It was with immeasurable drive, determination and passion that the Australian Talented Youth Project has become what it is today.

Preparing the ground (2004-2006)

The project was founded in 2004 by Dr Jolanta Gallagher, music educator and academic from the Australian National University (ANU).

The ATY Project Committee was formed and confirmed at the 8 December 2004 meeting at the ANU School of Music.

The Constitution, Project Proposal, and Business Plan were developed over the next year and a half.

In May 2006, former Governor-General of Australia, Sir William Deane, and Lady Deane confirmed their patronage for the Project.

In September 2006, Barbara Blackman AO, a well-known writer and philanthropist, committed funding for the inaugural mentoring program. In December 2006 the ATY Project was registered as an incorporated association.

Australian Talented Youth Project 2007

The launch of the 2007 program was held at the National Library of Australia on 8 December 2006.

Sir William and Lady Deane and Barbara Blackman welcomed the first group of 16 students at the Canberra Grammar School. At the completion of the mentoring program the students performed at the Canberra Grammar School Performing Centre.

On the eve of Australia Day they met with the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard.

Australian Talented Youth Project 2008

The launch of the 2008 program was held at ANU Arts Centre on 22 November 2007.

The Patrons and Barbara Blackman welcomed 15 students at the John XXIII Welcome Dinner.

The Final Performance was held at the Street Theatre and was filmed by ABC Television.

Australian Talented Youth Project 2010

The launch of the 2010 program and the Welcome Dinner took place at John XXIII College. Sir William Deane and Barbara Blackman welcomed 20 students.

During the mentoring program students met with Mary Porter, AM, MLA, advisor to the ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope.

The Final Performance took place at the Street Theatre.

Professor Ian Chubb, then Vice-Chancellor at the ANU, and the current Chief Scientist for Australia, accepted an invitation to become a Co-patron of the Project.

National Meeting of Cultural Leaders 2012

From 31 March-1 April 2012, young representatives from seven key cultural organisations, one from each State and Territory, met in Canberra to discuss young artists’ aspirations and the groundwork for the National Arts Summit 2013.

National Arts Summit 2013
“Arts Quest – Heights and Hopes: Living and Learning Creatively”

The National Arts Summit took place at the Australian National University on 12 February 2013 . The Summit discussed pertinent issues related to the creative and performing arts in Australia, presented the results of the National Arts Survey, and staged an artistic performance by the ATYP Alumni and other artists. Robyn Archer opened the Summit, and The Hon. Peter Garrett MP, Minister for Education, delivered the Keynote Address.

To watch the entire proceedings of the summit, click here: National Arts Summit 2013

Creative Communities Project- 2014 & Ongoing

In September 2014 the ATY Project created a model that brought local artists to community schools. Fifteen artists were introduced to two primary schools in North Canberra, and other schools in the ACT have been engaged as well.

Australian Talented Youth Project 2016

The Welcome Lunch, sponsored by New Acton, was held at the Mosaic Room, Hotel Hotel, New Acton, on 6 February 2016. Gai Brodtman MP welcomed 12 young artists aged 15-25. The Project concluded with the ‘Many Worlds – One Heart’ performance at Parliament House on Wednesday 10 February 2016, with the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP and Gai Brodtman MP addressing the young artists. The artistic performance fused jazz with contemporary and Indigenous dance, vocal performances and digital arts.

Mentoring and inspiring young emerging artists

Major Partners and Sponsors

  • Australian National University
  • The Street Theatre
  • Molonglo Group
  • Mundango Charitable Trust
  • Canberra Grammar School
  • Coordinate Agency