Wednesday 27 May 2015

The British Council opens unique opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in creative industries

Applications are now open for ACCELERATE, the British Council’s tailored leadership programme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In its sixth successful year, ACCELERATE provides Indigenous Australian artists and arts professionals with skills and networks to generate, take up and excel in leadership positions within the creative industries.

The programme is aimed at creatives in a wide range of fields – from music to architecture, fashion to museology. ACCELERATE is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia with at least five years’ experience in the creative industries, who have a bold vision for where they want to take their career and their community.

This year, four participants will be selected from around the country to take part in the highly-coveted, two-part programme, which comprises an Australian Leadership Intensive and a fully funded trip to the UK.

The Leadership Intensive is a three-day training course delivered by visiting UK expert Mark Wright of People Create. It aims to enhance the participants’ understanding of their own leadership styles and to provide them with the practical skills necessary to develop career pathways.

After the training, the recipients will work with the British Council to design bespoke UK professional placements. Over three weeks in the UK this November they will develop their skills in consultation with high-profile individuals and organisations in their artistic fields.

Past ACCELERATE participants have found the opportunity invaluable.

Choreographer, writer and 2014 ACCELERATE participant Jacob Boehme says the programme gave him a clearer sense of direction. “The ACCELERATE experience offered me time to really listen to myself and determine exactly what my truth is,” he says. “It provided me with an opportunity to review and identify my goals, accessing steps and strategies to achieve them. I was guided to honestly examine limiting behaviours that were sometimes preventing me from standing in my truth."

ACCELERATE has built a solid reputation across the arts in both the UK and Australia and has led to some innovative collaborations with UK artists and organisations.

British Council Director Helen O’Neil says, “ACCELERATE helps the new generation of emerging creative leaders reach the next stage in their careers. By drawing upon connections with the UK’s vibrant creative industries, it presents a unique opportunity for Indigenous Australians to not only utilise their creative skills and draw upon their rich cultural knowledge base, but also to develop valuable international relationships with creative leaders. Each year, we see participants successfully using their ACCELERATE experience to flourish in artistic leadership positions.”

ACCELERATE 2015 is presented by the British Council and the Australia Council for the Arts in association with Arts NSW, Creative Victoria, Department of Culture and the Arts WA, British Airways and media partner SBS NITV, with additional support from BT Global Services and Carriageworks.

Applications for the 2014 ACCELERATE programme open on Wednesday 27 May 2015 and close midnight Monday 6 July 2015.


  • ACCELERATE is open to applicants from across Australia with at least five years’ experience in the arts and creative industries
  • Applicants must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
  • There is no formal age-limit for applicants
  • In 2015, four recipients will be chosen, one each from New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia as well as one national recipient.
  • Applications for ACCELERATE 2015 close at MIDNIGHT MONDAY 6 JULY 2015

Notes to Editor

For more information, photographs and interview opportunities, contact:

Charlotte Beveridge
Communications Manager, British Council

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.