Events and training

McArthur Local Government Fellowship

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The purpose of the McArthur Local Government Fellowship is to allow a current Victorian councillor to undertake international research and study of a policy area of significance to the local government sector.

Designed to assist with short-term overseas travel, accommodation and associated on-the-ground expenses, the study grant value is $12,000. While this does not exclude longer trips, the Fellowship is awarded on the basis that costs exceeding $12,000 are the responsibility of the recipient.

There are no restrictions on the areas of research chosen, however proposals must identify which of the MAV Strategic Plan priorities the project will contribute to, and how your findings could be used locally, regionally and /or state-wide.

Shortlisted candidates are announced in the MAV Bulletin.

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit a research proposal of not more than 2,000 words.

The four criteria and weighting are:

1. Project Concept (30%)

  • A description of your project. Please include facts, statistics and relevant information and historical context.  This may include some background information on the topic gathered from your reviewing information from books, web and journal articles.
  • Explain why this project area is important to local government and what the impact to community is, and how the project outcomes will be measured.
  • Identify which of the MAV Strategic Plan priorities the project will contribute to and how your findings could be used locally, regionally and /or statewide.

2. Project Outcome(s) (30%)

2.1 What will you achieve in this project? For each project objective, please describe:

  • Project scope/deliverables
  • Project risks and mitigation
  • Budget/grants/future investments
  • Project success measurement

2.2 Identify the value and future outcomes of your project.

2.3 Outline any other potential for investments into the project including partnership arrangements to further develop wider the Local Government Sector.

MAV Strategic Plan Priorities 2019-2021

  • Financial sustainability
  • Waste and resources recovery
  • Government relations
  • Transport and infrastructure
  • Societal and social policy changes
  • Planning and building
  • Business and Digital transformation
  • Climate Impacts and Emergency Management
  • Population change.

3. Project Plan (25%)

  • Planned travel itinerary, with reasons as to why this will value add to the project.
  • Include places and persons of interest, including the specific reasons for their inclusion.
  • Project Costs.
  • Project Timeline, including the future development of the project.

4. Resume/Curriculum Vitae & References (15%)

  • A cover letter introducing yourself and your project topic.
  • Provide a current Resume.
  • Letter of Endorsement from your Council.
  • Letter of Endorsement from another relevant person/entity.

Important application information


The  judging panel comprises two MAV representatives and one McArthur  representative.

Fellowship conditions

Reporting and Accountability

  1. The Fellowship must be undertaken within 12 months of receiving the scholarship unless by mutual agreement.
  2. On returning, the fellowship recipient is required to submit a short written report to the MAV Board. The report should contain brief background information on the research topic, key findings and recommendations.
  3. The recipient must also complete a study tour report of between 5,000 and 7,500 words.
  4. The recipient will be required to present the findings at the MAV Annual Conference or the MAV Councillor Development Weekend or another suitable event by agreement.
  5. The recipient must coordinate media interviews on the research trip with the MAV Communications Unit.


  • Applications Open: Friday 14 June 2019
  • Applications Close: 5:00pm Friday 6 September 2019
  • Selection Phase: Monday 9 September to Friday 27 September 2019
  • Recipient Announced: 2019 MAV Annual Conference October 2019.

The recipient must submit a travel itinerary to the MAV for approval.

Travel and accommodation

The recipient is responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements.


The MAV will forward payment to the recipient on approval of the study tour itinerary.


  1. The recipient is required to provide appropriate travel insurance.
  2. The recipient is responsible for any risk, injury or damage that may be incurred during or arising out of the fellowship.

Termination/suspension of Fellowship

The MAV reserves the right to suspend or terminate the Fellowship if the recipient is unable to take it up within the time allocated, or in the event of the recipient failing to observe the conditions governing the Fellowship. In such circumstances, a refund of any Fellowship monies paid to the recipient will be required.

  • Any variation to all of the above conditions must be agreed to by the MAV.
  • The Award is not available to members of the MAV Board or the Professional Development Reference Group.
  • Previous Fellowship winners

    Investigation of the Development of UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy in Italy - 2018

    Travelling to Northern Italy, Jennifer Alden of the City of Greater Bendigo researched what it means to be appointed a UNESCO Creative City and how a City of Gastronomy can help to transform the profile and branding of a city region and increase gastronomic tourism.

    How Shires and Regions in Victoria can increase Revenue and Yield from Nature Based Tourism - 2016

    On his study tour, Cr Peter Harkin (Corangamite Shire Council) compared the scenic, nature based site, the 12 Apostles in south-west Victoria, to some similar areas in the world with large tourist numbers.

    In particular, Cr Harkin studied how these areas take on and develop the sites, local areas and regions for tourism.

    Cr Harkin visited key sites including the Grand Canyon and towns in close proximity, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Stonehenge and Avebury pre historic site, the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-A-Rede Bridge, the Cliffs of Moher and Newgrange stone age monument.

    The role local government can play in addressing social factors that contribute to the health and wellbeing of residents - 2015

    Bo Li of Darebin City Council travelled to the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Singapore in September 2015 with the aim of identifying best practice models in councils that are tackling social disadvantage using a whole-of-council approach in their programs and initiatives.

    Real affordable housing options for all residents - 2014

    Lenka Thompson of Moreland City Council travelled to the United Kingdom to look at options for council involvement in housing programs.

    Making community solar a reality - 2013

    Eve Fisher researched the options for community solar power available to Victorian councils through the three main models used in the US.

    The 2013 award was sponsored by MAV Insurance and the Diploma of Local Government.

    Acceptance of religious freedom - 2012

    Charlotte Baines examined the challenges and opportunities for local government in building greater community tolerance and acceptance of religious freedom.

    Streetlight reduction programs - 2011

    Tony Wolfe researched streetlight reduction programs in Australia, Europe, the UK and the US.

    Municipal WiFi networks - 2010

    In 2010 Gaetano Greco examined Municipal Wi Fi Networks and travelled to nine cities in North America, Europe and Oceania.

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