NiTRO is Three!

NiTRO celebrates its third anniversary in July 2019. Since our first edition in July 2016 we have produced 22 editions, which have been accessed by nearly 30,000 users from across the world. NiTRO articles are increasingly cited in scholarly literature and general media, and included in institutional repositories.

While readership numbers of our most accessed articles change rapidly as people access previous editions and re-read articles - as of July 2019, our three most-accessed articles between July 2016 and 2019 were:

  1. A Fond Farewell to Debra Porch – Mostyn Bramley-Moore (Edition 12)

  2. All that is Bad – Ian Haig (Edition 3)

  3. Four Memos to Myself: Things I’ve known, wish I’d known, have learned, unlearned or forgotten – Rupert Myer (Edition 18)

Our steadily-growing readership is due to the erudite commentary of our contributors who include academic staff from all creative arts disciplines, institutional leaders, students, arts professionals, media and not-for-profit organisations.

We would like to sincerely thank the Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts for their ongoing support for NiTRO, and all of our fabulous contributors for their commitment and collegiality!

Singapore considering arts university

Nominated MP Terence Ho, Executive Director of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, has issued a call for the transfer of art institutions such as Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) into fully-fledged art universities.

Mr Ho said: “As an aspiring arts nation, I believe we should have our own arts university. By transforming or upgrading our art academies, this will draw local and overseas talents to enrol in these institutions.”

Responding to the proposal, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng promised to “study carefully Mr Ho's suggestion for an arts university”, noting that the government is “committed to developing our young talent, and are constantly exploring new ways of doing so.”

New IETM reports on funding, cultural democracy, inclusion and artist identity

IETM has released a number of reports from its recent plenary meeting in Hull UK which focused on “inclusion in today’s societies, in their artistic representations and in the process of creation.”

  • Everyone has an opinion, but only mine is right, looks at issues related to inclusion, diversity and difference;

  • Everyday creators: friends or foes? discusses what makes an artist

  • If funders really wanted to support artists, what could they do? looks at issues of at funding alignment

  • Cultural Democracy in practice addresses issues of cultural participation

The reports are available at:

Useful resource: Pro Bono Grants listing

Pro Bono, the not-for-profit website, has just launched a grants site in collaboration with Strategic Grants. Although the site includes a range of disciplinary granting bodies, it does include schemes and philanthropic funding sources interested in arts and culture. The site can be accessed at:

ARC Linkage Grants announced

The Australian Research Council has announced seven new Linkage Projects grants in the field of Creative arts and writing. Our congratulations go to the successful recipients.

Chief Investigators Administering university Project title
Prof Dennis Del Favero; Prof Claude Sammut; Dr Fabri Blacklock; Dr Carol Oliver; Dr Susanne Thurow; Mr Matthew Connell; Mr Arul Baskaran UNSW Redefining museum experience as an immersive networked narrative.
Prof Roger Dean; A/ Prof Tara Hamilton; Dr Christian Walder; Mr John Davis; Dr Ajay Heble Western Sydney University Music can speak for you: making music with a deep net partner.
A/Prof Sandra Gattenhof; Dr Donna Hancox; Prof Helen Klaebe QUT The Role of the Creative Arts in Regional Australia: A Social Impact Model.
A/Prof Melanie Swalwell; Dr Denise de Vries; Dr Helen Stuckey; Mr Nick Richardson; Ms Carolyn Murphy; Mr Andrew Piper; Ms Angela Goddard; Mr Jonathan Parsons Flinders Archiving Australian Media Arts: Towards a method and national collection.
Dr Oliver Bown; Dr Samuel Ferguson; Dr Alexander Davies; Dr Linda Candy; Mr Anthony Rowe; Mr Bruce Tulloch; Mr Craig Donarski UNSW Artistically rethinking creative coding for digital media.
Prof Dennis Del Favero; Prof Michael Thielscher; Dr Baden Pailthorpe; Mr Brian Dawson; Prof Craig Stockings; Dr Rhys Crawley; Ms Robyn Van Dyk UNSW memorySCAPE: the commemoration of war using a database narrative framework
A/Prof Melanie Swalwell; Dr Helen Stuckey; Dr Denise de Vries; Prof Angela Ndalianis; Mr Sebastian Chan Flinders Play it again: preserving Australian videogame history.

NSW arts fund changes could disadvantage artists

The New South Wales Government has recently announced changes to its Arts and Cultural Funding Program including the creation of specific art form boards to conduct assessment of applications. Writing in The Guardian, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Executive Director Esther Anatolitis has expressed concern about the impact of these changes, saying, “When a minister chooses 10 ‘art form’ boards, selects the chair of each one and works with that chair to appoint members, it’s difficult for taxpayers to have confidence in the integrity of their decisions. Especially with arts projects and capital infrastructure requests now explicitly in the one funding pool, so there’s no longer any need for the minister to hide non-artistic grants.”

Further details on the new program are available at:, while Esther’s analysis can be read in The Guardian at

Australia Council releases Born Global: Australian Music Export report

The Australia Council for the Arts has released a new report on the cultural and economic value of Australian Music. Described as the “first methodological study of how Australian artists are developed internationally through government and industry programs”, the report is the outcome of a three-year ARC Linkage project by Newcastle and Monash Universities in partnership with APRA AMCOS and the Australia Council. The report assesses the effects of globalisation and digitisation on Australian music exports and suggests strategies to improve market growth and exposure. The full report is available at:

ELIA releases post-Brexit report

ELIA, the European League of Institutes of the Arts, has published a report from its December 2018 regional seminar on “Internationalisation in a post-Brexit Europe”.

The symposium was designed to share knowledge on Brexit negotiations, student mobility and fees and the future of higher arts education institution collaboration in Europe. The report summarises key symposium discussions including the current political fragmentation in Europe.

The report is available at:

Orpheus Institute seeks Research Fellow

The Orpheus Institute, an international centre of excellence focused on artistic research in music based in Belgium is seeking a research fellow to lead future artistic research with a unique historical resource.

The Institute is seeking to appoint a full-time Research Fellow who will bring vision for the use of a unique collection of early books and scores as a resource for artistic research. This collection of some twenty thousand items dedicated to music from the 17th/18th centuries, has been assembled over fifty years by a single artist, a world-renowned performer of baroque music. The Research Fellow will design, plan, coordinate and lead innovative projects exploring the potential of the collection as a research instrument for musical practice.

The contract will be for three years, with a view to continuing renewal. The position is full-time, based in Ghent, Belgium with a salary in the range €50,000-€70,000 p.a.

Further details are available at:

More transparency needed to back research excellence claims

A new paper by Emeritus Professor Frank Larkins questions whether Australian research performance, particularly in science disciplines, is really improving. Noting the lack of transparency in the benchmarks used to evaluate performance, Professor Larkins asks whether claims of excellence can really stand up to scrutiny.  His paper, Research at Australian Universities: Is Excellence Really Excellent? released through Melbourne University’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education, also discusses the contrast in results between science based disciplines and those in Social Sciences and Humanities. The full paper is available at: