The Marten Bequest

The Australia Council announces the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships recipients:

  • Danae Valenza - Visual Arts
  • Sydney Merrilees - Classical Ballet
  • Brenton Spiteri - Opera
  • Renae Shadler - Theatre
  • Ellena Savage - Fiction
  • Anna Maskiell - Craft/Design
  • Gemma Lee - Classical Music

Applications are now closed.

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

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. A list of previous scholarship recipients can be found here.

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.

The scholarships are administered by the Australia Council on behalf of Perpetual as trustee.

Key Dates

Closing date: Thursday, 31 January 2019 (MIDNIGHT AEDT) for projects starting after 1 July 2019.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Tuesday 30 April 2019.

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

Who can apply

Individual artists who:

·  were born in Australia

·  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 instalments over two years.


Your proposal will be reviewed by the Australia Council. We may seek industry advice on your proposal before making our recommendations to Perpetual, who will make the final decision.

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

Scholarship Proposals

Scholarship proposals are submitted through our online system. If you are using the system for the first time you will need to register your details to access the proposal form.

We do not accept applications submitted via post. Any material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact the grants team.

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).

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.

Our co-investment strategy builds on the Council’s trusted brand, our relationships and our wealth of experience which underpins innovative approaches to arts investment.

Learn more about Co-investment

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