The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation Music Theatre Award


The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation Music Theatre Award provides significant funding to help an aspiring VCA Music Theatre student embark on a successful career following graduation. This may be to fund overseas travel for further study (including master classes, intensives or courses in any of the areas that comprise music theatre performance; and attending shows, festivals and other allied artistic events during travels); it may fund the development or production of a new work; or it may support other development activities that the applicant and Selection Committee deem to be appropriate and of significant benefit to the recipient and his/her career aspirations.

Please read Information for Award Candidates for more details.

In addition, an Industry Award will be adjudicated by the Audition Panel for the best audition of the day. 


The value of the scholarship offered is $25,000. The Industry Award is valued at $3,000.

Assessment and audition dates

Eligible final year Music Theatre students will be automatically considered for this award and shortlisted candidates will be selected from mid July. In 2018, auditions will be held Monday 23rd July.  

Criteria and eligibility

This Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation Music Theatre Award is open to final (3rd) year VCA Music Theatre students. Applicants must show potential to have a successful professional career in Music Theatre.  Shortlisted applicants are required to attend an audition to discuss their application.

The Industry Award is must be claimed within 12 months, and used with 2 years, of the winner graduating from the BFA (Music Theatre). The Industry Award is not for the creation or production of a work.

Selection Process

Shortlisted candidates will be judged based on three criteria.

  • 75% of decision based on academic performance during the candidate’s studies in VCA Music Theatre program
  • 15% will be based on an audition
  • 10% will be a mark provided by Music Theatre staff which assesses the applicant’s aptitude and capacity to benefit from the Award monies, taking into account:
  1. appetite for learning or high level creative practice;
  2. willingness to engage in learning opportunities or creative practice that will challenge and develop the skill set with which they graduate in new and profound ways;
  3. capacity for the Award to create a new or enhanced pathway or direction for the applicant’s early career.

A special Selection Committee will choose top applicants based on the three criteria above. An Audition Panel will select the top applicant based on audition results. The Selection Committee will nominate the recipient based on the results determined by the Selection Committee and the Audition Panel. The nomination will be presented to the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music for approval.

Award winner's requirements

The Award winner will provide a travel budget and/or project budget itinerary within twelve months of graduation from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre). The itinerary and budget will be assessed for approval by the Head of Music Theatre and a copy provided to Ron and Margaret Dobell. Once the itinerary and budget is approved the Head of Music Theatre will direct the Scholarships office to pay the Award to the recipient. 

The recipient of the Award will be required to provide a final report, including a full financial acquittal and share their experiences with students of VCA Music Theatre upon their return in a scheduled forum.  If the activities funded by the Award have not been completed within one year, ainterim progress report  is also required.

The Award must be used within 2 years of the winner graduating from the BFA (Music Theatre). If it is not used within this time, the Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation may direct an alternative use of the prize.

How to apply

Applications are not required.  All eligible students will be automatically considered for this award and be contacted should they be shortlisted to audion stage. 

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide detailed information for their travel proposal and budget.