Get to know your expert Programs Officer, Catherine Hempenstall

As your go-to for everything Plus1 and MATCH Lab, Catherine administers our funding programs and is ready, willing and able to talk through your fundraising strategy and help you through the application process. Get to know her before you sink your teeth into your application.

Chocolate or cheese?

Chocolate. I eat it pretty much every day. It’s a big part of my life.

What is your best live experience?

My favourite live experiences are always ones in which I am participating myself. A couple of years ago I sang as part of a 350-person pop choir on a huge stage next to Westminster Abbey in London. It’s incredibly powerful to sing with such a big group.

Tell us about some of your travel highlights.

It’s hard to know where to start! Top of the list would be glacier hiking with my sister in Argentina, couchsurfing in Estonia and spotting wild orangutans in Borneo.

Can you tell us some of your career/artistic highlights from before your Creative Partnerships life?

  1. During my studies I worked for Cirque du Soleil on their Dralion and Varekai tours in Melbourne. Then, many years later, while living and working in Germany, I travelled to South Africa and ran a five-day sports camp for kids – teaching circus skills. It was an amazing opportunity and I felt like I’d come full circle on my circus journey.
  2. Working for JK Rowling’s NGO Lumos in London in 2016, I programmed a series of four conferences and symposia, including running a one-day conference in Prague that was simultaneously translated into three languages.
  3. Programming a one-day multicultural music and food festival in the City of Stonnington earlier this year. It was a pleasure to work with such an amazing and diverse group of artists to produce a beautiful celebration of culture and community.

As our Program Officer, what would you say is your key role?

Ensuring that the process by which artists and organisations access our Plus1 and MATCH Lab programs is seamless and supported.

Whether they’re a seasoned funding applicant or a first-timer – what should anyone do before they start to fill out an application form?

Have a clear plan for what you want to achieve with your project funding if your application is successful, and know how matched funding is going to assist you to leverage support. Also, give me a call! I’d love to hear what exciting projects you’re planning and can make sure you’re on the right track with your application.

What are some of your favourite resources to go to for the latest in fundraising, arts or inspiration?

I always keep an eye on ArtsHub for news and information in the creative sector but my favourite way to stay connected to the arts in Melbourne is to go out and get amongst it! This city is bursting at the seams with creativity, vitality and innovation, and there is inevitably something wild and wonderful happening every day of the week.