Internationally recognised as a breeding ground for artistic talent, the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) has nurtured some of Australia’s most successful artists.

Tom Roberts, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, John Brack, Fred Williams, Rick Amor, Bill Henson, Sally Smart, Louise Hearman, Callum Morton, Patricia Piccinini and Ricky Swallow are just some of the renown artists to emerge from the VCA (originally National Gallery School founded in 1857 (part of NGV) and then as VCA since 1968).

Yet nurturing the next wave of Australian art requires engagement from beyond the VCA walls and calls upon support from our art loving community. Supporting talent means ensuring pathways for students into a vibrant arts ecosystem – pathways that are grounded in an understanding of how to navigate sustainable career practice.

VCA Access responds to this need by bringing together art lovers, collectors and philanthropists, and connecting them with VCA students, Alumni artists and their representing galleries. Now in its fifth year, VCA Access has fostered relationships between countless art lovers, and over 25 emerging and established artists and galleries.

Each year, the VCA Access community funds the mentoring program. Up to five second year Art Masters students are selected by VCA Faculty on application, for the Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award. Each student is matched with an established VCA Alumni artist and their representing gallery, for a one-year mentoring program in their third year of study.

VCA Access supporters make tax deductible contributions to make this award possible. In addition to donations, the community regularly comes together to celebrate and explore art.  We meet for conversation at the studios and galleries of the mentors and students as well as at key art events throughout the year, such as art fairs and institutional viewings.

We invite you to participate in our community and support the next generation of Australian artists, by donating to the Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award.

VCA Access hosts regular events throughout the year to provide opportunities and behind the scenes access to meet VCA students, mentors and galleries. We welcome all art lovers and invite you to donate, join our events, and spread the word.

  • Contribute to the sustainability of Australia’s vibrant arts scene
  • All donations are tax-deductible and will receive a tax receipt from The University of Melbourne
  • Choose your support level: $250, $500, $1000+
  • Connect with mentor artists and students through ‘salons’ at partner galleries and artists’ studios
  • Witness art growth with regular email updates from the program
  • Celebrate VCA alumni and reaffirm their importance to the Melbourne arts community

We invite you to support the Masters Mentoring, VCA Art Award by making a tax-deductible donation. Donations are open all year round.

Donate today

Your generous support makes this mentoring initiative possible and makes a tangible contribution to Australia’s next wave of artistic talent.

Please contact info@vcaaccess.com.au with any queries

VCA Access is run by a volunteer committee comprising of Alicia Brown, Susan Jones, Sarah George and Ruth O’Shannassy. The Committee works alongside the VCA Faculty and thanks them for their ongoing support.


VCA Faculty

Dr Kim Donaldson, Vikki McInnes and Dr Simone Slee.