Indigenous students graduate in Arts Management - from different mobs but all with the same passion!

10 May 2011

An extraordinary group of Indigenous students will achieve their dream and graduate from the Faculty of the VCA and Music, University of Melbourne, on Tuesday 10 May, with degrees in Indigenous Arts Management (IAM).

Eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, from around Australia, will don their graduation gowns and caps as they graduate in IAM, with one other graduating with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts. A tenth student graduating in IAM is non-Indigenous, but has a passion and commitment to arts management in the Indigenous sector.  The students are from the NT, Qld, NSW and Victoria.

Delivered through the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, at the Faculty of the VCA and Music, the course has involved four one-week intensives between July and December 2010. Study areas included Indigenous Arts and Cultural Identity; Industry and Marketing; Protocol, Policy and Law; and Arts and Project Management.

Professor Su Baker, Director of the VCA and Acting Director of the Wilin Centre, said the IAM course, since its introduction, has delivered some outstanding graduates, who have gone on to further their careers, often in Indigenous communities or organisations, in arts management around Australia.

 “While the course is open to all, there has been a glaring gap in the arts management sector in Australia with very few Indigenous people holding management positions.  The IAM course offers those Indigenous men and women already working in the arts/cultural industry the opportunity to further their formal education in this sector, and then feel confident to take on more senior management positions.

“It is opportunities like the IAM course being offered, which also gives something for younger Indigenous students in schools throughout Australia to strive for.  They see that opportunities are opening up for them if they are prepared to stay at school and aim for tertiary education.  These graduates are role models for others in their communities.”

The Wilin Centre’s Public/Student Programs and Administration manager, Leuli Eshraghi said the Wilin Centre offers a sense of community and family which is important in particular for Indigenous students, as often many have not studied away from their own community in the past.

The students will graduate at Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne on Tuesday evening, May 10, after gathering for a pre-celebration at the Wilin Centre.

Released to media by:  The Wilin Centre
Released by:  The PR Exchange Pty Ltd
Contact:  Sue Davies – 0419 434 398