Uncle Brian McKinnon (Dodd) Scholarship

For an Indigenous visual art/fine art undergraduate student who can demonstrate artistic merit and circumstance/s impacting their education; worth up to $30,000.

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Applications now closed

This scholarship provides $10,000 per year for up to three years. 

It is possible to retain this scholarship if the recipient pathways from a Diploma of Visual Arts to an Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts to a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts).

One scholarship available.

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • identify as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • be an Australian citizen 
  • be enrolling full-time or part-time in semester 1 2025 in one of the following programs:
  • be able to demonstrate circumstance/s which impact your ability to study such as:
    • receiving a government tested low-income benefit or having a Centrelink Health Care Card
    • living with a disability, long-term medical condition or identify as neurodiverse
    • experiencing personal/family/social difficulties
    • be from an interstate or rural/regional area and moving/moved to Melbourne to study at RMIT
    • have previously/are currently living in foster/kinship care or are a ward of the state
    • be from an under-represented background (i.e. completing secondary school at a School Network Access Program school)

If no Diploma of Visual Arts/Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts/Bachelor of Arts students have applied and are awarded this scholarship, the scholarship will awarded to a student who meets all other criteria, has applied via RMIT or VTAC's Access and Equity Scholarship Application for semester 1, 2025, and with a first preference to undertake a Bachelor of Arts program.

The online application form will be made available here when applications open.

Supporting documentation

Depending on your circumstances, you will need to provide different types of evidence and material to support your scholarship application. Applications without supporting documents will not be considered.

You will also need:

These can be uploaded directly to your application, or you will need to provide the web link(s) if they have been uploaded to Soundcloud, Vimeo or YouTube.

Please visit Supporting Your Application for more information.

Application questions

It is expected that the online application will take approximately thirty minutes to complete. The main application questions are listed below to allow you time to prepare your answers prior to starting the online application.

  • What motivated you to choose your RMIT program? Include the steps you have taken to achieve your educational goals.
  • What are your future plans and career aspirations?
  • Describe the artistic merit evident in your work.

Find out more about applying for scholarships.

Applications are now closed.

Applications are now closed.

View the Coursework Scholarships Office’s terms and conditions (PDF, 698KB).


This scholarship is awarded in honour of respected Elder Uncle Brian McKinnon (Dodd) of Noongar and the Amangu mob of the Yamatji Nation and is funded by the estate of Gerard Driesen.

Uncle Brian was a driven artist of more than 40 years and RMIT School of Art’s inaugural Vice Chancellors Pre-doctoral Indigenous Research Fellow, with his PhD  ‘I Used to Walk so Softly on this Land’. Uncle Brian’s contribution to the fields of contemporary painting, Aboriginal art, and cultural education is significant in terms of his sustained professional practice, but also due to the passion and care he brought to engaging with community while also challenging the colonial legacies of these institutions.  

Uncle Brian was a well-respected community member, colleague, mentor and friend to many staff and students at RMIT and within the Ngarara Willim Centre.

The Uncle Brian McKinnon Memorial scholarship was established to assist a RMIT Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student with artistic merit who wishes to pursue the arts as a career path.

Image: Brian McKinnon, Source NITV radio

Find out how to contact the Coursework Scholarships Office.

Notice to applicants

The scholarship application process is highly competitive with a limited number of scholarships available. Unfortunately, not all eligible applicants will receive one.

Only successful candidates will be notified via email to their RMIT student account.

For information about other financial assistance available to RMIT students, please speak to one of our Student Welfare Advisors.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.