Mike Walsh Fellowships

The Mike Walsh Fellowships have been established by Mike Walsh, a former television presenter and theatre producer, for students/graduates in the arts and entertainment industry to enhance their experiences in Australia and overseas.[1]

History of the FellowshipsEdit

The Fellowships began in 1996[2] and were limited to applicants from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) as Sydney was where Walsh's business interests were. As his business interests grew further afield the applicants for Fellowships eligibility was widened to include of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAPPA) and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).[3]

It is Walsh's view that,

... recipients of his fellowship may choose to travel abroad in order to obtain a wider knowledge and experience of theatre, perhaps through a formal course of study or by a self-devised program … to get out of your comfort zone is very important.[3]

His hope is that the Fellows will come back to share their knowledge and skills with others.[1] The scholarship is offered annually to an unspecified number of people.[4] Erin James in Aussie Theatre wrote that,

Mike Walsh is one of the Australian Arts Industry’s most valuable members ... Walsh is committed to strengthening our industry in any way he can ... The Mike Walsh Fellowships to assist young theatre artists who have the potential to make a significant contribution to the Australian arts and entertainment industry.[5]


The Victorian College of the Arts is a faculty of the University of Melbourne which offers degrees in creative disciplines. This includes acting, dance, music theatre, production and writing.[6] In 2011 the eligibility rules changes and students from VCA were able to apply for a fellowship.[7] These changes also applies to students from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts whose graduates Walsh had seen and been impressed by, in many of the musical productions staged at his theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne.[7]


In the first 20 years of the award there have been over 90 recipients. Several have gone on to have Australian and International success. These include Jamie Jackson (1998), Joshua Lawson (2003), Brendan Moffitt [8](2007), Michael Agosta[9] (2009), Trent Suidgeest[10] and Alexandra Flood (2014)

Recipients are able to use the fellowship in any manner which increases their knowledge and experience. Claire Lovering (acting WAPPA) [11][12] a 2015 recipient from WAPPA received $8000 which she used for, " flights, course fees and accommodation for a five-week Chekhov Intensive Summer Course at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York." [13]

2004 recipient Nicholas Brown (costume) ,[14][15]" travelled to India, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Rome studying multiculturalism in theatre, film and television."[16]

Nick Simpson-Deeks (acting)[17][18] 2006 fellow undertook "a fulltime course of study at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago; and Vincent Hooper."[19]

2011 recipient Naomi Edwards (directing)[20] used the fellowship combined with another fellowship "to visit arts organisations in England, Scotland, Japan and USA to research their education and engagement programs."[21]

List of RecipientsEdit

The recipients of the Fellowships show the many disciplines which have been awarded Fellowships.

Year Recipient
1996 Fellows Jeanette Cronin (Acting)
1996 Associate Fellows Dan Potra (Design)
1997 Fellows Peter England (Design); Graeme Haddon (TP, Puppetry)
1998 Fellows Genevieve Blanchett (Design); Janet Robertson (Movement Studies)
1998 Associate Fellows Jamie Jackson (Acting)
1999 Fellows Justin Kurzel (Design); Gavin Robins (Movement Studies)
1999 Associate Fellows Patrick Nolan (Directing); Drayton Morley (Acting)
2000 Fellows Michael Wilkinson (Design); Mark Truebridge (TP)
2000 Associate Fellows Andy Biziorek (Directing)
2000 Special Grant John King (Design)
2001 Fellows Traleen Ryan (PC (Properties)); Matthew Andrews (TP); Bruce McKinven (Design)
2002 Fellows Gordon Burns (Design); Damien Cooper (TP); Helen Dallimore (Acting)
2003 Fellows Anthony Weigh (Acting); Kerry Goodrich (Acting); Joshua Lawson (Acting)
2003 Special Grant Samantha Chester (Movement Studies); Judith Maschke (PC (Costume)
2004 Fellows Saskia Smith (Acting); Nicholas Brown (PC (Costume); Gavan Swift (TP)
2005 Fellows Ansuya Nathan (Acting); Jason Gibaud (PC (Costume)); Dorotka Sapinska (Design)
2005 Special Grant Kate Goodhind (TP)
2006 Fellows Sophie Buttner (PC Properties); Nick Simpson-Deeks (Acting)
2006 Associate Fellows Jes Chantery (Acting)
2006 Special Grant Clarence Dany (Directing)
2007 Fellows Brendan Moffitt (Directing); John Sheedy (Directing)
2007 Associate Fellows Jaime Meers (Directing)
2007 Special Grant Troy Armstrong (Design); Jeremy Brennan (Acting)
2008 Fellows James Mitchell (Acting)
2008 Associate Fellows Ben Borgia (Acting); Adriano Cappelletta (Acting); Holly Austin (Acting)
2008 Special Grant Tanya Goldberg (Acting)
2009 Associate Fellows Dorje Swallow (Acting); Pearl Tan (Acting); Tom Campbell (Acting)
2009 Special Grant Michael Agosta (Design); Bradley Clark (Design); Alexandra Sommer (Design); Anna Houston (Acting); Jamie Irvine (Acting)
2010 Fellows Corinne Heskett (PC (Costume)); Shannon Murphy (Directing); Matthew Walker (Acting)
2010 Special Grant Joseph Au (Scenery Construction); Peta Sergeant (Acting)
2011 Fellows Jennifer Ellis (Puppetry VCA); Shane Jones (Directing NIDA); Tim Walter (Acting WAAPA); Stephen Wheat (Music Theatre WAAPA); Naomi Edwards (Directing VCA); Ailsa Paterson (Design NIDA); Tirion Rodwell (PC/Costume NIDA)
2012 Fellows Gary Abrahams (Directing VCA); Verity Hampson (Lighting Design NIDA); Garth Holcombe (Acting NIDA); Catherine Terracini (Acting NIDA); Alice Ansara (Acting WAAPA); Grant Cartwright (Acting VCA); James Elliott (Acting NIDA)
2013 Fellows Michelle Lim Davidson (Acting WAAPA); Ben Gerrard (Directing NIDA); Sarah Giles (Acting NIDA); Douglas Hansell (Acting WAAPA); Sheridan Harbridge (Staging for Performance NIDA); Dominic Seeber (Acting WAAPA); Nikki Shiels (Acting VCA); Kip Williams (Directing NIDA)
2014 Fellows Matt Backer (Acting NIDA; Bridget Balodis (Directing VCA); Briallen Clarke (Acting NIDA); Alexandra Flood (Voice - Opera VCA); Edward Grey (Music Theatre WAAPA); Will Jensen (Producing NIDA); Trent Suidgeest (Lighting Design)
2015 Fellows Clair Lovering (Acting WAAPA); Anthony Taufa (Acting NIDA); Christiana Aloneftis (Opera VCA); Michael Hankin (Design NIDA)
2015 Associate Fellows Nicola Gunn (Performing VCA); Matt Furlani (Acting VCA); Mark Pritchard (Drematurgy VCA); Adam McGowan (Design NIDA)


  1. ^ a b "Mike Walsh, the forgotten star of daytime television, appointed an AM in Australia Day honours 28 January 2016". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. ^ "The Mike Walsh Fellowships". NIDA. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Dream Big: Mike Walsh on the Mike Walsh Fellowships 22 January 2016". Aussie Theatre. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  4. ^ "The Mike Walsh Fellowships for young theatre artists Australia". Scholarships Database. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Mike Walsh Fellowship Winners Announced". Aussie Theatre. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Victorian College of the Arts". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Mike Walsh Fellowships". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Brendan Moffitt Artistic Administrator". Arts Global. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Michael Agosta Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Trent Suidgeest Lighting Designer". Opera Australia. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Claire Lovering". AusStage. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Claire Lovering Filmography". INDb. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Inside WAPPA Issue 43 Pge 8" (PDF). WAPPA. March 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Nicholas Brown". AusStage. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Nicholas Brown Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Welcome to Nicholas Brown Town". Nicholas Brown. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Nick Simpson-Deeks". AusStage. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Nick Simpson-Deeks Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Short, Sweet & Song 2007". Sydney Stage. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Naomi Edwards". AusStage. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  21. ^ "On the Couch with Naomi Edwards". Arts Review. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2017.

External linksEdit