Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts peers

Karla Hart

Karla Hart, WA  – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Peer

If you were to encourage a colleague to become a Peer – what would you tell them…

About the time commitment required?

The time commitment being a peer is very important that it is not rushed.  Allow yourself around 20 minutes to go through each application, as it is very important you assess everybody fairly by reading the whole application and studying the supportive material.  Sometimes if things do not make sense you will find yourself spending more time looking over in finer detail for clarification.

You have learned about your sector?

I have learned that my sector is underfunded.  There are amazing individuals, projects and organisations that are creating such a beautiful spaces in the community. It is so inspiring, but there is just not enough funding to go around, which as a peer can be quite emotional when things are ranked on the other side of the coin. On the other hand many projects become a reality, which is very exciting to see. 

Does everyone agree in the assessment meetings? What should you be prepared to do? 

Not everyone agrees in the assessment meeting and sometimes we will fight for applications we really feel deserve to move up in the rank, (by talking in detail about why you value that application). Sometimes you have to let it go by trusting and respecting your peers and going with the majority as we all bring different skills and experience to the table.

What have you enjoyed most about being a peer?

I have enjoyed being a peer as it is wonderful to see so much talent, inspiration and drive in our arts community Australia wide.  I have also enjoyed meeting new people on the peer panel who are also contributing on major levels in our communities.  

Fred Gesha

Fred Gesha, VIC - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Peer

If you were to encourage a colleague to become a Peer – what would you tell them…

About the time commitment required?

You need to consider the amount of time needed to assess the amount of applications you are required to read.

Are you prepared to make the time available to give a fair and impartial assessment.

It is a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end.

You have learned about your sector?

I have learnt the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts practices and the depth of ingenuity and brilliance.

Being a peer assessor opens your eyes up to what is happening at a local, state, national and international level.  

Does everyone agree in the assessment meetings? What should you be prepared to do?  

Be prepared to listen to everyone’s opinions and expertise on the panel, as we are not experts in all artistic fields.

What have you enjoyed most about being a peer?

Getting to meet other artists and arts workers from round the country. Being able to support the best young, emerging and established artists to further their careers.

Murray Saylor

Murray Saylor, QLD - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Peer

What is the best and worst thing about being an assessor?

The best thing about being an assessor was the opportunity to learn from peers and assist in the peer review process. The worst thing about being an assessor is the realisation that there is only limited funds to support and enhance our arts sector.

What should potential peers know before becoming an assessor?

That the position comes with great responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

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