Expressions of Interest are now closed for 2021

Students are invited to make an expression of interest to participate in the GPG Mentorship Program. The program will see students teamed up with a mentor, who will provide feedback, assistance and guidance through regular in person or online meetings.

The mentorship program is student-led, and students will be expected to have a general idea of a project, areas of practice or professionalism that they seek assistance with. This can be as specific as a series of new paintings, or as open-ended as how to organise a group exhibition.

The mentorship program is extra-curricular, and not designed to assist students with work for assessment.

The duration of the mentorship and frequency of meetings will be agreed on by the mentor and student, according to the student’s availability and needs. It is imagined that the mentorship will include at least four meetings.

Please fill out the GPG MENTORSHIP EXPRESSION OF INTEREST form below and submit as an AN ATTACHED DOCUMENT via  email to


We recommend you consult the GPG MENTORSHIP GUIDELINES before applying.

The GPG Mentorship Program is open to all currently enrolled University of Melbourne students. If you have any questions email

Please contact us directly if you require any access provisions. Accessibility is important to Arts Programs and we aim to accommodate everyone.

Submissions will be considered against the skills, knowledge and experience of the GPG mentors. At present the mentors include Arts Programs staff members Sandie Bridie, Coordinator and Director of the George Paton Gallery, and David Attwood, Arts Projects and Programs Officer. Information on the mentors can be found below.

David Attwood is a visual artist based in Melbourne. He completed a PhD in Art at Curtin University, where he worked as a tutor in the School of Design and Art from 2013 – 2016. He makes work in the field of sculpture, and has exhibited his work at artist run initiatives, commercial galleries and institutions, as well as in off-site and online projects throughout Australia and overseas. Dave is a former board member of Seventh Gallery, founder of Island Island and current artistic advisory panel member to Bus Projects. In 2020 Dave co-edited the book ‘The Art of Laziness: Contemporary Art and Post-Work Politics’, published by Art + Australia.

Sandra Bridie’s work straddles individual practice, collaboration, exhibition curation, teaching, gallery management, writing, and the interview as documentation of individual and collective artistic practice in Melbourne. Sandra has coordinated a series of spaces and projects including; Fictional and Actual Artists Space (1995-6), Talk Artists Initiative (1997-2000) six conjectural modules (2002-3). Sandra was also a founding member of the artist’s group Ocular Lab, which ran from 2003-2010 and through this involvement hosted a series of international, national and local artist’s residencies in the Ocular Lab space.

Bridie’s individual practice involves the invention of fictional artists presented via a suite of art works from a range of media including film, sculpture, performance, painting and conceptual art. These works. as seen in her 2017 publication Sandra Bridie, b.19–: Eight fictions, are usually accompanied by a published ‘interview’ with the fictional artist describing the journey towards the work seen.

Since 2004, Sandra has held the position of director of the George Paton Gallery.



I enjoyed the sessions with Sandie because they made me think differently and see the artwork in a context other than where and when they were made. I worked on better documentation of my work and became aware of what doesn’t work for documentation. I also found it very useful writing to  correspond to each presentation: how to relate words with visual work, setting a field of ideas in which the artwork is related.

I learned a lot and felt a little more confident in curating my artwork. Lockdowns were a little constrictive but there was always a way to make it work. I am very grateful for these mentorships because I learned a lot and acquired some useful tools for the future. After this mentorship, in a way curating becomes an addiction, whatever you see you might want to curate it.
Christina, Second-year MCA, VCA

Throughout 2021 I have been fortunate enough to be involved within the mentorship program at the George Paton Gallery. My mentor, Sandra Bridie, has been extremely generous with her time and advice and is currently in the process of assisting me with the curation of my first exhibition.
Sandra has a wealth of knowledge in the arts industry, working as an artist, curator, gallery director and academic researcher. As such, she has been able to draw upon a broad range of skills and offer tailored advice to best suit my individual needs. My mentorship has focused on the process of curation, including initial idea development, identifying artists, drafting a curatorial application and (ultimately) actualising the exhibition within the gallery in semester one of 2022. I would certainly recommend this mentorship to other students at the university.
Thank you Sandie!
Gabrielle, Master of Art Curatorship, University of Melbourne

I am very grateful for the learning opportunity the GPG mentorship program has given me. The mentor, Sandie, is super encouraging, and it feels good to have people believing in you. I could share my concerns and questions regarding curating contemporary art exhibitions that I may otherwise be unable to ask in other contexts. I’ve gotten a lot of realistic advice and help from Sandie regarding writing an exhibition proposal and curating the group show. Her kindness and willingness to share her advice and own experiences are highly appreciated. I am grateful to have met Mentor Sandie and artists−Grace, Simon, Mi-Mi and Nelle−through this Mentorship program and will look forward to keeping in contact with them. Also, I hope to be able to help others to develop themselves professionally in the future.
Sujin, Master of Art Curatorship, University of Melbourne

I was fortunate enough to be a mentee of Sandra Bridie in 2020 as part of the George Paton UMSU mentorship program. The experience was enormously rewarding, and I found Sandra to be a wonderful, interested mentor who enabled me to explore my ideas and follow artistic leads. She encouraged me to experiment and grow as well as talk about what I wanted to achieve through the mentorship. Sandra organised a digital online exhibition of my video and sound works at GPG Virtual, which allowed me to share my work to a wider audience. I really enjoyed Sandra’s knowledgeable, friendly and problem-solving approach to our meetings, and it was truly edifying to work with an established artist such as her and know that she supported my artwork, my process and my mode of creating.
Fiona, Graduate Certificate VCA

The GPG mentorship was an invaluable opportunity to explore ideas, grow creatively and develop greater confidence in my practice. Most importantly it helped me to extend myself and achieve my goal of holding my first solo exhibition. The mentorship gave me insight into what is involved to become a professional artist, what is needed to create a better studio environment, how to improve my artist website and how to develop a body of work for exhibition. Sandie Bridie was an excellent mentor, she was professional, supportive and approachable. I learnt a great deal through the GPG mentorship and was very appreciative of each mentor session.
Yasmine, Graduate Certificate VCA

I had the privilege of working with David Attwood in the GPG mentorship program in 2021. The experience was hugely beneficial in supporting my completion of an artist residency project. David had a way of engaging in discussions that opened up new fields of inquiry in my art practice. Our discussions enabled me to strengthen the conceptual grounding in my project and explore its relationship to specific fields in art theory. His approach was very much artist-led which enabled us to focus on different support needs as my project progressed. I would highly recommend this program to all artists!

Emily, Master of Contemporary Art VCA

Super grateful to be under Dave’s guidance this semester. Dave introduced me to many new artists and ways of getting involved with the art scene. I am a lot more comfortable with being experimental and making ‘mistakes’ in the studio. Really glad to have been a part of the program.

Kitman, Bachelor of Science

The GPG mentorship program was an awesome experience that I’m very grateful to have been a part of in 2021. Because of it, I’m now comfortable putting together group exhibitions and openly communicating with galleries regarding projects. The program has helped give me skills to help refine ideas for projects, including curating and personal, and has provided me with opportunities that have fostered creative passion.
David has been a great mentor, and has been very flexible with meeting times in regards to the current pandemic. He’s very open and honest, and gives practical and useful advice around putting together group shows, giving possible solutions to issues that arise. David also provided me with space and assistance in putting together my first group show, and shows kindness and trust to all of his mentees. I learnt a lot from the program, and am very appreciative of both the advice and opportunities given.

Ruby Day-Smith, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) VCA

The GPG Mentorship is about sharing ideas and generously offering feedback and encouragement. I feel very grateful that Dave was so open to discussing my art problems and for helping me reflect on where I could take the work next. I engaged with the mentorship last year throughout the first round of lockdowns and it was a welcomed exchange of knowledge and resources during a tumultuous period of uncertainty. The conversations directed me to investigate new artists and concepts that I otherwise would not have discovered. If you have the opportunity to partake in the GPG Mentorship you should jump at the chance, it’s a life affirming experience.
Jen, Master of Fine Art, VCA

In 2020, I was fortunate enough to be mentored by David Atwood as part of the George Paton UMSU mentorship program. David was fantastic, he was clear in determining what I could achieve through the mentorship and allowed me to clarify some of the ideas I was exploring in my work. His knowledge of contemporary artists gave me inspiration, and provided a deeper insight into my own practice. He was generous with his time, and offered opportunities to exhibit my work through UMSU exhibition platforms. I learnt a great deal through the GPG mentorship, and was very appreciative of each session.

Joseph Doggett-Williams, Bachelor of Fine Arts VCA