies, Kylie Winkworth, Ross Gough

Donors $50–$999: Andrew Phelan, Dr Catherine Clutton, Catherine Crompton and Tony Henshaw, Clive Rodger, Dierk von Behrens, Doreen J Wilson, Dorothy Brownrigg, Dr Marian Simpson, Robin and Mary-Ann Anderson, Jan Brown AM, Catherine Harris, Joan Merrell, Maitland Wheeler, Margaret Smythe, Warwick and Sandra Trimble, Alex and Linda Church, Lady Laurel Yeend, Linda Freasier, Lynne Booth, Nicholas and Ann Lidstone, Sarah Balzer

Donate online now

Support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural leaders of the future.

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

We also thank these supporters of the Encounters Fellowships Appeal:

Daniel Gilbert AM
Alex Hartman and Domitille Bernard
Meredith Hinchliffe
David Jones and Melinda Conrad
International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC)

Maureen and Keith Kerridge
Kindred Spirits Foundation
Rossi Foundation
Dick Smith AM and Pip Smith AO

Michael Traill AM and Jenny Gage Traill
Sally White OAM and Geoffrey White OAM
Kim Williams AM and Catherine Dovey

Explore our other appeals

Defining the Symbols of Australia Appeal

Donations to this appeal enable transport and curatorial support for this exhibition as it travels across Australia.

Care for a Car Appeal

Donations to this appeal will support the Museum’s working car collection.

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