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Fellowships 2023: where ideas take flight

Media release

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Thursday 04 August 2022

State Library Victoria is offering creatives and scholars a share in $190,000 to support in-depth inquiry into the State Collection and bring fresh perspectives to Victorian life and history, as part of the 2023 Fellowships Program. 

Fifteen places are open for artists, performers, writers, musicians and academics to spend one year delving into the State Collection.

State Library Victoria Acting CEO Sarah Slade said the Library is excited to welcome a new generation of fellows in 2023.  

“This program provides access to all Victorians to better understand our past, inform our present and inspire our future”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to delve into the rare and remarkable items in the State Collection – there is much to explore, from manuscripts, maps, rare books and newspapers, with the support of an expert librarian.”.

“State Library Victoria is proud to support the recovery of Victoria’s vibrant creative and knowledge sectors” she said.

Each Fellowship comes with funding attached, a dedicated office in the Library’s Dome Annulus and access to the Library’s podcast and recording studio.

Minister for Creative Industries, Steve Dimopolous said:

“The State Library’s collection is a treasure trove of inspiration and knowledge that belongs to all Victorians. This program not only brings the collection to life and to new audiences, it backs Victorian artists, writers and other creatives to develop exciting, career-defining work.”

Previous projects include a memoir retracing the journey by Chinese-Australian migrants to the goldfields, a film about the influence of Irish Gaelic dance in Victoria and the continued development of the Woiwurrung language database.

2022 Creative Fellow Dr Sofi Basegghi has been studying the genderless language of Persian/Farsi to generate a deeper understanding of Persian communities within Melbourne. 

“As a culturally and linguistically diverse person, having exposure to my Persian culture – seeing rare manuscripts and books preserved and available to the public - has been a moving and invaluable experience. The Fellowship has generated new ideas and exciting creative pathways, which will result in an artist’s book as well as art exhibitions and publications” she said.  

Senior Librarian Dr Anna Welch has been assisting Dr Basseghi to access the Library’s Persian books and manuscripts collection. 

“The Fellowships Program generates significant new knowledge and artworks, but beyond that, it stimulates the creation of whole new networks of colleagues and friends, and that part is just as exciting and important, in my view. You never know what might come from it” she said. 

The 2023 program will offer a new addition with the inaugural Kerri Hall Fellowship for Performing Arts. $15,000 is available to artists and writers from the Loddon Mallee region in the field of performing arts.

The 2023 Fellowships Program comprises:

  • Creative Fellowships, $15,000 (x 2)
  • Creative Fellowships: Regional, $15,000 (x 2)
  • Children’s Literature Fellowship, $15,000
  • Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Research Fellowships, $15,000​ (x 2)
  • Amor Residency at Baldessin Press & Studio, $5,000 in kind
  • Tate Adams Memorial Residency at Baldessin Press & Studio, $5,000 in kind
  • Georges Mora Foundation Fellowship, $10,000
  • Kerri Hall Fellowship for Performing Arts, $15,000
  • Redmond Barry Fellowship, $15,000
  • Regional Fellowship – Marion Orme Page & Regional Arts Victoria, $15,000​ (x 2)
  • Berry Family Fellowship, $15,000

Applications are open for the 2023 Fellowships Program and close Friday 16 September.

To find out more, and to apply, please visit


About State Library

State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public research library and one of the first free libraries in the world. As the custodian of Victoria’s history, the library has a rich collection of physical and digital items such articles, artworks, photographs, manuscripts, books, journals, artefacts that are accessible to the public via exhibitions, online catalogue searches, podcasts and videos. The Library is home to the Victorian Indigenous Research Centre which works to ensure that the Indigenous community is represented, acknowledged and respected in all Library programs, services and projects.