ACU launches new industry arts and heritage PhD program in Ballarat

ACU has launched a new industry arts and heritage PhD program at the Ballarat campus.

ACU will offer three PhD scholarships as part of a partnership with local industry players, including the City of Ballarat, the Art Gallery of Ballarat and Sovereign Hill.

The scholarships are worth more than $30,000 per year, with industry partners contributing $5,000 each year for three years.

Doctoral candidates will pursue research programs co-designed with industry partners to explore and develop Ballarat’s rich heritage and art history. The three PhD programs include:

  • ACU - The City of Ballarat Arts Industry PhD — this project will involve the PhD candidate pursuing research and working collaboratively with City of Ballarat staff in relation to the history and heritage of Ballarat.
  • ACU – Art Gallery of Ballarat Arts Industry PhD — this project will involve the PhD candidate working with staff at the Art Gallery of Ballarat to develop an exhibition relating to Ballarat’s art history, along with related public programs, education resources and gallery publications.
  • ACU – Sovereign Hill Museums Association (SHMA) Arts Industry PhD — this project will involve the PhD candidate working collaboratively with SMHA staff to further Sovereign Hill’s purpose to connect people through history to adapt to a better future.

Dean of ACU’s National School of Arts and Humanities, Professor Joy Damousi AM, said the program offered doctoral students a chance to undertake real-world research and make a positive contribution to Ballarat.

"The new industry PhD program reflects ACU's ongoing commitment to fostering links in the local community and promoting research and training in the arts and humanities,” she said.

"ACU is excited to partner with key regional stakeholders to give our doctoral students an opportunity to undertake industry-relevant research while earning their PhD."

ACU history lecturer Dr Benjamin Mountford has been a driving force behind the industry PhD initiative and said it would bring fresh research and understanding to the city, which is currently bidding for UNESCO World Heritage recognition.

“Ballarat is a city where arts and culture is fundamental to who we are and to our economy,” he said.

“Each of the PhDs will focus on a particular aspect of Ballarat’s history and heritage and bring new research and understanding to the city and who we are as a place of arts and culture.”

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson, said The City of Ballarat was proud to partner with the Art Gallery, ACU and Sovereign Hill to fund these PhD projects.

“These PhDs offer opportunities to explore how we preserve our links to the past in ways that foster innovation and new ways of engaging communities with their heritage,” he said.

“Investing in this program is in line with Council’s Community Vision, in which the Ballarat community, as Victoria’s Heritage City, embraces its rich heritage.”

For more information about the PhD programs, visit the ACU and Ballarat Arts Industry PhD Scholarships information page.

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