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Prized scholarships to help young artists develop creative talents

The Australia Council will deliver grants and scholarships spanning multiple artforms, in partnership with Perpetual as Trustee.

Today’s announcement includes seven Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships, each worth $50,000. The scholarships offer talented young artists the chance to explore, study and develop their artistic gifts through travelling interstate and/or overseas.

The Australia Council has also awarded two Askin Scholarships, each worth $30,000, for young people with outstanding ability and promise in ballet or opera.

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette said:

“These scholarships offer life-changing opportunities for young people to pursue education and training and develop their creative talents. We are pleased to continue to deliver these scholarships, made possible through our partnership with Perpetual.”

Marten Bequest scholarship recipients:

Patrick Livesey        Acting

Jed Long                 Architecture

Laura Griffiths          Ballet

Ida Lawrence          Painting

Dzenana Vucic        Prose

Kai Wasikowski       Sculpture

Natalie Dietz            Singing

Askin scholarship recipients:

Milei Lee                           Lady Mollie Isabelle Ballet Scholarship

Daniel Carison                  Sir Robert William Askin Operatic Scholarship

More information about the recipients can be found below. For information on co-investing with the Australia Council visit our website.

About the Marten Bequest

The Marten Bequest Travelling 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.

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

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.

About the Askin Scholarships

The Lady Mollie Isabelle Askin Ballet and Sir Robert William Askin Operatic Scholarships were established by a Deed of Lady Mollie Askin to further culture and advance education in Australia by providing travelling scholarships for Australian citizens with outstanding ability and promise in Ballet & Opera.

The scholarships are awarded biennially to candidates who have outstanding ability and promise in Ballet or Opera. Each scholarship is worth $30,000, payable in two instalments of $15,000 over two years.

About Perpetual Philanthropic Services

Perpetual is one of Australia’s largest managers of philanthropic funds, with $3.7 billion in funds under advice for charitable trusts and endowment funds (as at 31 December 2021). Perpetual is trustee for many charitable trusts and endowments and provides individuals and families with advice on establishing charitable foundations and structured giving programs. Perpetual also assists charities and not-for-profit organisations with investment advice and management.

Partnerships and co-investment with the Australia Council for the Arts

The Australia Council is committed to growing private, public and philanthropic funds to support the arts and create more opportunities for artists and arts workers.

We have a long and proud history of partnering with philanthropic foundations, corporations and individual donors to co-invest in the arts. Together we have realised unforgettable creative experiences and supported the talents of extraordinary artists who have enriched the lives of Australians everywhere

Patrick Livesey (Vic) – Acting

Patrick is a full-time independent actor/writer/producer with four years of professional experience.

Upon graduating Victorian Colleague of the Arts with a BFA in Theatre Practice, Patrick immediately began creating work, presenting The Boy, George at Melbourne Fringe in 2018.

This work won the NZ Tour Ready Award and was nominated for Best Performance. Australian Arts Review noted ‘Livesey hold’s the audience in the palm of their hand… a worthy debut.’

Patrick will use the scholarship towards further training at Maggie Flanigan Studios in New York.

Jed Long (NSW) – Architecture

A registered Architect and co-founder of the design collective Cave Urban. The studio sits at the intersection of art and architecture, and prioritizes collaboration, community engagement and the utilisation of natural, local, and recycled materials as key components of any project. Through Cave Urban, Jed has created large-scale public works for events and organisations such as the Sydney Biennale, Art and About, and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

Jed plans to use the scholarship to undertake research, engaging with leading research institutions, designers and companies interested in developing laminate bamboo products for architectural application. Jed will also undertake a series of mentorships in Indonesia.

Laura Griffths (UK) – Ballet

Laura has aspired to be a professional ballet dancer since the age of four. Laura first trained in Gisborne, Victoria, before studying at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.

The scholarship will assist Laura towards her continuing education at the English National  Ballet School. Laura also plans to undertake intensive training programs across the UK and to attend auditions internationally and within Australia.

Natalie Dietz (NSW) – Singing

An emerging jazz composer and vocalist from Sydney, Australia who has been recognized internationally in the field of jazz composition and voice. In December 2016, Natalie was awarded the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) USA’s Herb Alpert 2016 National Young Jazz Composer’s Award by Lincoln Center in New York.In 2013 my first promotional EP was released to critical acclaim.

After completing a Bachelor of jazz voice performance at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, in 2014, Natalie was one of three jazz vocalists selected internationally into a leading conservatory for jazz music study the ‘New England Conservatory’ in Boston. In May 2016, Natalie  completed a Master of Music in jazz voice performance at New England Conservatory under a merit scholarship.

The scholarship will facilitate a career-transforming professional development program in New York, mentorships, and composing a full-length body of work.

Dzenana Vucic (Qld) – Prose

A Bosnian-Australian writer, critic, poet and editor. Dzenana came to Australia in 1995 as a refugee from the Bosnian war. Dzenana writes about this experience and its ramifications, as well as topics including relationships, technology, human rights and feminism.

Dzenana is a recipient of the 2022 Peter Blazey Fellowship and 2021 Kat Muscat Fellowship, and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship.

Dzenana plans to use the scholarship towards study and research in Bosnia and Australia.

Kai Wasikowski (NSW) – Sculpture

Kai Wasikowski is an Australian multi-disciplinary artist.

In 2016, Wasikowski completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (First Class Honours with University Medal) at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. His graduate work was recognised through the University Medal, the SCA Dean’s Honours Award, the Artereal Gallery Mentorship Award & the Schenberg Art Fellowship presented at PICA’s 2017 exhibition ‘Hatched: National Graduate Show’.

In 2018 Wasikowski exhibited at Artspace (Sydney), Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery (Singapore), HOTA Gallery (Gold Coast) & the Australian Centre for Photography, in 2019 he exhibited with Michael Bugelli Gallery at Auckland Art Fair & was artist in residence for two months at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in China.

Kai plans to use the scholarship to support intensive skills development over two years, including training and professional mentorship in computational sculpture techniques, including LiDAR scanning, 3D modelling, printing & machining, predominately in the US.

Ida Lawrence (NSW) – Painting

Ida’s Narrative Paintings and murals mix text and images, inspired by research and personal experiences.

Ida is interested in painting’s storytelling, allegorical and symbolic potential—how images can have multiple meanings and how the way images are painted contributes to the story told. A recent career high was a mentorship and project with senior Indonesian artist FX Harsono supported by Create NSW & Fairfield City Museum & Gallery.

The scholarship will enable the development of Ida’s practice, supporting participation in the Berlin Program for Artists mentorship and learning of new skills in Berlin & the EU region.

Milei Lee (UK), Lady Mollie Isabelle Askin Scholarship for Ballet

Milei Lee is a 17-year-old dancer from Melbourne, who began dancing at three years of age.

She says she “instantly fell in love with the purity and expressiveness of the art form and ever since her first performance on the stage, “knew I had a dream, and that dream was to be a professional ballet dancer.”

At the age of 11, Melei began training full-time at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and went on to study at the English National Ballet School.

The scholarship will enable Milei to continue and complete her studies at the English National Ballet School.

Daniel Carison (Germany), Sir Robert William Askin Scholarship for Opera

Daniel is currently the principal baritone of the Landestheater Coburg, Germany. He previously spent two years as principal artist of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden where he sang over 15 roles.

Prior to relocating to Germany, Daniel worked primarily as a freelance Opera and Lieder artist singing throughout Australia and held a scholarship with the Melba Opera Trust.

The Sir Robert Askin Operatic Scholarship will assist Daniel to realise his goals and expand  his career, including through singing lessons and coaching as well as to travel to attend competitions.



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


0498 123 541