Natalie Miller Fellowship announces recipients for $5,000 Catalyst Grants

From left are Caro Macdonald, Chelsea Thistlewaite, Ester Harding, Megan Wilman, and Eve Spence.

The Natalie Miller Fellowship (NMF) has unveiled the five recipients of this year’s $5,000 Catalyst Grants, designed to assist female and female-identifying practitioners in taking the next step in their leadership ambitions.

The 2024 cohort comprises Mind The Gap Film Finance CEO Ester Harding (VIC), cinematographer, director, and producer, Caro Macdonald (NT), filmmaker and educator Eve Spence (NSW), RGM Artists associate literary agent Chelsea Thistlewaite (NSW), and Madman Entertainment senior graphic designer Megan Wilmann (VIC).

NMF President Sasha Close said the initiative’s second year had attracted an “exceptionally high quality of proposals and an impressive calibre of applicants”.

“The NMF congratulates the five successful recipients who presented bold and inspiring proposals for leadership and professional development and who work in various sectors of the screen industry,” she said.

Of the next steps for the recipients, Harding is undertaking ARTEM Group’s Evolving Your Leadership program, which teaches women to lead with purpose and courage through interrogation of the stories we tell ourselves; Macdonald will be mentored by cinematographer Michael Latham on a Screen Territory-funded short narrative film, as well as a documentary series; Spence is attending the interdisciplinary ‘Script Circle’ feature workshop in Berlin as an observer and be mentored by story developers Franz Rodenkirchen and Françoise von Roy; Thistlewaite will invest in their career through curated courses from the University of California, Los Angeles, the National Film & Television School and Sundance Collab; and Wilmann will head to Sydney’s Carnival Studios for mentorship under creative director Demi Hopkins, along with undertaking a leadership short course at the Australian Institute of Management.

The NMF Catalyst Grants are supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus1 and NMF’s Catalyst Campaign.