Applause: Latest awards and celebrations

Performing Arts Editor

Latest Australian Council grants and fellowships; Advance Arts Award; Ned Kelly winners, mentorships and more.
Applause: Latest awards and celebrations

First Nations artists made a strong showing in the latest Australia Council fellowships and grants; image Shutterstock..

First Nations artists strong in latest Australia Council grants

The Australia Council this week announced grants of $6.2 million that will support 201 project and development grants for individuals, groups and small to medium arts organisations, with a  strong trend of First Nations arts.

Among the recipients are Melbourne-based hip hop, soul and R&B artist Mojo Juju, to take part in a European tour with the Hilltop Hoods; First Nations curator Freja Carmichael, for her latest project building on her success as the inaugural recipient of the emerging First Nations curator award and Four Winds Festival, to commission songs for young people from First Nations composer Brenda Gifford.


Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette congratulated all recipients for their success in a highly competitive, peer assessed process.

‘This strong result for First Nations artists is particularly pleasing and reflects Council’s long term commitment to First Nations arts and culture. Now more than ever, Australians are engaging with First Nations arts for their beauty, strength and power, and to understand who we are as a nation,’ he said.

‘Equally pleasing is that almost a third of the successful applicants nominated audience engagement, or access and participation, as primary outcomes of their project. We want as many Australians as possible to be captivated by arts experiences.’

$1.6 million for regional performing arts touring

Meanwhile, the Federal Government announced grants of more than $1.6 million for 11 projects through the latest round of the Playing Australia national touring program.

The program supports organisations to tour music, theatre, dance and other performing arts projects across regional and remote Australia.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the tours supported through this funding will reach 130 locations across all Australian states and territories, two thirds of which are in regional and remote areas.

Finalists announced for the 2019 Melbourne Prize

The finalists in this year’s Melbourne Prize for Music 2019 were announced last week. They are Deborah Cheetham AO, David Bridie, Andrea Keller, Erkki Veltheim and Sophie Brous.

The Melbourne Prize for Music 2019 and Awards provides significant opportunities and financial rewards to Victorian musicians in recognition of their outstanding talent. The 2019 finalists have been shortlisted following a record number of entries spanning a range of music genres.

Finalists for the $12,500 Beleura Emerging Composers Award 2019 are Aviva Endean, Mojo Juju, Scott McConnachie, Kaiit Waup and Elizabeth Welsh, while the $18,500 Development Award finalists are Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, Andrea Keller, Sophie Koh, May Lyon and Tilman.

The winners will be announced on 13 November.

Angelica Mesiti wins Advance Arts Award

Australian video artist Angelica Mesiti, who is known for her large-scale video works, has been named as the winner of the Advance Arts Award. 

Advance, the organisation that honours and engages members of Australia’s global diaspora, has announced the winners of its 2019 Advance Awards. These awards recognise the outstanding achievements of Australians living and working around the world.

The 10 category winners represent a various group of Australian expatriates who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields, which range from technology innovation, financial services and healthcare, to social impact, sustainability, and the arts.

The 2019 winners will be formally presented with their awards at Advance’s Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner at The Star Sydney on Thursday 17 October.

Emerging Visual Artist awarded mentoring scholarship

The NGV, in partnership with MECCA, announced that Melbourne-based artist Renee Cosgrave as the recipient of the third $20,000 MECCA M-Power NGV Arts Mentoring Program, awarded annually to an emerging female visual artist or designer.

Born in New Zealand, Renee is an abstract painter from Ngāti Tūwharetoa iwi (tribe) in Aotearoa, with Irish, Māori and Scottish ancestry. Using painting as a form of therapy, Renee has created a body of work that applies elements of colour and repetition to explore themes of identity, memory, place and home.

‘We’re delighted to offer this year’s opportunity to Renee Cosgrave, who will use the grant to research her diverse family background, alongside the history, culture and landscape of Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, to develop new works,’ said Tony Ellwood, Director, National Gallery of Victoria.

Creativity scholarships to Territory youth

NIDA has announced that the NIDA Open Equity Scholarship has been awarded to Year 11 O’Loughlin Catholic College student, Sean. Sean will join the program in Darwin in September, as part of NIDA Open’s ongoing commitment to access and equity.

Born and raised in Darwin, Sean is a proud Yawuru-Gurindji young man who is keen to learn skills and gain access to an acting course he would never otherwise experience. Sean is passionate about performing and is keen to expand his acting training as he considers a career in the performing arts.

Head of NIDA Open, Tricia Ryan, said: ‘This Spring Holidays NIDA Open is investing in the creativity of young people all over Australia. Our Equity Scholarships have invested over $25,000 across 11 different locations nationally to enable young creatives to take part in a course of their choice.’

NIDA Open will be running its Spring Holiday program from Monday 7 October– Sunday 13th October, at Darwin High School. 

Ned Kelly 2019 Winners

The Australian Crime Writing Association has announced the winners for the Ned Kelly Awards 2019. Now in its 24th year, the Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious crime writing awards.

The 2019 Ned Kelly winners are: Best Fiction, The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Macmillan Australia); Best First Fiction The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia) and for Best True Crime, Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin), in a year that has seen the largest number of entries received in the awards’ history.

The Ned Kelly Awards were held in Sydney on Friday September 6 at the Harold Park Tramsheds as part of the BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival.

Next generation of SA jazz talent 

South Australia’s next generation of jazz talent was honoured at the Helpmann Academy’s annual Jazz Awards event, with $28,500 in awards to be presented to the top jazz graduates from The University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Five emerging musicians were presented with awards in the Hilton Adelaide Ballroom

Trumpet player Max Grynchuk (Hillcrest) won $17,500, receiving both the Keith & Susie Langley Memorial Award for Best Overall Honours Graduate ($7500), along with the Mike Stewart Memorial Award ($10,000, presented in partnership with Jazz SA).

Guitarist Ben Finnis (Toorak Gardens) won The Lang Foundation Award for Best Overall Undergraduate, vocalist Chelsea McGuinness (Joslin) was presented with the Rob Lyons Award for Top Voice Undergraduate and bassist Lenny Regione (Allenby Gardens) was won the Adelaide Bank Award for Top Bass Undergraduate. The Helpmann Academy Award for Top Piano Undergraduate was won by pianist Ciara Ferguson (Lockleys).

About the author

To contact the ArtsHub news desk email Keep up-to-date with the latest industry news; be part of the conversation and an engaged arts community by following ArtsHub on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr.