Mel sees a new dimension through the looking glass

Photo: Trevor King

The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) has announced a new $300,000 grant to help Indigenous creative professionals undertake a Master of Fine Arts in cultural leadership.

The grant, from the Luminis Foundation, will be awarded each year for six years to an Indigenous student undertaking the course. It will fund half of the student’s fees.

The first recipient is glass artist Mel George, who is of Aboriginal and Greek heritage and who has worked at the prestigious Corning Museum in New York and in the glass industry in Australia and the US.

“Although always rumoured amongst some family members, research has unveiled that my paternal grandmother was forced to renounce her Aboriginality and thus, was unable to ever speak about her past and her culture,” George said.

“I see myself as a connector. I want to amplify the visibility of artistic excellence that exists in the most remote and inaccessible areas of our country.

“I believe that a key part of the long and difficult reconciliation process is through arts and culture.

“Participating in this course will help develop my knowledge and enable me to better contribute to one of Australia’s most important challenges.”

The $300,000 grant will also support the Luminis Foundation Director’s Studio, a teaching space for NIDA’s MFA students in directing.

The Luminis Foundation is a charitable body set up by corporate advisory firm Luminis Partners.

Wendy Caccetta

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