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Lesley Hall Arts and Disability Scholarship 2022 Opens Today!

The Lesley Hall Scholarship is an annual program for Victorian Deaf and Disabled artists and advocates. The scholarship is a $5,000 grant.

Lesley Hall speaking at a lectern with a woman watching on

Lesley Hall, 2013. Courtesy of Frank Hall-Bentick

Applications are now open! Closing date Tuesday 26 April 2022.

This program supports a Deaf or Disabled artist living in Victoria who uses their creative practice to advocate for Deaf and Disabled people.

We are looking for Deaf and Disabled Artists and Creatives that create works challenging assumptions about disability.

The artwork can be visual art, photography, poetry, writing, short film or a theatrical or dance piece.

There are three criteria that applicants must meet. You must:

  • identify as a Deaf and/or Disabled person
  • live in Victoria
  • have an active arts practice

Download the Application Form and the Frequently Asked Questions and get applying!

Submit your application by 5 pm on Tuesday 26 April to

If you have any questions, would like us to email or mail you the application forms or would like to submit your application in an alternative format please contact us via phone on 03 9699 8299 (voice only)/ 0477 860 955 (text or voice) or by emailing us.

Through this scholarship, we honour the activism and legacy of our late Board Chair Lesley Hall. Lesley was a tireless advocate for the human rights of Deaf and Disabled people. She became famous for protesting the Miss Australia Quest in 1981. And she influenced the formation of the NDIS, amongst many other achievements.


Lesley Hall
Scholarship 2022

The scholarship is intended to support the work of disability advocates, using the arts as a tool for challenging preconceptions about disability. When thinking about your application, you may wish to reflect on the following questions:

  • Do you have a project or further development of your practice in mind?
  • What do you need to complete your work?
  • How are you going to express your ideas?

The scholarship opens for applications on Tuesday 22 March and closes Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 5 pm.

You can apply by downloading the application form [Word Document 77 KB] and sending it back to us or filling out our online application form.

We can also email or post an application to you.

Absolutely! Talk to us if you would prefer to submit a video or audio application.

Applications in Auslan are also invited.

There are three criteria that applicants must meet. You must:

  • identify as a Deaf and/or Disabled person
  • live in Victoria
  • have an active arts practice

If you are the successful recipient of the Lesley Hall Arts and Disability Scholarship, you get two things:

  1. A $5000 scholarship; and
  2. Ongoing support through conversations with AAV and its staff members

Funding can be used for creative development, presenting a new artwork project, or sustaining yourself and your practice. You might choose to do some training or professional development. It’s up to you.

  • Presentation of a work
  • Professional Development
  • Equipment
  • Paying yourself
  • A mix of all of the above

The Scholarship is to support you to undertake whatever you need to continue working as a professional artist.

For the purposes of the scholarship, a project is the development of a piece of artwork, be it visual art, photography, poetry, writing, short film or a theatrical or dance piece that is intended to challenge assumptions about disability.

We understand the challenges of arts practice, particularly when disability is part of the experience. Therefore, the scholarship will support your development. This may be through purchasing a piece of equipment, investing in further study or a personal project that might not be shown to the public. Talk with us if you want to find out more.

The project is intended to be completed during the period May 2022 to May 2023. The extension of project work of up to a year longer can be negotiated.

You can do your project on your own or you may choose to work with others to produce the artwork.

Unfortunately, in the interests of fairness to all applicants, the selection panel cannot give feedback on your application.

Yes, we will try to give feedback in writing about your application.

The selection panel consists of four community representatives with ties to Lesley Hall and the arts and disability sector. Disabled people are represented on the panel.

We will notify you of the outcome of your application by the last week of May 2022.  The name of the successful applicant will be announced on the Arts Access Victoria website, the Arts Access social media and also at The Gathering online.

Lesley Hall left her mark in Australia, standing up for the rights of Deaf and Disabled people, and, in particular, women with disabilities. Shooting into the media spotlight in 1981 with her now famous protest at the Miss Australia Quest against the objectification of women and idealisation of physical beauty, she went on to be instrumental in shaping public policy on disability through her tireless advocacy.

As the CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Lesley was instrumental in influencing the formation of the NDIS, amongst many other achievements. Lesley’s love of the arts came to the fore in her work as director of the Melbourne Worker’s Theatre and subsequent role at Darebin Council. This helped sharpen Lesley’s passion for greater participation by people with a disability in the arts as artists, audiences and arts workers.  Lesley brought those experiences to her voluntary Board work, where she was a Board member and Chair of Arts Access Australia and Arts Access Victoria.

Lesley Hall was a quiet character. Rarely seeking the spotlight, Lesley’s motivation came from her desire to instigate social change for the benefit of a section of society over looked by the general public. The shifting sands of time are finally uncovering what Lesley knew to be true many years ago: that people with a disability have important things to contribute to our society. Exciting times lie ahead and the path that Lesley marked out is getting clearer. Onward to the fray!

You can contact us:

  • Via Phone: 03 9699 8299 (voice only)/ 0477 860 955 (text or voice)
  • Via email.