Take your rightful place.

Ben's story


Current employment
Indigenous Arts Officer, Research and Consultation for the City of Port Phillip.


Why did you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?
The Victorian College of the Arts’s reputation, and the University of Melbourne’s standing as the best in Australia.


What did you like about studying at Melbourne?
Best academic staff whose experience they are willing to share so that you can also gain from it, and a great cohort to work alongside with.


How did your studies help you attain your current role, or advance your career?
Having the confidence to apply for jobs that without a degree would seem unattainable. That’s how study at VCA/UniMelb has helped. I know I can apply for things and achieve my goals because I have been given the skills to do so, and the fact that I graduated from Melb Uni/VCA will always benefit and support me.


What would you say to prospective students considering studying at the University of Melbourne?
If you’re considering graduate studies, whatever your discipline, aim for the top. While at times it’s challenging, the outcomes and satisfaction of completion are rewarding and well worth it. And the support is always there if you need it, either at the VCA with the Wilin Center or with Murrup Barak at Parkville.


When did you start your graduate study at the University of Melbourne? What course did you study?
It started for me after I sent a letter to Professor Su Baker at the VCA enquiring about study. She passed my letter onto Celeste Liddle who at the time was the then Koorie Liaison Officer at the VCA who encouraged me to come in to the Wilin Centre to get the ball rolling. I had never been to university before, but with Celeste’s encouragement and support I enrolled into the Post Grad Diploma in Visual Art course, which was around 2005.


What made you decide to undertake your graduate study at the University of Melbourne?
I was lucky in that I knew rather well William Kelly – former dean of the school of art at the VCA. We had met by chance after he came into an exhibition that I was in and started a conversation about art and in particular Indigenous art. After some time he encouraged me to consider taking up university study.
Though in saying that, I chose the VCA/UniMelb for its standing as the best college with its courses and resources in the state.


What aspects did you enjoy most in your graduate study with the University of Melbourne?
Highlights would be working alongside other creative thinkers and arts practitioners (both staff and students). And the professional relationships that come with that are invaluable.


What does studying/or being a graduate of University of Melbourne mean for you?
It means that while university life is not easy it’s rewarding and to graduate from your degree and with your peers is an accomplishment that’s not to be taken for granted. The sense of pride that it gives is not only for yourself but your family and those who support you, so the fact that you can fulfil your potential is in itself fulfilling.


How did you benefit from your graduate study at the University of Melbourne?
Having graduated from VCA/UniMelb is a benefit in itself. The understanding that, when you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything, is important.


Read the story about Ben McKeown’s work hanging in the State Library of Victoria.