Welcome to the Milparanga Australia Council Scholarship

Applications close: 29 January 2021 at midnight (AEDT)

Accepted applicants notified: 15 February 2021

The Australia Council for the Arts has partnered with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) to support two scholarships over the 2020-2021 period for First Nations arts leaders to participate in the Milparanga Program.

About Milparanga and the scholarship

Milparanga is run by the ARLF and is a cross industry leadership program with a focus on regional and remote Australia. The Australia Council is supporting First Nations artists and arts practitioners to participate in the program. Milparanga, meaning ‘watching over country and its people’ (in Mithaka language), honours Indigenous knowledge, philosophies and reclaiming of language. Milparanga is designed to develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and aims to support participants to:

  • increase awareness of self and others
  • develop greater understanding and confidence to apply leadership behaviour, clear communication, governance and decision making
  • broaden perspectives and act for the greater good of communities, regions and organisations
  • engage in robust conversations that will honour existing skills and knowledge, as well as provoking thoughts and assumptions.

Program dates for 2021 are:

  • Session 1:
    • Townsville 26 April to 1 May 2021
  • Session 2: 
    • Canberra 21-26 June 2021.

Milparanga is fully funded by the National Indigenous Australians’ Agency and participants will only need to pay a $200 contribution fee.

The contribution fee goes towards program costs and a lifetime membership to the Network of Fellows of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Participants may be responsible for a small component of travel expenses to and from major transport services.


To be eligible for the Australia Council scholarship you must:

  • be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists or arts practitioner
  • be 21 years or older
  • have a connection and interest in rural and regional Australia.

Assessment criteria

Leaders will be assessed proportionately to their experience level. Australia Council staff and industry advisers will assess the applications using the following criteria:

  1. Level of commitment and engagement – introduce yourself, telling us who you are and about your passion and commitment to the cultural sector.
  2. Readiness – outline your career trajectory and tell us why this is the right program for you and your leadership development at this moment in time.
  3. Collaborative learner – show you are open to new ideas, able to learn in a group situation and willing to share knowledge and insights with others.
  4. Leadership ability and potential – explain what leadership in the arts mean to you as an individual.  What skills, attributes and behaviours do you have or need to grow in your leadership?

Please note this is not a job or project application – assessors are looking for evidence of deep thinking, self-reflection and an understanding of the arts sector and your place within it.


Entry to the program is highly competitive. In your application, you must demonstrate how you meet each of the selection criteria.

Provide a written response to each of the selection criteria in the field where indicated in the online form. We recommend you break up your proposal with headings to clearly identify which criterion you are addressing and keep answers succinct and relevant.

Support material

You must submit either a short CV (max 2 pages) or your LinkedIn profile. You will be required to submit a URL for either of these. Your resume should be uploaded online and an URL provided as support material.

To find out how to upload your CV, click here.

Please do NOT attach any letters of support, media articles, examples of your artistic practice or other documentation. These will not be viewed by assessors.

Assessment process

Industry advisors and Australia Council staff will review submissions according to the selection criteria, and shortlisted candidates may be invited to an interview.

All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application once the selection process has been completed.


For further information about the program, please contact Project Officer Capacity Building First Nations, Ian RT Colless by email at or by phone at 0435781891.

In partnership with:

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