Back to top

Prince's Trust Australia | The Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarship Program
portfolio_page-template-default,single,single-portfolio_page,postid-16947,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,columns-4,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-9.5,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-,vc_responsive

The Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarship Program

Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarships completion ceremony

As a legacy of the award-winning Encounters Exhibition developed by the British Museum and the National Museum of Australia (N.M.A.), The Prince’s Charities Australia and the N.M.A. created and jointly funded the Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarship program to provide participants with the necessary skills to preserve Indigenous and Torres Strait culture for future generations.


His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of both the British and Australian Encounters exhibitions of 2015, provided guidance for the development and structure of the scholarship program.

The Encounters Exhibition was the result of more than five years’ work between the N.M.A. and the British Museum, and included extensive consultation with 27 remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

Following the Exhibition, Indigenous communities sought opportunities to develop skills in cultural work, more specifically in developing capacity within their communities to document, preserve and communicate aspects of their cultural lives.


The resulting 12-week pilot scholarship program begin in September 2016 and was designed to facilitate an outstanding national and international learning experience for Indigenous and Torres Strait cultural workers from regional and remote communities, and provide opportunities to develop and enhance their cultural, creative and artistic talents. Through a competitive application process in the first half of 2016, six scholarship recipients across Australia were selected based on their existing skills, and their dedication and passion for preserving their Indigenous crafts and culture.


The program was tailored for each awardee, based on their designated community cultural development project they will lead and deliver within their communities. Between September and November this year, this learning process took recipients to the N.M.A., the British Museum, The Prince’s School for Traditional Arts, Cambridge and Oxford Universities and a number of other culturally significant institutions in Britain, including the Royal Collection and event in their honour at Australia House hosted by His Excellency The Hon. Alexander Downer AC, Australian High Commissioner  to the U.K.



His Excellency The Hon. Alexander Downers AC, High Commissioner to the UK with Encounters Scholarship recipients at London Reception

The program concluded in November 2016 with Janine Kirk AM, Chief Executive, P.C.A, joining Dr Matthew Trinca, Director, N.M.A. and program supporters in Canberra to celebrate the completion of the program with the six-scholarship recipients.


P.C.A. and N.M.A. are currently reviewing the pilot program with the participants. Both organisations have committed to stay in touch with our participants from 2016 to assist them as they implement the knowledge gained from the program into their communities.


Please stay turned for further updates on future Encounter Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarship programs with announcements to occur later in 2017.


If supporting such a program would be of interest to you, please do contact P.C.A or N.M.A for further information.


2016 Pilot Program supporters below: