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2010 recipients

Category Recipient
Acting Peter Campbell
Acting Sally Davis
Acting Jaime Mears
Instrumental Music                    Pei-Jee Ng - Joint
Instrumental Music Pei-Sian Ng - Joint             
Instrumental Music Guy Spielman
Instrumental Music James Polack
Painting Michelle Gearin
Painting Michelle Ussher
Painting Emily Fitzgerald
Poetry Bonny Cassidy
Poetry Simon West
Poetry Sarah Holland-Batt
Prose Jack Cox
Prose Anthony Levin
Prose Katherine Battersby
Singing Natalie Aroyan
Singing Andrew Finden
Singing Anna Whitehead

Peter Campbell

2010 Acting Recipient Update

I have gained so much in my time in the UK, not only in professional development, but in life experience and travel throughout Europe. I certainly encourage other performers to apply for this scholarship as it has been such an incredible experience for me.

I would like to thank the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship | Designed by: Web Design Government | Sponsored by: Australian Scholarship for enabling me to have this experience. Without it, it would definitely not have been possible.


The Marten Bequest scholarship allowed me to complete further training at London's Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in musical theatre. Since graduating, I have been based in London creating my own cabaret of work and working with Ironbark, a theatre company committed to presenting Australian works in the UK. I have also appeared in the second series of Downton Abbey.

Sally Davis 

2010 Acting Recipient Update

The Marten Bequest Scholarship has helped my career in many ways. It has given me more confidence as an artist by simply receiving the award and through the wonderful experiences I have had overseas, learning theatre from leading masters in their field.

I am currently working on a curriculum module for schools using theatre to tackle the subject of bullying through a peer to peer process rather than adult to student. It is wonderful to use my theatre skills for the greater good and see positive social change occur through the power of the arts.

Thank you Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship | Designed by: Web Design Government | Sponsored by: Australian Scholarship for such a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow through the arts. 

Guy Spielman

2010 Instrumental Music Recipient Update

My trial for the position of principal clarinet began in late Novemebr 2011, and ended with the 85th Anniversary concert, where we played Schostakovich Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad) under the newly-appointed (and 30-years former) principal conductor Neeme Järvi, after which I was awarded the position.

I have now spent six or so months in my role as principal clarinettist in Tallinn, and it has been incredibly formative, in a much different way than studying, in that I feel as though I am becoming more of an individual in my playing, no longer reliant on a teacher.

Playing under the great conductor Neeme Järvi has been the most musically enjoyable experience of my life, and fortunately he too likes my playing, as has invited me to perform the Mozart clarinet concerto with him for the 86th season opening concert in September.

I also have numerous chamber music performances lined up for next year in St Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius.

During the last six months I have gone back relatvely often to Lübeck for lessons and to complete my degree. In June I toured from Tallinn to Riga and then Austria with the Nordic Symphony Orchestra, and then performed my final concert for my Masters in Lübeck for which I received full marks, which made me quite happy.

I have performed in the Freiburg International Clarinet Competition, where I passed the preliminary CD round and first round, but did not make the final. Speaking to the old men afterwards, I have now fully realised it is impossible for me to win a competition, as I do not play their way, and can only play my own way.

Next stop is Sweden, where for one week I am sure I will further my playing with professor Gilad once again.

The scholarship was instrumental in helping me achieve everything I have so far, and will continue to do. 

Emerald (Emily) Fitzgerald

2010 Painting Recipient 

Since arriving in New York on the Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship, I have opened a vibrant new art space "MANETAMED", set in  Williamsburg. I have exhibits a wide variety of artists from New York City and beyond amongst a setting of music, art, installation, performance, banter and drink.

I have worked for a variety of non-profit organisations such as Creative Time, Art Log, NADA and The Dirty Durty Diary.

I have also curated an art/fashion showcase in September 2011, at The Hole on The Bowery featuring artists and designers from New York and Australia. Established Australian artists such as Justin Trendall and up and coming designer Phoenix Keating participated in this special launch for Fashion Week.

Most of my exhibitions can be viewed at www.emeraldcouture.com and www.manetamed.us (artists who exhibited can be viewed here - under the artists banner) www.manetamed.us/about

I have also been working on HBO & ABC TV productions such Pan Am and Boardwalk Empire.

I have recently secured a position at the Mike Weiss Gallery in Chelsea on 24th Street.

Bonny Cassidy

2010 Poetry Recipient Update

The scholarship has provided me with rich periods of travel that have stimulated and shaped a major new project in my development as a poet. The above outcomes of this project have connected my writing with publishers, editors and readers new to my work and who have been able to offer my work new platforms for development and profile. 


My Marten Bequest journey began in winter 2010, and continues until early 2012.  In the past eighteen months I have flown, driven, sailed and walked between New Zealand, Tasmania and South Australia; unfolding a long poem that will next take me to Antarctica for one month over summer.

The new work generated and informed by this travel has found audiences at the Australian Museum, in an anthology of Australian poetry and an international online journal. 

Next year, following my last leg of scholarship travel - to northern Western Australia - it will take its final form as a book. The scholarship set me off on a track of thought that has almost entirely enveloped my life. 

Since taking that track of thinking, drawing, photographing, reading and writing, I've fallen in love, gotten married and moved cities - all of which, I think, have a strong link to the spirit of mobility and freedom that are enabled by the scholarship and that have underpinned the resulting writing. 

Simon West

2010 Poetry Recipient Update

The Marten Bequest has helped my career enormously. Beyond the practical results of the projects I intended to work on, the travel I undertook as part of the bequest influenced my writing in unexpected ways. 

More recently my poetry has explored the place of myth and mystery in contemporary literature and our society more broadly. Much of this interest was also sparked by my visits to Italy in small ways that are difficult to describe succinctly - brief encounters with individuals, books, or works of art. 

For a writer nothing is more important than those startling moments of realisation when you see that an idea can be approached from a different perspective, that the models you held dear are not infallible, that a new hierarchy of values may even be possible.

It remains true that travel broadens the mind and allows us some distance from ourselves and our familiar surroundings, and for writers and artists in Australia today this is doubly important because our literary and artistic cultures are still in the process of defining themselves. We need to continue to look outwards and seek those startling new perspectives on ourselves and our world. 

I feel lucky that the Marten Bequest provided me with occasions to do this.

Anthony Levin

2010 Prose Recipient

Anthony Levin

After receiving a Marten Bequest scholarship, I commenced my Masters in Modern and Contemporary Literature & Culture at the University of York – which boasts the top-ranked English Department in the UK. It was a considerable change to leave law and become a student again, and yet it has felt effortless. I am constantly meeting brilliant people – both postgraduates and academics – who inspire me to contribute through my research and writing. In just one year, I have already presented at two major conferences in the UK – the Life Writing and Human Rights: Genres of Testimony Conference at Kingston University, and the Future of Testimony Conference at Salford. At each, I had the opportunity to present my research to two of the leading thinkers in the field - Eva Hoffman and Shoshana Felman respectively – both of whose texts I studied as part of my Masters.

Over the course of Summer 2011, I commenced an intensive independent research program which took me to Poland, the USA, Germany and various parts of the UK. To compliment my research on post-Holocaust American fiction, I visited Auschwitz and Dachau, and six of the world’s major Holocaust Museums. This not only grounded my work, but the experience also prompted me to write about growing up as the grandson of Holocaust survivors. Poems simply poured out of me – often while I was walking the dimly lit corridors of Beth Shalom in Nottingham or the Imperial War Museum in London. In January 2012, as part of an independent collaboration, I launched my first book of poetry, House of the Collective Unconscious (Henry & June), which is available at Berkelouw Books, Paddington (Sydney), and will soon be available online at www.fishpond.com.au. I still plan to write a novel as I initially intended; but evidently the space opened up by this scholarship has led to some beautiful surprises for which I am very grateful.

Natalie Aroyan

2010 Singing Recipient Update

I am so grateful that The Marten Bequest Scholarship gave me the opportunity not only to undertake an international standard of Study in New York and Italy, but also to expand on my connections, assisting me in opening more doors, and gain me the ability to take the next step in getting that much closer to making my dreams a reality and striving towards the best that I can be. Thank you! 

Andrew Finden

2010 Singing Recipient Update

I am very grateful for the support of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship | Designed by: Web Design Government | Sponsored by: Australian Scholarship, as it has allowed me to make the most of the opportunities that have arisen for me in Europe. The time immediately after leaving college required a lot of travelling for auditions, and this scholarship has helped meet those costs.

I'm very excited about the coming season in Karlsruhe, where I will be singing Papageno (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart), Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart), Ned Keene (Peter Grimes, Britten) and a prominent role in the German premiere of Weinberg's holocaust opera The Passenger.

I had a very successful 2010/11 season in the Opera Studio of the Staatstheater Nürnberg (Nuremberg State Theatre) with excellent reviews in particular for my performances as Dr Falke (J. Strauss II - Die Fledermaus), Don Alvaro (Rossini - Il Viaggio a Reims) and Il Conte Almaviva (Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro).

I also took part in masterclasses with Olaf Bär (Samling) and Mathias Goerne (Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Aldeburgh). In September I began a new position as a soloist in the ensemble of the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Baden State Theater).

It's very exciting as it is a theatre with a reputation for developing young singers at the beginning of their careers. My roles this season include Marullo (Verdi - Rigoletto), Masetto (Mozart - Don Giovanni), Clito (Handel - Alessandro) and Count Oscar (Offenbach - Barbe Bleue).