11 APR 2022

Brisbane Powerhouse has partnered with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to support early-career Indigenous Australian creative practitioners with the launch of the inaugural Wandima Fellowship.

Drawn from a Yagara word meaning “rising; going upwards”, the year-long Wandima Fellowship is valued at $20,000 and includes a supported program of mentoring, professional development, internship or work experience.

Applications are sought from outstanding recent graduates across all areas of arts practice or administration including performance, art, music, design, choreography, directing, curating, producing or production.

Brisbane Powerhouse CEO/Artistic Director Kate Gould said the Wandima Fellowship was designed to discover and nurture emerging arts talent.

“We know if we invest in high-potential, talented people, we’re going to produce high-quality artists and artsworkers of the future,” Ms Gould said, adding the successful applicant was not bound to undertake their Fellowship at Brisbane Powerhouse.

“When I was appointed to lead Brisbane Powerhouse, I saw an opportunity to further connect with First Nations people and identify emerging First Nations artists and artsworkers whose talent and creativity will contribute new cultural knowledge to arts practice.

“Not only will the Wandima Fellow receive financial freedom to pursue their creative practice but also mentorship and support to expand their professional networks and access new opportunities to take their career to the next level.”

Brisbane Powerhouse First Nations consultant Gaja Kerry Charlton said Wandima was a Yagara term that spoke to an artist or artsworker progressing to a higher place in their chosen field.

“Wandima refers to the participants rising to a higher level of experience, skills, learning, development and growth; the rising up of Australian First Nations peoples into new and expanded horizons,” she said.

The successful Fellow will work alongside the Brisbane Powerhouse team, in consultation with First Nations Advisor Aunty Colleen Wall, to design a program that could include internships or residencies at Brisbane Powerhouse or another arts company, creative development opportunities in Australia or overseas.

The Wandima Fellow will also undertake two engagement activities with QUT and one public outcome with Brisbane Powerhouse during their 12-month tenure.

QUT’s Executive Dean, Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice Professor Lori Lockyer said the Wandima Fellowship was a natural extension of QUT’s longstanding relationship with Brisbane Powerhouse and demonstrated their mutual commitment to support the next generation of Indigenous Australian creative practitioners. 

“The Wandima Fellowship will contribute to QUT’s aim to nurture, promote and celebrate the excellence and talents of Indigenous Australians,” she said.  

“In alignment with the Wandima name, QUT hopes to see new knowledge and skills developed for the Fellow and the opportunity to share these with our students and staff through teaching and learning engagement.

“QUT has a commitment to learning and teaching transformation; to ensure we ‘walk the talk’ of social justice, diversity and inclusion through new ways of thinking and working.”

Applicants must be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage and are not required to have studied at QUT but must have graduated from an undergraduate or postgraduate creative industries course between 2019 and 2021.

While submissions are accepted nationally, preference is given to applicants based in Queensland or northern New South Wales.

Candidates are invited to submit a two-page expression of interest outlining:

  • Eligibility for the Fellowship
  • Why they should be considered
  • A brief description of their artistic or creative practice or arts administrative experience and interest
  • A brief proposal on what they would like to undertake as the Wandima Fellow

“We’re looking for flair and creativity but also looking for an executable plan on how they would spend their time as the Wandima Fellow and grow their creative practice or professional specialisation,” Ms Gould said.

Wandima Fellowship applications close on Monday 13 June 2022 and submissions can be sent to [email protected]. For more information, click here.

QUT and Brisbane Powerhouse acknowledge the First Nations owners of the lands on which we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this Country.

For thousands of years, the First Nations owners have gathered to share their knowledge and stories. We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples as the original storytellers of these lands and acknowledge the important role they play within our communities.

We acknowledge the young leaders who are working beside our Elders in our cultural institutions and industries and recognise their long and continuing connection to Country.