Training Indigenous Leaders

The following article by Gina Fairley, ‘British Council accelerates Aboriginal alliance’ was published in ArtsHub, 20 July 2014

Search on for four Indigenous creative leaders to head to the UK to realise an ambitious career pathway.

The British Council is on the lookout for four indigenous creative leaders to travel to the UK on its tailored leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.

Now in its fifth year, the program, ACCELERATE, offers a professional boost to indigenous leaders in a model designed to drive confidence, skills and networks that will enable them to take up leadership positions within creative industries in their community and cultural organisations.

This year, four recipients will be chosen, one each from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and nationally.

They will each receive a fully funded trip to the UK, where they will be carefully paired with a UK mentor, who will then stay in regular contact for the year after they return home.

British Council Director Nick Marchand said: ‘What we have seen in previous years is that ACCELERATE participants return home with their minds full of possibility, and what we hope this extended support will do is to help them to process their UK experience more quickly, and to allow them to hit the ground running, to find a way of turning this possibility into practical change and action.’

Participants will also gain practical leadership skills to help them outline sustainable and ambitious career pathways and identify personal and professional obstacles to achieving them, in a three-day Leadership Intensive delivered by visiting UK expert Mark Wright of People Create.

Lydia Miller, Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts, said the program ‘takes the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from across the country, and pairs them with the best cultural leaders in the UK. It provides all involved with international perspective, a fresh chance to consider culture and connections that continue to influence long after the program has finished.’

The program is not exclusive to art form or age. In its first year (2009) three curators from the ACT were selected. The past few years have reflected the talent pool of creative leaders with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, drawn from the visual arts to the museum sector, from theatre direction and writing. It is an impressive alumni.

Kimberley Moulton, who was selected last year, said: ‘Having an open dialogue and building trusted professional relationships is important in creating new ways of communicating old stories. It’s important to understand that we do share in our histories, good and bad, and collaboration and working together is the next step in our journey.’

ACCELERATE is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with at least five years’ experience in the creative industries, and who have a bold vision for where they want to take their career and community

Applications for the 2014 ACCELERATE program close midnight Sunday, 6 July 2014.

To apply and for more information go to