The Alan Sisley Memorial Fellowship

Alan Sisley at Orange Art Gallery 2011. Photograph by Kim V Goldsmith.

Alan Sisley (1952-2014) was Director of Orange Regional Gallery from 1991 to 2014 and was previously President of Regional & Public Galleries of NSW. A gifted communicator, he used his role to passionately advocate for the role art can play in peoples’ lives. Sisley was widely acknowledged for his risk taking projects, but he always placed the artist and the audience at the centre of his concerns.

This Fellowship, named in his honour, and awarded biennially, seeks to provide an opportunity for a NSW gallery worker to:

  • Undertake a period of research or study;
  • Develop a project or program beneficial to their organisation;
  • Undertake relevant professional development that increases the capacity of their organisation.


In a time of rapid sector growth, community expectation and demand, regional gallery staff find themselves under increased pressure to deliver and expand upon existing programs. This pressure combined with infrastructure constraints often translates as insufficient time for staff to fully develop ideas or projects to full capacity; or to properly invest in establishing strong partnerships and collaborations. In recognition of the evolving sector and needs, Regional & Public Galleries of NSW (RPGNSW) seeks to recognise and support the regional gallery sector in the development of staff professional practice and research through the Alan Sisley Memorial Fellowship.

The aim of the Fellowship is to provide funds for a professional gallery staff member to dedicate time to research and develop ideas that will benefit their organisation. RPGNSW will provide funds up to $7,500 to cover travel and accommodation costs associated with the program of activity, as well as toward staffing costs to replace the applicant at their home venue. Note: Applicant organisations must be current financial members of RPGNSW.

Projects and applications must address at least one of four core areas:


Examples of activity could include:

  • Researching other regional collections for potential display at applicants home venue;
  • Time to meet with artists or exhibition partners for a significant gallery exhibition;
  • Researching audience development, education or public program initiatives;
  • Establishing partnerships between institutions;
  • Establishing partnerships with non-art-based organisations.


RPGNSW will be looking for projects that relate to the four core areas noted above. We will also be looking for activities that:

  • Are finalised within two years.
  • Develop professional skills of gallery staff;
  • Are significant initiatives for the organisation;
  • Match the goals of the applicant organisation;
  • Have the potential for ongoing benefits for the organisation;
  • Utilise permanent collections in new and innovative ways;
  • Show evidence of good planning;
  • an artist to be engaged to do some community consultation;
  • Someone paid to come and train staff in a particular topic.

RPGNSW understands that some activities, such as establishing a partnership, will not have a tangible outcome in the same way as an exhibition outcome. In these instances, RPGNSW would expect to see strong evidence of planning and implementation of this partnership, and defined project or partnership expectations.

RPGNSW will ask that the successful applicant be prepared to present the results of their program of activity at the subsequent RPGNSW state conference, or in other formats as identified and agreed upon (conferences, seminars, publication etc)


Applicants are required to download and complete the application form and provide support material as requested.

Download – Application form

 Selection process

Applications will be assessed by:

  • 2 x Members of RPG Executive Committee
  • 1 x Financial member of RPG NSW (non-Executive Committee)

 Acquittal process

Successful applicants will be required to present a written report to RPGNSW six weeks after the conclusion of the Activity outlining the results of their work, and providing evidence of how the funds were expended. The applicant will be invited to present the results of their project in person or digitally at an appropriate forum – ie RPGNSW AGM. Photographic documentation and/or letters confirming activity will also be required.

Applications Close Friday 6 October 2023

Decisions advised by Friday 27 October 2023

Applications (emailed only) should be sent to:

Rachael Parsons

President, Regional & Public Galleries, NSW

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