2023 Yalingwa Artist Fellowship

Expressions of Interest are now open for the 2023 Yalingwa Artist Fellowship – a $60,000 prize for a Victorian First Peoples visual artist

Introduction to Yalingwa

Yalingwa is a Victorian Government initiative developed in partnership between Creative Victoria, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and TarraWarra Museum of Art, now in its third iteration. It encompasses three program elements:

  1. A First Peoples Curatorial position
  2. A major exhibition focussing on First Peoples artist commissions
  3. A First Peoples Visual Artist Fellowship

The program is a major visual arts initiative to develop and promote First Peoples leadership and creative practice. It is a key platform of the state government’s Creative State 2025 strategy, that places First Peoples knowledge, practice, protocols, and cultural authority at the heart of First Peoples creative industries, by forging stronger and enduring paternerships with First Peoples creative communities.

The program provides a platform for professional First Peoples artists and curators to develop their work at a senior level within a leading public gallery and museum context and offers significant Artist Fellowships.

A First Peoples led ‘Directions Circle’ has been established for each Yalingwa edition of the series, convened by the host institution. The Circle is comprised of First Peoples community representatives (including Elders) and program partners to ensure Yalingwa is informed and guided by First Peoples knowledge, expertise, cultural practices, and protocols – thereby embedding self-determination and community voice.

About the Yalingwa Artist Fellowship

The Yalingwa Artist Fellowship is a one-year program offered every two years. It is intended to invest in the career development of Victorian First Peoples artists who have made an outstanding contribution to creative practice in the Indigenous arts community, and are in a critical moment in their career. The Fellowship will be presented in recognition of the artist’s contribution to the community, taking into account the achievement and quality of past and recent work. The inaugural Fellow was Destiny Deacon (KuKu and Erub/Mer) in 2018, and the second Fellow was Yhonnie Scarce (Kokotha/Nukunu) 2020.

The artist awarded the 2023 Yalingwa Artist Fellowship will receive an untied cash grant of $60,000 to develop and consolidate their practice, for research and experimentation, to create new work, for professional travel or studio space, among other priorities. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the current Yalingwa curator, Jessica Clark (palawa), and colleagues at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

The Fellowship is open to mid-career and established First Peoples visual artists who live and work in Victoria, with the aim of supporting significant artists who have shown dedication and a high level of commitment to their practice. Expressions of interest are welcome from First Peoples artists who are based in Victoria working across all disciplines of visual arts practice.

The successful Yalingwa Fellowship artist recipient will be selected through an open call for expressions of interest, which will be assessed by a Selection Panel comprising members of the Yalingwa First Peoples Directions Circle and representatives from program partners: ACCA, TarraWarra, and Creative Victoria. Applications are due on Friday 4 November with the Yalingwa 2023 Artist Fellowship to be announced in December 2022.


Assessment of a First Peoples artist’s contribution and achievement will include consideration of:

  • The contribution an artist has made to the development of contemporary art practice locally, nationally and/or internationally
  • The contribution that an artist has made to the development of First Peoples cultural expression
  • The significance of the body of work and/or proposal
  • Peer and/or community recognition
  • An artist’s potential to develop and expand their art and/or cultural practice
  • The potential impact that an investment will make to the development of an artist’s practice
  • An artist whose role in the sector deserves greater recognition


Applicantions are due by Friday 4 November 2022, and should provide the following, collated together in one PDF:

  1. A short statement (up to 1 page) addressing relevant selection criteria and outlining:
    • What the artist might do with the Fellowship including what will the focus be and how this will be achieved
    • How the Fellowship might strengthen their artistic practice
    • The impact the Fellowship might have on their career
    • How the Fellowship might strengthen cultural or creative expression for their community
  1. Current CV
  2. Contact details for two referees that can comment on their work and/or artistic career
  3. A selection of up to 12 images and/or 12 minutes of video including documentation of recent (within the last five years) and past work

Please ensure that items 1–4 above are collated together in one PDF document (if required, video and images can be provided in this PDF as links)

Artists are strongly encouraged to contact the Yalingwa Curator Jessica Clark and/or ACCA Director Max Delany (details below) to discuss their applications before submitting.

ACCA is committed to providing reasonable adjustments for individuals with disability throughout the application process. Please advise Laura De Neefe, Executive Director (acting) if you have support or access requirements at any stage of this recruitment process via laura.deneefe@acca.melbourne or call (03) 9697 9999.

The Fellowship is offered to aid career development, without requirement for an exhibition or body of work outcome. However, the Fellow will be required to report on artistic and other outcomes and benefits related to the development of their work, present a lecture or talk whilst undertaking the Fellowship, and be available for related media and publicity for these events.


EOIs are due by Friday 4 November 2022 and should be submitted to: Bas van de Kraats, Operations Manager, ACCA: bas.vandekraats@acca.melbourne


Please direct all enquiries to:

Jessica Clark, Curator, ACCA
+61 3 9697 9911 | jessica.clark@acca.melbourne

Max Delany, Artistic Director & CEO, ACCA
+61 3 9697 9999 | max.delany@acca.melbourne

Information Pack

Download the Info Pack here »

Yalingwa Partners