Acclaimed Indigenous artist joins University of Melbourne
One of Australia’s foremost Indigenous artists, Richard Frankland, has joined the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA & MCM) at the University of Melbourne, as Head of Curriculum & Programs.
Professor Barry Conyngham, Dean of the Faculty of the VCA & MCM, said the Wilin Centre has connected Indigenous artists with a pathway to their future in visual and performing arts, design, film and television and production for the past 12 years.
“Richard Frankland is superbly well-placed to continue this role and further educate the university community in Indigenous culture,” Professor Conyngham said.
Mr Frankland’s initial focus at the university will be on Indigenous recruitment.
“I want to see more Aboriginal faces studying at the VCA and MCM, more opportunities for Indigenous artists to achieve and more engagement from the broader community at our performances and concerts,” he said.
Mr Frankland is currently planning an extensive regional recruitment program and a series of Indigenous artist residencies.
A Gunditjmara man from Portland in south-west Victoria, Mr Frankland has an extensive background as a writer, filmmaker and musician. He has also worked as a soldier, fisherman and Field Officer during the 1988 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Mr Frankland has written, directed and produced over 50 film projects including the documentary No Way To Forget for which he became the first Indigenous director to win an AFI Award in 1996.
Mr Frankland’s 2014 stage production at the Malthouse Theatre, Walking into the Bigness, was nominated for three Green Room Awards last week for production, writing/adaptation and ensemble work. He is also an acclaimed musician—his music features on the soundtracks to many of his films and in 1991 his first band Djaambi supported Prince on his Australian Tour.
Former head of the Wilin Centre, opera singer and composer Deborah Cheetham, will stay on at the University of Melbourne’s VCA & MCM as Associate Dean (Indigenous Development) in a policy and advisory role.