Communications & Media

Visual arts student and film-maker to share Sandy Duncanson bursary

Human rights and the experiences of young LGBTIQ+ people will be highlighted through the awarding of the University of Tasmania’s 2018 Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Bursary.

The bursary is awarded each year in honour of the memory of lawyer and social justice advocate Alexander (Sandy) Duncanson, who died of cancer in June 2010 at the age of 37.

This year’s recipients, who will each receive $2,500, are visual arts student Frances Seen and Grace Williams, a law and economics student and film-maker.

Frances, who is studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts with Honours, will set up what she hopes will be an ongoing arts mentorship program for young LGBTIQ+ high school and college students.

“The Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Bursary will enable me to establish a program that I hope will continue, in various forms, past this year,” she said. “It provides an opportunity for me to apply my theoretical studies and further explore how art can be used to create positive social change.”

In 2018 Frances will organise a series of art workshops, with mentoring provided by current visual art students and graduates. “I hope the works produced by the young artists will help to break down barriers between different groups of people and spark conversations about acceptance and respect,” she said. “The works will focus on what it is to be a young LGBTIQ+ person.”

Frances hopes the workshops will conclude with an exhibition in public spaces around the Hobart CBD.

Grace’s project will promote the importance of human rights by documenting the experiences of Tasmanians. Through filmed stories, the project will question whether human rights are adequately protected by Tasmanian law and, if so, whether those protections are accessible to all Tasmanians.

In addition to studying law, politics, economics and philosophy, Grace is also a writer and filmmaker. She said she was honoured to be recognised by the bursary committee. “Sandy Duncanson has a left a legacy that still today empowers positive social transformation; I am proud to be a part of that legacy by receiving this bursary.”

Sandy Duncanson, a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania, was widely respected for his work in the community legal and housing sectors. His family and friends established the bursary fund to provide support to students passionate about social justice.

Pictured: Bursary recipients Frances Seen, left, and Grace Williams.

Published on: 10 May 2018 2:00pm