The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) have recently announced The Balnaves Foundation as the Principal Patron of its First Nations Program, has provided a generous donation of $530,000. This philanthropic commitment from the Foundation will enable NIDA to welcome more First Nations students and encourage and support them through their journey and study at NIDA.

The Program includes three significant $90,000 Bachelor of Fine Arts scholarships for First Nations students, three – 6 month paid internships and funding for NIDA’s first Indigenous Elder in Residence over a six-year period.

NIDA’s CEO Liz Hughes who has been in the role for 18 months said that this new initiative will not only provide more opportunities for First Nations creatives but cater a stronger support structure for First Nations students.

“We’ve changed the whole structure of our focus on culture “

Ms. Hughes said that the First Nations Scholarship will provide $30,000 per annum for three years, for three First Nations students one starting in 2022 and another in 2023 and 2024. The student will also be matched with a First Nations Arts Industry mentor, supported with additional travel to home as required, and provided with an ‘On Country’ experience during studies.

As a pathway into employment, the scholarships will conclude with a six-month paid industry internship for each of the recipients at the successful conclusion of their study at NIDA. In addition to the scholarship program, and as part of the overall contribution to NIDA, the Foundation will also provide funding to enable an Indigenous Elder in Residence to offer wellbeing support and mentorship to all First Nations students.

In acknowledgment of this extraordinary opportunity, the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Vocational Diplomas application deadline to study at NIDA next year has been extended to 29 October. Individuals who have already completed their application will benefit from the same deadline extension to apply for the scholarships.

The NIDA Foundation Trust raises much-needed funds towards NIDA’s training, education, and student scholarships. To find out more about this opportunity click here