The Hutchinson Indigenous Residency has been created to provide Victorian Aboriginal emerging artists with financial support to explore ideas and develop skills that will develop new iterations of cultural practice and development and build their practice into the future.

The residency will be offered by the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA & MCM) in partnership with the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) at the University of Melbourne.


The Hutchinson Indigenous Residency is intended to allow recipients time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. The award will enable a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. It will also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community, thereby meeting new people, using new materials, and experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasise the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into culture.

The residency will also, over time, build an alumni network of Victorian Indigenous Arts practitioners who, through their service to the arts, will bring into focus the unique sound, colour, texture, form and rhythm of South-eastern Australian Indigenous culture.

Each residency will last for twelve months to allow the recipient to undertake and complete a project of their choice while receiving support from a range of specialist resources of the Wilin Centre, CCMC and elsewhere in the University of Melbourne, such as the Faculty of VCA & MCM, as appropriate and negotiated.

The Hutchinson Indigenous Residency award will be a cash grant of $40,000, payable in two instalments, with an additional amount up to $5,000 towards the cost of materials, payable on receipt of invoices.

Closing date
Applications are accepted all year.

Applications received by 31st August 2016 will be considered for the 2017 Hutchinson Indigenous Residency. Applications received from 1st September 2016 will be considered for the 2018 residency. The 2016 residency has been determined.

Criteria & eligibility
Applicants for the Hutchinson Indigenous Residency will need to meet the following criteria in order to be considered eligible:

  • Be a Victorian Indigenous arts practitioner (Visual or Performing) who identifies with at least one of the 38 languages (or 11 language families) of Victoria.
  • Have a successful record over at least three years as an Indigenous arts practitioner; a degree in a relevant discipline would be favourably viewed.
  • Have three or more years’ relevant experience in a related industry.

Applicants are to provide the following by the publicised closing date:

  1. An up to date Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  2. A Project Outline of up to 1,500 words including the following:
  • A statement of how your Aboriginality informs your arts practice;
  • A clear vision of the purpose and outcome of the residency with a set of public outcomes resulting from the residency: e.g. a lecture, performance, exhibition, installation, publication, recording, broadcast (online or physical);
  • A description of the project to be developed during the residency including details of how the project will:
    • Benefit from the available resources at the Victorian College of the Arts, The Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and/or the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Conservation;
    • Enhance the career of the applicant/performer;
    • Increase the profile of Victorian Aboriginal cultural practice.
  • A budget detailing materials and other resources required to complete the project.

3. Contact details for two referees who may be approached by the selection panel.

4. Details of previous or present exhibitions and/or publications including, if relevant, images or a show-reel of their current portfolio of work.

Selection process

Selection of an awardee will be through an open application process. The selection panel for the Hutchinson Indigenous Residency will consist of the following:

  • The Associate Dean (Indigenous), Faculty VCA & MCM;
  • The Director, CCMC;
  • The Curator of Indigenous Art, from a major Victorian gallery;
  • An additional co-opted panel member with relevant experience;
  • An independent senior member of the Indigenous arts community;
  • A Helen Macpherson Smith Trust representative (as observer).

Potential recipients will be shortlisted by the selection panel with the shortlisted candidates invited for an interview and/or audition. The selection panel will then make a recommendation for final approval by the Dean of the Faculty of VCA & MCM.

How to apply

Use the link in the online application process tab. You will be asked to provide your personal information and question addressing the criteria and eligibility information outlined above. You will be required to upload some documents, including your CV and Project Outline. You will also have the option to include support material that gives weight to your application.

Conditions for accepting a Hutchinson Indigenous Residency Award

A condition of accepting the Hutchinson Indigenous Residency will be that recipients will:

  • Be available for media interviews and press engagements upon receiving their award.
  • Be based at the Southbank or Parkville campus of the Faculty of VCA & MCM for the period of the residency.
  • Publicly showcase and/or publish their completed work.
  • Become an active member of the Hutchinson Indigenous Residency Alumni network.
  • Participate in publicity and profile enhancement opportunities to promote the impact of the Hutchinson Indigenous Residency award.
  • Submit a report to the University for onward transmission to the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust within two months of completing the residency describing the objectives, outcomes and learnings arising from the residency.
  • Be present, or represented in some way, at the announcement ceremony for the following year’s recipient.
  • If appropriate, progress from a successful completion of the Specialist Certificate in Cross-Cultural Conservation and Heritage onto a recognised Master’s Program in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, the recipient will retain all rights to their creative licence and any intellectual property generated during the residency.

Application process

Applications are accepted all year, please apply here.

Applications received by 31st August 2016 will be considered for the 2017 Hutchinson Indigenous Residency. Applications received from 1st September 2016 will be considered for the 2018 residency.