Batchelor Institute » PhD Candidate awarded an Australia Council Fellowship
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PhD Candidate awarded an Australia Council Fellowship


Jenny Fraser, who is currently a PhD Candidate at Batchelor Institute, has been awarded an Australia Council Fellowship at the 5th National Indigenous Arts Award held at the Sydney Opera House, May 27, 2012. Presented by the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, the awards showcase the breadth and vibrancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture in Australia.

Two fellowships of $90,000 over two years were awarded to world-renowned musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and contemporary visual and digital artist Jenny Fraser to produce major cross-artform projects.

Fellowship grants provide financial support for two years to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to enable them to undertake a major creative project or program in their artform. For the 2012 round, there was a particular focus on artists working in experimental, media and hybrid arts and were open to cross-artform artists and arts administrators.

This category was open to practising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists or who are able to demonstrate at least 10 years experience as a practising professional artist or arts worker. Applicants must demonstrate a proven record as a recognised and established professional artist or arts worker, shows artistic merit, innovation and originality of the nominated program for the Fellowship period and also shows wider benefits for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts community.

Much of Jenny Fraser’s work as a screen-based visual artist, writer and curator defies categorisation. Through her fellowship she is set to challenge audiences again with her latest unusual digital storytelling project, Midden.

Midden will celebrate unsung heroes and previously unspoken events in a non-linear documentary. Jenny will use shells, along with screen-based and performance elements to enhance, reframe and remix stories, to create new ways of engaging audiences.

Jenny chose to undertake her PhD at Batchelor Institute as it is one of the only Aboriginal Academic Institutions in Australia and has a well earned reputation for its Both-ways philosophy. Her Principal supervisor is Dr Sandy O’Sullivan who is a great advocate for Creative Research.

In 2011 Batchelor Institute was awarded Collaborative Research Network funding from the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education to build an Indigenous Researchers and Research Development Project, intended to increase the research capacity of Batchelor Institute with the support of our research partners, Monash University, Charles Darwin University, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the Australian National University.

Beginning in 2012, this three year program aims to directly tackle a national need for Indigenous research and researcher capacity building, researcher critical mass and effective nodes and networks of collaboration across the Institute’s existing areas of research concentration, namely the Creative Arts, Language and Linguistics, and Education. Jenny’s work and profile, as a significant national creative artist, has enriched the research program enormously. Jenny’s PhD work and the work that our other PhD students are undertaking across these important cultural areas, need to continue to be supported, and the CRN Project will provide that opportunity.