Four outstanding Indigenous creatives, from all around Australia, were announced as this year's ACCELERATE recipients.

Choreographer, dancer and writer Jacob Boehme (Vic); curator Carly Lane (WA); designer Lucy Simpson (NSW); and curator Clotilde Bullen (WA) have been chosen to undertake a course of intensive leadership training, under Mark Wright of UK company People Create, before heading off to the UK in November 2014 to undergo a professional development programme of meetings with and introductions to some of the UK's biggest arts institutions and organisations.

The recipients were announced on Thursday 4 September, at a special event, held at Melbourne Museum's Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Featuring a musical performance by Skin Choir and hosted by Media Partner NITV's Natalie Ahmat, the event was a celebration of the great wealth of talent evident among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the creative arts industries.

Queensland Theatre Company Artistic Director Wesley Enoch delivered a rousing keynote speech, which addressed the need for more Indigenous leaders within the arts, saying that a programme such as ACCCELERATE is what is needed to 'fill the gap' within the sector. To read a transcript of Wesley's speech, click here.

Also at the event, Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts Rupert Myer AM announced three years of increased funding for the ACCELERATE programme. The funding, which amounts to more than $300,000 will allow for extended mentorship of ACCELERATE recipients as well as the instigation of an issues-based symposium, which will be announced in the coming months.

Congratulations to Jacob, Carly, Lucy and Clotilde - and to our ACCELERATE partners, BT Global Services and British Airways, whose representatives presented the recipients with their awards.

To read more about the 2014 ACCELERATE recipients, click here. 


Developing Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander leaders   

“It really does accelerate your career and your understanding of where you want to take your career as a leader, whatever part of the creative industry you’re in.” - Solomon Booth, 2013 recipient 

ACCELERATE is a tailored leadership programme designed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the skills and networks to generate, take up and excel in leadership positions within the creative industries.

Including leadership development training, industry mentorship and a fully funded trip to the UK, ACCELERATE offers recipients a chance to fast-track their careers and develop as leaders in their field.

ACCELERATE is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia with at least five years' experience in the creative industries, who have a bold vision for where they want to take their career and their community.

Applications for ACCELERATE 2014 are now closed. 


The 2014 ACCELERATE programme is made up of two events; the Australian Leadership Intensive and the UK Programme.

Leadership Intensive - Friday 5  - Sunday 7 September, 2014

Following the announcement event on September 4, the final four participants will attend a Leadership Intensive in Victoria to develop their understanding of leadership and to expand ideas for their individual UK programmes.

Over the weekend, participants will undertake facilitated workshops that will explore what leadership means in UK and Australian contexts, and discuss what it means to be a leader within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Participants will also gain practical leadership skills that will help them to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their own personal leadership styles, outline sustainable and ambitious career pathways and identify the personal and professional obstacles to achieving them.

Sessions will be led by with Mark Wright from People Create, British Council staff and ACCELERATE Alumni who will share their experience, advice and support.

UK Programme - November 14 – December 6, 2014

The UK Programme provides an opportunity for recipients to make international connections, to observe different leadership styles and structures and to gain broader insight into their own field and professional practice.

In 2014, the ACCELERATE UK Programme will be made up of the following:

  • 1 week professional placement with company/organisation
  • 1 week additional leadership development with Mark Wright (People Create) and Surya Turner (Action Learning)
  • 1 week group and individual meetings, including one-on-one mentorship

Individual programmes will be developed in consultation with each recipient in response to the vision outlined in their application. Applicants will need to provide a vision for their time in the UK by researching organisations and individuals of interest and articulating what they hope to achieve from meeting with and spending time with them.

“ACCELERATE is definitely a life-changing experience for someone wanting to take the opportunity it offers. I’d highly recommend it. You have to put in the effort – it’s a working program, so you have to want it, and be looking for change.” - 2013 Recipient


Applicants will be required to complete a written application (download link at the bottom of this page), where they will need to outline their experience, leadership goals and vision for their UK programme. From these applications, a shortlist will be drawn. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel consisting of British Council staff, a representative from the Australia Council, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, and the relevant state funding body. Once the interviews are completed the final recipients will be selected.

Both the written application and the interview will be assessed on the following selection criteria: 

  • LEADERSHIP - understanding of leadership, reflection and analysis of your own leadership experience. (Q1 & Q2)
  • VISION – clarity of vision for your development in short to mid-term, and your capacity to achieve it. (Q3) 
  • COMMUNITY – articulation of your leadership role within your community / sector and your vision for the development of this role.(Q4)
  • DEVELOPMENT – practical understanding of how you need to grow your leadership skills, and the importance of a UK experience in relation to this growth. (Q5a & Q5b)
  • TIMELINESS – articulation of how this opportunity will further your vision, and the importance of the opportunity at this point in your career? (Q6) 

In 2014, four participants will be chosen, one each from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and nationally.