Information for applicants

Helpmann Fellowships 2020

Proudly supported by The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation

Valued at up to $20,000 each, two Helpmann Fellowships are available to final year students and graduates from Helpmann Academy partner institutions, to undertake a substantial professional development program.

The Fellowships will fund opportunities of significance unique to the applicant, that will develop their artistic practice, empowering them to take the next step in their career development. It is intended the Fellowships will enable artists to pursue professional development opportunities overseas or interstate, with a view to bring their learning and experiences back to South Australia.

A self-directed program of activities may include residencies, specialist training, long-term workshops, and internships with recognised institutions or professional practitioners. Artists are encouraged to design a comprehensive program to fully utilise the opportunity of travel to gain specialist learning experiences that cultivate excellence and new opportunities.

The Helpmann Fellowships are made possible through a generous grant from The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation. The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation fosters excellence in the arts. They are committed to supporting high-quality arts programs to encourage a robust arts sector and increase its accessibility.


Applications are invited from final year students and graduates within five years following the final year of study from an eligible program at Helpmann’s partner institutions. You can apply in partnership with another eligible applicant.

*Refer to the Who We Support page of Helpmann’s website for a list of eligible courses.

Honours students and graduates (up to five years following the final year of study) are eligible if the Honours year of study was undertaken in direct succession with an undergraduate degree.

Masters and PhD graduates and candidates are not eligible to apply.


Applicants must demonstrate excellence in their work and a rigorous commitment to building a career as a professional artist. They will be prepared to share the knowledge and experience gained on the Fellowship through public forums.

Applicants must be Australian citizens who are based in South Australia.



Applications are due by Monday 16 December 2019 at 11:59pm ACDT 

Applications must be submitted via the Helpmann Academy website.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their submission with the Helpmann Academy, and submit a draft application for feedback before completing their final application.

Draft applications must be received by Friday 29 November 2019.

Applications should clearly demonstrate how the self-initiated international or interstate program would provide significant benefit to your career as an emerging artist.

Applicants are required to complete the following five questions:

  1. Please outline your proposed program.
  2. Why do want to undertake this program? What are the expected artistic, professional, or audience development outcomes you expect from this program?
  3. How will this program help you achieve your long-term career goals?
  4. How do you intend to utilise your learning and experience when returning to South Australia?
  5. Please outline your professional experience and career highlights to date.

Applicants are also required to provide:

  • A clear timeline outlining the proposed activities and when they will take place
  • A budget outlining all expenses associated with the program, clearly showing how these expenses will be covered. See sample budget. 

The following support material is required:

  • Artist CV (maximum 2 pages).
  • Copy of your relevant academic transcript.
  • Two (2) reference letters (of which one (1) must be on letterhead from a senior lecturer from the institution at which you studied if you are between 1-3 years following graduation)
  • Any letters confirming aspects of your project (i.e. placement at your chosen institution, residency or internship) including contact details for the organisation/individual (address, phone, email).

Additional (optional) support material may be supplied such as further letters of endorsement, reviews/press coverage of past work.


The successful applicants will clearly demonstrate how undertaking their self-directed program will significantly contribute to their career development. A panel facilitated by the Helpmann Academy will assess applications based on:

  • A high level of artistic merit. 
  • The provision of a clear outline of why the chosen program is beneficial to the applicant’s career development and the impact the program will have on their artistic practice. 
  • How the applicant will maximise their time interstate or overseas, ensuring the proposed plan is realistic and achievable.
  • A demonstrated commitment to learning. 
  • A clear outline of the expected outcomes and how they fit with the applicant’s career goals. 
  • How the applicant intends to use the obtained knowledge and experience when returning to South Australia. 
  • The budget being realistic, accurate and represents value for money.

Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview.


The following conditions apply to the Helpmann Fellowships:

  • Applicants must not have any overdue acquittals for previous projects. Funding will not be provided if the recipient has an overdue acquittal.
  • Funding is not provided for the purchase of equipment, freight, artist fees or any support directly related to a student’s current course requirements, nor any formal qualifications.
  • Supplies and materials will only be funded if they are specific to the project being undertaken and not for long term use.
  • The full amount of the awarded funds may not be paid up front. The Helpmann Academy will work with recipients to determine their individual needs and make payments accordingly.
  • Funding will not be provided retrospectively.
  • Recipients must undertake the Fellowship activities within one year of the Fellowship being awarded.
  • Recipients will be required to provide the Helpmann Academy with monthly email updates throughout the duration of the program and provide a final artistic and financial acquittal report within two months of the completion of the program.
  • If there are any changes to the recipient’s proposed program or budget, they must notify the Helpmann Academy immediately, and obtain approval before commencing any revised plans or spending.
  • The Helpmann Academy and The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation would like the broader artistic community to benefit from the Fellowships. Recipients must be willing to speak at a public forum about the benefits, experiences and outcomes of receiving the Fellowship.
  • The panel may recommend one or more Fellowships not be awarded if applications do not reach a satisfactory standard.
  • All funding decisions are final.


Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment with the Helpmann Academy to discuss your proposed Fellowship activity. We are happy to provide guidance and advise you on how you might be able to refine your proposed program and application.

Please call the Helpmann Academy on (08) 7089 0720 to make an appointment. 

The Helpmann Fellowships are proudly supported by The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation