RSA Partnership Launch

24 Sep 2021

RSA Partnership Launch featured image

The Churchill Trust is excited to announce our new partnership with The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce to offer Churchill Fellows, through exclusive membership, the opportunity to connect with The RSA, its Fellows and networks and to engage in events and development opportunities.

Connecting our Fellows with another community of diverse change-makers, in over 80 countries, to collaborate and broaden dissemination and development networks, is in keeping with the Churchill Trust’s ethos to Learn Globally and Inspire Locally.

Our organisations’ shared purpose of supporting passionate people from all walks of life to achieve impact in their field is sure to foster an incredible network globally and result in meaningful collaborations and shared learnings.

About The RSA

For over 250 years, the RSA has been at the forefront of social impact. We are a global community of over 30,000 innovative problem solvers seeking ideas and solutions to resolve the challenges of our time.

Our Fellowship is made up of a diverse range of actors, from grassroots community members and local organisers, to policy makers, designers, social entrepreneurs, creative artists, makers and doers from all walks of life.

We think of ourselves as ‘social system entrepreneurs’, supporting innovation and seeking out interventions that will enable long-term systems change. We believe change happens through multiple pathways – at the level of individual agency, collective action and institutional systems.

Our work is interdisciplinary and spans multiple platforms. Operating at the intersection of ideas and action, we work to:

  • drive thought leadership through our social policy research
  • work with local communities to develop scalable place-based interventions
  • and share powerful ideas through our global engagement platforms

In Oceania, we are working to cultivate a community of change-makers committed to building a regenerative future.  Join us to help create change for the long term.

Online Partnership Launch & Information Session

To celebrate this new partnership and the opportunities it presents for both Churchill Fellows and RSA Fellows, The Trust hosted an event on Saturday 9th October 4pm AEST to learn more about RSA membership, Churchill Fellowships, and hear from four creative and inspiring Churchill and RSA Fellows, followed by a networking session.

You can watch the event recording here.

Australian and New Zealand Churchill Fellows are invited to register their interest in RSA Fellowship via this form. 

Featured Fellow Speakers


Adam Edwards – 2013 Churchill Fellow

After serving six years in the Navy as a Clearance Diver, Adam Edwards had a creative side that he wanted to discover. A chance meeting with a violin maker at the Sydney woodworking show opened the door to the wonderful world of instrument making. Predominately self taught, he has spent many years discovering the lost art of violin making, taking the time to really understand what makes that little box sing.

Living in Tasmania has given Adam the opportunity to experiment with native timbers as well as the traditional European spruce and maple. In 2011 whilst attending the National Folk Festival in Canberra, Adam saw for the very first time a Hardanger fiddle being played. Completely fascinated and in awe of such an enchanting instrument, he set about to make one himself using Tasmania’s finest timbers. In 2013 Adam Edwards was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study advanced fiddle making techniques specific to Norway’s National folk instrument – the Hardanger fiddle, famous for its haunting sound and resonant sympathetic strings. During his time away Adam also made several side trips to visit instrument museums in Vienna, Prague and Oxford.

Since returning to Australia, Adam has endeavoured to continue his commitment to share his knowledge and understanding with the music community.

Kate Fielding – 2012 Churchill Fellow

Kate Fielding builds creative platforms for intercultural conversations. She is a cultural strategist, a company director, a writer of narrative non-fiction and an advocate for social change hairdressing. Kate was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2012, exploring the role that hair salons and barber shops are playing in social change efforts across public health, social inclusion and community engagement.

As a cultural strategist, Kate helps organisations evolve and grow – especially those with an arts and cultural development focus. Working across the government, not-for-profit, philanthropic and private sectors, Kate’s particular skill set combines high-level analysis and problem solving, cultural awareness and an in-depth knowledge of Australia’s arts, cultural development and creative industries. Kate has lived and worked in regional and remote Australia for most of her life, including in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, as well as living for several years in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Kate is currently the CEO of  A New Approach (ANA), Australia’s leading arts and culture think tank. She was previously the Chair of the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission and of Regional Arts Australia, as well as a member of the Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, of the Regional Development Council and of Country Arts WA. Her work has been recognised through two national awards – a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (2014-2015) and a Churchill Fellowship (2012). She was named a 40Under40 WA Business Leader in 2017. She is a member of the live art and social change hairdressing group Sir Madam Salon.

Shaista Shameem – RSA Fellow (Fiji network)

Professor Shaista Shameem is the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Fiji and Dean of the JDP School of Law. A lawyer by profession, she has worked in the areas of human rights, justice, social change and international law for the United Nations, as well as in the Fijian context. A graduate of the University of the South Pacific, she holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Waikato and a Masters in Law from the University of Auckland. She also holds a Doctorate in Juridical Science.

Shaista has been a Fellow of the RSA for 3 years.

Ian Short – RSA Fellow (NZ Network)

Ian is the former CEO of Climate-KIC, the world’s largest climate change innovation partnership, and of the Institute for Sustainability. Both organisations were established to support systems innovation. After starting his career in finance with the New Zealand Treasury and ten years at a global investment bank, he was introduced to the value of a systems mindset when leading the establishment of an urban development corporation responsible for the regeneration of east London. Ian is Chair of the Auckland Foundation, Chair of Toru Group and an RSA Oceania Board Member.

Ian has been a Fellow of the RSA since 2010.