MTC's 2019 First Peoples young artists program commences

Melbourne Theatre Company marked the first day of its 2019 First Peoples Young Artists Program with a welcome to country and smoking ceremony at MTC Headquarters in Southbank, performed by Janet Galpin and David Tournier from the Boon Wurrung Foundation.

MTC's 2019 First Peoples young artists program commences


Five participants from across the country have been selected to take part in the Company’s First Peoples Young Artists Program this year, with participants hailing from Melbourne, regional Victoria and as far as Roebourne in Western Australia.

Now in its fifth year, MTC’s First Peoples Young Artists Program offers unique learning opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people interested in a career in the performing arts.

Program Coordinator Lenka Vanderboom will guide the group through the three-week program, welcoming several guest teaching artists throughout including NEXT STAGE Writer-in-Residence Declan Furber Gillick, who this week will hold writing and story development workshops with the budding young performers, writers and directors.

Six of the Program’s alumni have been engaged as chaperones and workshop assistants, passing on their knowledge to new participants and continuing their own career development within MTC.

MTC Artistic Director & CEO Brett Sheehy said, ‘It is wonderful to welcome another five young theatre makers to MTC. Our First Peoples Young Artists Program is a key aspect of our education portfolio which, now in its fifth year, continues to reach new heights. This program is all about opening up opportunities, removing barriers and offering insights into the wide range of careers available in the performing arts. We are passionate about supporting young people to find their own voice and grateful to the donors who enable us to do so in such a meaningful way.’

Running from July to December, program participants take part in a series of workshops that explore performance skills, writing for the stage, technical and design aspects and how to develop a marketing campaign. The program culminates in the presentation of a short work devised by the group at Southbank Theatre.

Over the course of the program, participants will attend a variety of theatre shows and have the opportunity to meet a range of industry professionals to learn more about potential career pathways.

The Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the Victorian College of the Arts also offers the group cultural support and assistance in making an application to the Victorian College of the Arts, should they wish to explore further study.

MTC’s First Peoples Young Artists Program is part of the Company’s Sharing the Light initiative, supported by the Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation, designed to reduce barriers some young people face in access to arts education and learning opportunities.

For more information about Sharing the Light visit


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