Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Milparanga Australia Council Scholarship

Welcome to the Milparanga Australia Council Scholarship

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.

In partnership with:

International Leadership program (Indo-Pacific)

In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the International Leadership Program invites applicants from nine eligible Indo-Pacific countries to apply for the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs in Australia.

Apply for a fully funded scholarship in one of our groundbreaking programs to transform your leadership and create impact for your organisation, practice or community.

Join colleagues from across our region to explore arts leadership through a different lens and learn through a range of experiences during your visits to Australia.

Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.


Arts Leaders program

The Arts Leaders Program is designed to transform our sector’s knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our established practitioners. The program brings together leaders from Australia and eligible Indo Pacific countries across artforms and career levels, to inspire and enhance arts leadership. The Arts Leaders Program is a personal and professional development opportunity – it will enhance your skills and capabilities, develop your networks and provide a platform for growth.

Applications are now closed.


Future Leaders program

The Future Leaders Program is designed to transform our sectors knowledge by developing skills and capabilities of our emerging practitioners. The program brings together a group of diverse leaders to engage with current and relevant themes affecting the future of the arts. Together, you will work through common challenges and opportunities faced within the sector today. 

The Future Leaders Program is for emerging leaders within their first ten years’ experience in the sector. The program is open to arts leaders working independently, within organisations or the broader community. 

Applications for the 2019 round are now closed.

Future Leaders Program

Arts Governance program

The Arts Governance Program is a national opportunity for organisations to enhance their governance practices through a program tailored specifically to the arts. The program aims to enhance governance skills, supporting leaders to prosper and arts organisations to thrive.

The program is comprised of two components, an arts governance workshop series and webinar series, both of which are aimed at the leaders (including board members/chairs, as well as senior management and artistic staff) of small to medium arts organisations.


Creative Connections: an online learning series for the arts and creative sector

Learn. Adapt. Respond. 

Creative Connections is an online webinar series for the cultural and arts sectors and will offer practical, accessible and useful content delivered by industry experts on key topics and emerging themes.

As a direct response to the current challenges faced by the arts sector, we acknowledge the isolation felt by artists and practitioners at this time, and the impact that temporary closure of many arts organisations is having on our collective wellbeing.

Watch now the recorded sessions.


What does leadership look like in 2020?

We are delighted to announce the next cohort of leaders to take part in our 2020 leadership programs. These individuals will transform their knowledge, skills and capabilities. 2020 also marks the first year of the Custodianship Program adding to our commitment to our First Nations people(s) as our cultural Elders and leaders.

Grounded in respect, generosity and listening, the programs tackle the big issues and opportunities faced by arts workers. Participants explore new ways of thinking and enact the potential of creativity for change.

The Australia Council Leadership Programs are dedicated to transforming our sector’s knowledge, skills and capabilities by supporting emerging and established leaders.

Current Participants

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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.