2020 Miegunyah Writer’s Fellowship - Ian Potter Museum of Art

2020 Miegunyah Writer’s Fellowship

Applications for the 2020 Miegunyah Writer’s Fellowship are now closed. The Ian Potter Museum of Art is delighted to announce that Sophie Cunningham has been awarded the 2020 Miegunyah Writer’s Fellowship for ‘Design is a Living Plant’, a creative, illustrated, non-fiction essay of up to 10,000 words for both online and print publication.

The 2020 Miegunyah Writer’s Fellowship is part of a large-scale multidisciplinary exhibition set to open at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in 2022.

Grounded in the material held in the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Collection, the holdings of Indigenous art in the University Art Collection, and historical and contemporary art, the exhibition (working title Eucalypt) will investigate and explore the eucalyptus; charting our physical and emotional responses to this loaded Australian symbol, which has been ubiquitous across our continent and its diverse environments for thousands of years.

Exploring related issues including climate change, bushfire management, Indigenous sovereignty, Australian identity and nationalism, and the difference in migrant responses to our natural environment, the exhibition will bring together both historical and contemporary connections to our iconic tree.

Underlining its multidisciplinary scope, the exhibition project will encompass two residencies for creative practitioners working outside of the visual arts, exploring the theme of eucalyptus.

The first of these residencies will take place in the second half of 2020, and will provide an opportunity for a published writer to develop a singular work or portfolio of works that engage the theme of eucalypt, utilising Russell Grimwade’s interest in gums and the Grimwade Collection as a starting point.

In discussion with the curators, writing produced during this residency will be publicly presented in conjunction with the exhibition and published in the exhibition catalogue.

The University of Melbourne offers a vibrant research context for the successful applicant, access to experts across a range of academic disciplines, and membership of the University of Melbourne library during the residency. Aspects of the University Art Collection will be available in consultation with the Museum’s Collection Manager and Grimwade Collection Curator.


  • Proposals must be for work that reflects the theme of eucalypt.
  • Proposals must be from published writers.
  • Proposals can be for a range of creative written forms, including short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, dramatic script.


Applications open on Friday 8 November and close at 5pm on Friday 6 December 2019. Guidelines and application form can be accessed here.

For queries about the Fellowship, and to receive an information pack on Grimwade and eucalypts, please email Kyla McFarlane, Curator of Academic Programs (Research): mcfarlanek@unimelb.edu.au