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The Marten Bequest Scholarships

About The Marten Bequest

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

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.

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

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, John understood the costs involved in study and training programs and established The Marten Bequest through a charitable trust.

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

A list of previous recipients is available here.

Who can apply

Individual artists who are:

  • Australian citizens
  • aged 21 – 35 (17 – 35 for ballet) at the closing date.

These are terms established by The Marten Bequest and there are no exceptions to this requirement.

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

If you are an Australian citizen but will have difficulty providing a copy of a birth certificate, passport or citizenship certificate, please contact Artists Services.

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.

Nine scholarship disciplines are supported:

  • Acting
  • Architecture
  • Ballet
  • Instrumental music
  • Painting
  • Poetry
  • Prose
  • Sculpture
  • Singing

Scholarship funds can be used to assist with study programs, professional training courses and mentor programs in Australia and overseas.  You may also participate in online opportunities: however the majority of the scholarship funds should support  travel to access those opportunities.

Scholarships are paid in quarterly instalments over two years. Your application should include a program of activities that take place between June 2023 and June 2025.

Please note: Your project must consider the latest advice regarding COVID-19 in the locations where the activity will take place.

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

The decision of Perpetual is final, and no feedback will be provided  on your application or the decision.

Your application will be assessed against two criteria:

  • the potential of the applicant
  • the viability of the proposal.

Scholarship applications are submitted through the Australia Council’s Application Management System (AMS).

We do not accept applications sent 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 Artists Services.

Once signed into the AMS, click on ‘Apply for a Grant’ from the left panel menu. Scroll down the list of opportunities. Under ‘Co-Investment Opportunities’ select ‘The Marten Bequest’.

The type of questions we ask you to complete include:

  • your name and contact details
  • agreement with terms and conditions of the scholarship
  • confirmation that you are an Australian citizen
  • confirmation of your age
  • which discipline you are applying for
  • information about your practice and professional experience, your career goals
  • the proposed aim and activities of your scholarship (names of teachers/institutions, travel plans, dates, etc), and how your planned activities will assist your artistic career
  • support material relevant to your proposal.

You may supply additional material to support your application.

You may submit up to two URLs (weblinks). These URLs should be direct links to material and can include video, audio, images (photos, drawings, sketches or plans), and writing.

For instrumental music, singing, ballet and acting applications:

  • a direct link/URL to video recording of a performance; for music and singing this may be a link to an audio recording.

For painting and sculpture applications:

  • a direct link/URL to 12 digital images or video recording.

For architecture applications:

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

For poetry and prose applications:

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

You may include up to five letters of support or written references for you and your project, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page. The letters should explain how the proposed scholarship will benefit you. They should be combined into a single document.

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks). However, if you cannot supply artistic support material via 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).

Please note: Our assessors will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field on the application form.

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online, please contact Artists Services.

The Marten Bequest terms and conditions can be viewed here.