2012 winners

Five talented young Australians awarded scholarships – winners of 2012 Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships announced

The Trust Company, as Trustee, and the 2012 Judges were pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships on 22 March 2012.

Announced at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the sought-after scholarships, each worth $20,000, were awarded in the fields of Architecture, Ballet, Instrumental Music, Poetry and Prose to five young Australians.

The winners are:

Architecture: Michael Barraclough

Ballet: Aeden Pittendreigh

Instrumental Music: Aura Go

Poetry: Michelle Dicinoski

Prose: Christopher Currie


The Trust Company’s CEO John Atkin said: “Awarded annually to talented young artists, the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships were established by John Chisholm Marten, a life-long patron of the arts and literature. The Trust Company, as Trustee, promotes the legacy of Marten through administering these scholarships; supporting aspiring young artists to develop their gifts and achieve their dreams through travelling either abroad or interstate. As Trustee, we are delighted to award these five talented young Australians with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,”

Full press release and judges' comments in the news section

We also like to extend our thanks to Thomas Wines, our wine sponsor for this event, and all our Awards and Scholarship events for 2012.

Thomas Wines are an award winning Semillon and Shiraz specialist from the Hunter Valley in NSW. For more information on Thomas Wines, visit his website www.thomaswines.com.au.



Michael Barraclough

Michael Barraclough

First Quarter Update

I recently started running my own practice, working on a new house in Brisbane and an extension to an existing house in Melbourne.

For the new house in Brisbane, I am in the early phases of concept design and am experimenting with the use of CNC milled glue laminated timber construction.

For the extension to the existing house in Melbourne, I am in the late phases of contract documentation, and am currently detailing a large piece of joinery that is made entirely out of horizontally stacked CNC milled plywood. The joinery incorporates a desk, shelves, draws, hanging space, bed side tables and a bed head in one, and integrated unit.

While overseas, I will continue working on these projects during the university’s Christmas and summer breaks.

Since starting the practice, I have been learning a great deal about running a small architectural business. I have been getting first-hand experience seeking and obtaining new work, managing cash flows, preparing fee proposals, sending out and chasing up invoices, conceiving and preparing marketing material and addressing the various desires and requirements of clients. 

Along with working, I have been preparing myself for the big move overseas to London! 


Aged 30 from Balwyn, Victoria

Michael graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2007 and Bachelor of Planning and Design in 2004. During his undergraduate education he received a series of awards and honours, including the Edward and Penelope Billson Award, the Castles Stevenson Turner Award, the Deans Honours Award, First Class Honours, a Melbourne Abroad Scholarship to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and a high distinction average for both degrees. Since graduation he has worked for two of Australia’s leading architectural practices (Lab Architecture Studio and John Wardle Architects) on a series of winning competition entries and award-winning built projects. He has also remained closely involved with academia, teaching architectural design and theory at the University of Melbourne and Monash University.

Aims and Activities

"The aim of my proposed study is, essentially, to acquire knowledge and skills that will help me make a real, meaningful contribution to the field of architecture. In particular, I hope to develop the ability to maximise a building’s potential to be functional, aesthetically appealing, environmentally sustainable, culturally relevant and socially responsible, using both existing and novel architectural theory and practice. Only a few leading architects have the knowledge and skills to do this – and the ability to each others to do the same. By studying at the Architectural Association (AA) in London, I hope to move towards becoming one of them.

"The course that I propose to take at the AA is the Design Research Laboratory (DRL). This is a Masters degree in architecture and urbanism, and the AA’s premier postgraduate architectural program."


Aeden Pittendreigh

Aeden Pittendreigh

First Quarter Update

I have just finished up the summer term of school where we have had a few summer shows at the school and a theatre in Euston called the Bloomsbury.  

My year (2nd year) performed two pieces, one contemporary piece which was put together by a dancer from Wayne Macgregor’s Company Random Dance. It was really great to work with him because it was a bit more of a creative choreographic process than with classical ballet.  

We also performed a one act ballet called "Les Rendezvous", choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton.  This was also a great experience as it gave us all a chance to learn about his distinct style which was staged by an Australian named Darren Parish.

It has been a great term and this summer I will be going to Prague for two weeks to the International Ballet Masterclass. 


Aged 19 from Brisbane

Aeden began his training at the Premier Dance Academy in Brisbane at the age of five. He trained in the R.A.D Ballet Syllabus, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop and Singing. In 2006 he was accepted into the Junior Extension Program with Queensland Ballet and also accepted a place with the Queensland Dance School of Excellence. Aeden remained there until he completed his High School Certificate and graduated from the course with a Diploma in dance in 2009. Upon graduation he was awarded the Dowling and Neylan Most Improved Boys Scholarship and the Encouragement Award.

In 2010 he joined Queensland Ballet’s professional year and during the course was given the chance to perform in Francois Klaus’ Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, International Gala 2010 and two of the Vis-a-Vis series.

In September of 2010 he accepted a position at the English National Ballet School in London where he is currently in his second year of training. Most recently Aeden was invited by the Ballet Theatre of Queensland to perform the role of Prince Charming in their production of Cinderella (Queensland Performing Arts Centre, January, 2012).

Aims and Activities

"During the term of the scholarship I have two main aims. The first is to finish my studies at English National Ballet School to the best of my ability and the second is to in my third year of the course (2nd of the scholarship) successfully gain a contract with a professional ballet company by July of 2013.

"I propose that I will use the scholarship money to help fund trips to and from the my training in the U.K and for sustenance whilst training. And more importantly to attend auditions across the world."

Instrumental Music

Aura Go

Aura Go

First Quarter Update

The Marten Bequest Scholarship has enabled me to set myself up in Helsinki, Finland where I am soon to begin doctoral studies at the Sibelius Academy.

Currently on summer "vacation", I have just returned from Suolahti in central Finland where I took part in the International Summer Music Festival, which consisted of intensive daily lessons with pianist Erik Tawaststjerna and performing in four concerts.

The Marten Bequest was an enormous help in being able to attend the festival, and now is making it possible for me to live in Helsinki where I am currently preparing for the 2012 Maj Lind International Piano Competition to be held in Helsinki in September.


Aged 24 from Doveton, Victoria

Described as “a captivating performer … possessing great depth and exquisite sensitivity” (The Scotsman, August 2010), Australian pianist Aura Go has quickly emerged as one of her country's foremost young musicians. Aura has been concerto soloist with many of Australia’s professional orchestras, and performed at the 2005 and 2006 Melbourne International Arts Festivals, the 2009 MSO Metropolis Series and the 2010 Edinburgh Festival. Her interest in new music has seen her give the first Australian performance of the 1st and 2nd Piano Concertos of Rautavaara, a performance of the Schnittke Concerto for Piano and Strings, the Gubaidulina Concerto Introitus and solo piano works of Galina Ustvolskaya. She has given the world premiere of works by Gordon Kerry and Garth Neustadter in Australia and the USA, and performed regularly in the New Music New Haven concert series.

In 2009, Aura was a multiple prize winner at the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition. She was also the winner of the 5th Yamaha Australian Youth Piano Competition and the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award, and has been a finalist in the ABC Young Performers Awards. Aura is supported by the Australia Council Development Fund and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, and is the recipient of many scholarships including the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Travelling Scholarship and the Dowd Foundation Scholarship.

Aura completed her early musical training in Melbourne, where she studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian National Academy of Music. Earlier this year she attained her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Peter Frankl. Aura is now undertaking doctoral studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Aura’s first CD, Five Rocks in a Japanese Garden – a collection of works for two pianos and four-hands by five of Japan’s most prolific composers with pianist Tomoe Kawabata – will be released on the Master Performers label later this year.

Aims and Activities

"I have been accepted into the Doctor of Music in Performance degree program at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to undertake doctoral studies in the music of one of the most important composers of our time, the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara.

"For my doctorate, I will give five public concerts in Helsinki and write a performers’ guide to the piano music of Rautavaara. There has so far been no substantial writing on this subject, so I feel I will be making an important contribution to this area of the piano literature. I will also give a series of lecture recitals on Finnish piano music in Helsinki, with plans for these to also occur in Australia and the USA.

"I am currently in the “supernumerary year” (or preparatory year) of the course, with the official doctoral studies beginning in September 2012. Therefore, I am applying for funding to enable me to live in Helsinki to undertake these studies from September onwards. The programme will last five years. In the third and fourth years, I will be eligible to apply for further funding from the Finnish Cultural Fund and other internal sources which I am currently investigating. The funding I am applying for now would enable me to fulfil my first and second years of the course.

"My principle supervisor at the Sibelius Academy is the head of keyboard studies, Professor Erik T. Tawaststjerna. I will also be working with Einojuhani Rautavaara himself, the composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer Magnus Lindberg and other members of the faculty at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki."


Michelle Dicinoski

Michelle Dicinoski

First Quarter Update

Since beginning my scholarship, I have travelled to New Zealand where I did poetry readings at various events in Auckland and New Zealand. I am also busy planning my trip to Europe later this year. Most things are booked, and I just have a few final details to work out. I can't believe that I am going to England, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland!


Aged 35 from Auchenflower, QLD

Michelle Dicinoski’s first book, the poetry collection Electricity for Beginners, was published in 2011. Michelle’s poems and creative non-fiction have appeared in journals, newspapers, and anthologies including The Best Australian Poems, The Australian Literary Review, and Meanjin. After completing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Queensland in 2010, Michelle was awarded an Australia Council grant to work on a collection of non-fiction essays. She lives in Brisbane.

Aims and Activities

"My first poetry collection, Electricity for Beginners, was published in June 2011. I have now secured invitations to read from that collection at events in London, Auckland, and Budapest. If I am successful in my application for a Travelling Scholarship, I will be able to accept these invitations, organise additional readings, and conduct an international reading tour in 2012-13. I will also attend two intensive summer poetry workshops, one in Portugal in 2012, and another in the United States in 2013. These workshops will help me to refine my new poems and make important connections with writers and editors from around the world. Taken as a whole, then, the proposed activities will enable me to showcase my existing poetry, and to engage in cultural and educational experiences that will expand my skills and knowledge as a poet."


Christopher Currie

Christopher Currie

First Quarter Update

The second installment of my scholarship has continued to allow me time and support to work on my current novel, while beginning research for my next. It has allowed me to plan, in the short term, a self-funded residency at The Varuna Writer's House, as well as materials for my upcoming trip to Europe in 2013.

Writing is a profession tent-poled by major achievements, but it's how you make the most of your time between those achievements where the work is really done.

The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship | Designed by: Web Design Government | Sponsored by: Australian Scholarship has not only aided me in a financial, chronological (if I can put it that way!) and morale-boosting way, its prestige has opened a lot of doors for me that would otherwise have remained firmly closed. And I think all those strained metaphors mean it's time to get back to work...


Aged 30 from Yeronga, Brisbane

Christopher Currie is a 30-year-old writer from Brisbane. His first novel, The Ottoman Motel, was published by Text Publishing in 2010. He maintains the literary blog Furious Horses and is head stock buyer at the independent Brisbane bookstore Avid Reader.

Aims and Activities 

"This scholarship will allow me to travel to Winterthur in 2013 to become an Artist-in-Residence at The Villa Sträuli, a project of the Sulzberg Foundation and its founder Doris Sträuli-Keller (www.villastraeuli.ch/residence_en.shtml). The residency is for an initial six-month period, either Jan-June or July-Dec. It will allow me uninterrupted time to work on my third book. More than this, though, the unique European environment would be a singularly inspiring and certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and would offer many chances for cultural and artistic exchange between myself, the other two artists on their residencies, and the wider community of Winterthur, Zurich and Switzerland.

"I expect to be awarded this residency in March of this year, and then to begin the residency in July 2013 (and, failing that, in January 2013). While this residency is a self-governed project, I look forward to exchanging ideas with Hansjörg Diener, President of the Literarische Vereinigung Winterthur, and artistic committee member of the Artists-in-Residence Programme. My aim would be to complete the majority of a first draft of my novel, while at the same time undertaking research into the surrounding area, where much of the novel is to be set."

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