The Marten Bequest

Travelling scholarships from The Marten Bequest are administered by the Australia Council on behalf of Perpetual as trustee. The scholarships provide financial support under the categories acting, architecture, ballet, instrumental music, painting, poetry, prose, sculpture and singing to help talented Australian artists achieve their dreams.

John Chisholm Marten (1908 - 1966) was born in Kent, England and moved to Australia at a young age, residing in Sydney for his adult life. John Marten was a theatrical artist and well known for his appreciation and support of the arts community. 

John was actively involved in many different art forms. He was trained in Spanish dancing and served in the merchant navy during the war. John also co-authored The Bali Ballet Murders with Cornelius Conyn which was published in Australia, London and also translated into Dutch and published in the Netherlands. (This novel can be found at the Mitchell Library A823/C768/IAI) 

A strong advocate for the artistic capabilities of young Australians, he understood the costs involved in study and training programs. In light of this, Marten established through a charitable trust, The Marten Bequest.

Travelling scholarships from The Marten Bequest offer talented young artists the chance to explore, study and develop their artistic gifts through travelling either overseas or interstate.

2018 Recipients of The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships are:

Acting – Jacinta Yelland

Ballet – Brayden Gallucci

Instrumental Music – Bridget O’Donnell

Painting – Jahnne Pasco-White

Poetry – Tamryn Bennett

Prose – Jessica Friedmann

Sculpture – Lauren Burrow

A selection of past recipients of travelling scholarships from The Marten Bequest include:

Acting – Mish Grigor (2017), Matilda Ridgway (2013), Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood (2011)

Architecture – Nikhila Madabhushi (2017), Charlotte Algie (2014), Daniel Kumnick (2009)

Ballet – Harrison Lee (2017), Julia Gillespie (2001), Paul Knobloch (1997)

Instrumental Music – Ross McHenry (2017), Sophie Rowell (2005), Andrew Bain (2000)

Painting – Sam Holt (2017), Tully Moore (2013), James Drinkwater (2011)

Poetry – Caitlin Maling (2017), Candy Royalle (2014), MTC Cronin (1998)

Prose – Rebecca Slater (2017), Laura Jean McKay (2014), Mireille Juchau (2004)

Sculpture – Marian Tubbs (2017), Christopher Hanrahan (2013), Michaela Gleave (2009)

Singing – Alasdair Kent (2017), Valda Wilson (2011), Andrew Goodwin (2005)

Please note: Perpetual will only accept a limited number of scholarship proposals annually. Once this limit is met, no further proposals can be submitted.

Key Dates

The next round of The Marten Bequest will open in late 2018 for projects starting after 1 July 2019.

Who can apply

Individual artists who were born in Australia and who are aged 21 - 35 (17 - 35 for ballet) at the closing date may submit proposals.

These are terms established by The Marten Bequest and there are no exceptions to this requirement. If you were born in Australia but will have difficulty providing either a copy of a birth certificate or passport, please contact a grants officer to discuss your situation.

All applicants should familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of The Marten Bequest.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a scholarship if:

·  you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted

·  you owe money to the Australia Council

·  you were previously awarded a grant through The Marten Bequest

What you can apply for

The scholarships are awarded annually to candidates who show great promise in the arts and literature, with nine scholarship categories available:

·  Acting

·  Architecture

·  Ballet

·  Instrumental music

·  Painting

·  Poetry

·  Prose

·  Sculpture

·  Singing

Scholarship funds can be used to assist with study programs, professional training courses and/or mentor programs.

The scholarship’s value

Scholarships are each worth $50,000, payable in quarterly installments over two years.


Scholarship proposals will be assessed by the Australia Council. A list of recommended scholarship recipients is forwarded to Perpetual who will make the final approval decision.

The decision of Perpetual is final and no feedback on proposals or further correspondence on decisions will be provided.

Scholarship proposal form

The Australia Council will only accept scholarship proposal forms online. If you have trouble accessing our online system please call a grants officer for further advice.

The type of questions we ask you to complete in your online proposal include:

·  your name and contact details

·  your gender

·  agreement with terms and conditions of the scholarship

·  certification that you were born in Australia

·  information about your practice, including your artistic discipline, your resume, the proposed aim of your scholarship (names of teachers/institutions, travel plans, dates, etc.)

·  supporting material as relevant to your proposal.

Support material

Additional material can be submitted to help support your proposal. You can submit up to two URLs (web links). These URLs should be direct links to material that can include video, audio, images (photos, drawings, sketches or plans), and writing.

For instrumental music, singing, ballet and acting proposals:

·  a direct link URL to video recording of performance (preferred) but for music and singing this may be a link to an audio file

For painting and sculpture proposals:

·  a direct link URL to 12 digital images or video recording

For architecture proposals:

·  a direct link URL to recent plans, drawing, diagrams, renderings and/or photos

For poetry and prose proposals:

·  a direct link URL to poetry (2 - 5 pieces of work) or prose (1,500 - 2,000 words).

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online, click here.

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs. However, if you cannot supply artistic support material via a URL, we will accept artistic support material in the following formats:

·  Video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)

·  Audio (MP3 and Windows Media)

·  Images (JPEG and PowerPoint)

·  Written material (PDF)

Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can provide written references or write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain how the proposed scholarship will benefit the artist. You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

Please note that in order to apply for a Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, you must provide proof that you were born in Australia (e.g. passport or birth certificate).

The Marten Bequest terms and conditions can be viewed here.

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