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Empowering the Arts: Governance Institute of Australia Arts Support Program 2024

Apply now for one of two scholarships for governance training in the Arts sector

In an initiative to foster effective governance within the Australian arts community, the Governance Institute of Australia is continuing its successful Arts Support Program for 2024. The program was established in 2020 response to the struggling arts industry throughout COVID and has continued to empower governance professionals in the sector.

This year, arts organisations can apply for scholarships for two of the Governance Institute’s leading courses: the Effective Director Course and a Certificate in Governance and Risk Management.

Our 2023 winners were BlakDance, a leading First Nations dance organisation based in Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast Symphony Orchestra, comprised of 80 highly trained musicians. Both organisations demonstrated remarkable resilience and growth, with a surge in interest from audiences eager to experience live performances once again.

BlakDance, with a mission to connect First Nations contemporary choreographers and dance companies, has experienced rapid expansion, presenting new challenges. BlakDance’s Operations & Administration Coordinator Trudy  Gunston, is current completing a Certificate in Governance and Risk Management.

She said she would recommend the course to arts organisations, especially in the charity and not for profit space, to enhance their ability to support good governance processes.

“Especially of interest so far has been learning and gaining a deeper understanding of the roles we all have at the various levels of the organisation, from the board to our staff, in becoming more risk-aware and treating those risks sensitively and appropriately not only for compliance but within a First Nations context,” she said.

Governance Institute Chief Executive Megan Motto said she is proud to be continuing the program and highlights the significance of collaborating with organisations that expressed excitement about bringing crucial governance skills to the performing arts community.

“By collaborating with resilient organisations that have weathered challenging times, we aim to elevate the sector. I am thrilled to be continuing this valuable program, fostering excellence and sustainability in the not-for-profit art landscape,” Ms Motto said.

As a central component of the program, the Effective Director Course explores the pivotal role of company directors and their contributions to organisational culture and sustainable governance. The course, available in both face-to-face and virtual classroom formats, is designed for aspiring and newly appointed directors, executives in director transition pathways, directors refining their skills, and executives reporting to a board.

The course delves into critical issues and challenges faced by directors on a board, preparing participants to understand directorship in the current landscape. With a focus on director capability, the Effective Director Course draws on theory, practice, and collective knowledge to simulate the boardroom experience.

The Certificate in Governance and Risk Management, crafted and instructed by esteemed practitioners, offers crucial insights for individuals entrusted with governance and risk management duties, providing a comprehensive introduction to specialized topics and key considerations in the realms of governance and risk management principles, frameworks, and approaches.

In empowering arts leaders with essential governance skills, the Governance Institute of Australia’s Arts Support Program stands as a scaffold of support for the performing arts community, ensuring its continued growth and resilience in the face of evolving challenges.

Find out more about the 2024 Arts Support Program on our website.


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