Congratulations to the Joanne Harris Scholarship Fund Recipients - 09.04.20

Launched at the end of 2015, The Joanne Harris Scholarship Fund was established due to the vision and foresight of the late Joanne Harris.

Joanne Harris spent her life studying, teaching and performing dance. Joanne bequeathed a substantial amount from her estate ‘to be used for the betterment and education of Aboriginal People, and particularly Aboriginal women’. Chris Harris, Joanne’s brother and the executor of her estate focused on the area of dance education as the logical field in which to honour his sister’s wishes.

The Scholarship program has a whole-of-career approach and targets four stages:

  • Gifted and Talented Scholarship
  • NAISDA Bursary Program
  • Early Talent Identification Scholarship
  • Pre-Professional Support Scholarship

In 2017 the fund also launched the Award for Recognition of Excellence in Training to recognise a NAISDA trainer who has provided excellent support and guidance to Developing Artists throughout the year.

Today we formally announce scholarships in two of those four categories – the Gifted and Talented Scholarship and the Bursaries, as well as the recognition of teaching excellence for a NAISDA trainer.

We also have pleasure in launching the Pre-Professional Support Scholarship for 2020.

Recognising Gifted and Talented Developing Artists

The Joanne Harris Gifted and Talented Scholarship has been assessed against the criteria by a panel of industry and education professionals. The scholarship is for a maximum of $10,000 and is to allow a talented final year Developing Artist to travel overseas for short term professional training or experience. Due to the extreme restrictions currently being experienced world-wide as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, including overseas travel, it has been decided to share the award between the following five applicants to enable them to purchase laptops and associated equipment to support their professional development.

The awardees are:

Pictured left to right: James Boyd, Brianna Kemmerling, Janaya Lamb, Daniel Mateo & Jesse Murray

NAISDA Bursary Program

The Bursary Awards go to the very heart of Joanne’s bequest and help remove some of the barriers and stresses that young Developing Artists experience as they commit themselves to a very rigorous training regime.  This year the assessment panel noted the higher number of applicants and have responded (after consultation with Chris Harris) by awarding ten scholarships of $2000 each to assist with living expenses.  Like all scholarship categories, this is a competitive process and guidance is provided to Developing Artists in the completion of their applications if needed.

This year the bursaries have been awarded to:

Pictured left to right: (Row 1) Brianna Kemmerling, Chandler Connell, Cody Cosson, D’arcy Maguire & Djirri Desmond-Webb. (Row 2) James Boyd, Jesse Murray, Janaya Lamb, Lacey Bilger & Stephanie Kitchener

Award for Teaching Excellence

Our final presentation under the Joanne Harris Program is for the recognition of teaching excellence within the trainer cohort. This award recognises commitment to excellence in dance training and is voted by a panel of peers and Diploma Developing Artists.  The awarded trainer is able to travel with Developing Artists and staff to participate in the next NAISDA remote cultural residency. This year the Joanne Harris Trainers Award recipient is Dr Brooke Collins-Gearing.

Brooke brings to NAISDA a unique way of teaching connecting Indigenous Knowings and contemporary cultural practice that builds strength in our Developing Artists’ knowledge of themselves as they grow as artists.

It will be a wonderful experience for all to have Brooke join us on our Cultural Residency in remote Australia.

Pre-Professional Support Scholarship

Thanks to her legacy NAISDA is able to offer recent NAISDA Graduates support to further the next step in their professional careers. This may be used for professional training, work placement or study. This grant is for up to $10,000 and will be selected on the merit of the application.

NAISDA is delighted to announce that the JHSF Pre-Professional Support program 2020 is now open. For full details and the application form click here.