As a legacy of the award-winning Encounters Exhibition developed by the British Museum and the National Museum of Australia (N.M.A.), The Prince’s Trust Australia and the N.M.A. created and jointly funded the Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Fellowship Program to provide participants with the necessary skills to preserve Indigenous and Torres Strait culture for future generations.
The Encounters Exhibition was the result of more than five years’ work between the N.M.A. and the British Museum, and included extensive consultation with 27 remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. Following the Exhibition, Indigenous communities sought opportunities to develop skills in cultural work and build capacity within their communities to document, preserve and communicate aspects of their cultural lives.
Piloted in 2016, the inaugural program supported six Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander cultural workers from regional and remote communities to take part in an individually-tailored and intensive three – month scholarship, providing them with the opportunity to develop cultural, creative or heritage sector skills and capabilities. During the program, the six fellows visited a number of Australian cultural institutions, as well as The British Museum, Cambridge, Oxford and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of both the British and Australian Encounters exhibitions of 2015, provided guidance for the development and structure of the scholarship program.
The 2018 Encounters campaign is currently underway. If you’d like to support the program or find out more about our inaugural recipients, visit the National Museum of Australia website
“I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Encounters Cultural Workers Scholarship. Thanks to The Princes Trust Australia and the National Museum of Australia, I was able to create networks with the wonderful people we met at the museums and cultural institutions, both in Canberra and England. It’s been a spiritual journey for me, it has broadened my world knowledge and enabled me to successfully implement strategies for the development of our cultural centre. A great experience!! I loved it. Want to go back! A place of like-minded people at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts".
"Thank you Prince's Trust Australia, and the family within the Prince's School of Traditional Arts for this amazing experience. The preciousness of what I have learnt about traditional arts practices and other cultures will be truly blessed in my community and I am privileged to pass this on to my people. Thank you for the opportunity."
"It has been such a privilege to have been a part of the Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarships. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts with staff and students. Learning about the school and other projects they offer to the communities around the world has been really interesting. I would like to thank and pass on my gratitude to Janine Kirk and the Prince's Trust Australia for making the experience possible."
"I feel really blessed and grateful to be a part of a cultural affirming and intellectual engaging overseas scholarship experience. The visits to various museums in London, Oxford and Cambridge provided insights and network opportunities. Additionally, the time spent at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts gave a tantalising taste to the school's traditional arts methodologies and philosophies. I loved it and would highly recommended the program."
“I am truly humbled and feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to experience all of the wonderful cultural fusion at the many museums we visited at London, Oxford and Cambridge. It has also been a very emotional journey connecting spiritually with our ancestors through our interaction with our traditional artefacts that have left their homelands post-colonialism. Through them our culture presently continues to thrive in all aspects life. Wonderful relationships have been fostered and existing ones strengthened. Big thank you to all who have made our experience a memorable one that will remain close to my heart.”