INSPIRE Writer in Residence initiative 2022-23

Developed in partnership with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, the INSPIRE Writer in Residence initiative is being offered for a third year. Applications are now open.

The INSPIRE Writer in Residence initiative offers writing in residence opportunities at National Trust places.

The program will help to conserve and share the stories of our places, through activation of heritage assets by storytelling, engagement, participation, and interpretation (assets being places, collections, cultural stories).

This initiative is being offered for a third time in 2022-23 and is an exciting opportunity for Western Australian writers to undertake a residency in one of 6 National Trust places in the Perth metropolitan area.

The initiative is open and responsive to writers’ needs, inclusive of emerging and established writers, and recognises the breadth of storytelling and writing genres Western Australia is known for.

The benefits of the residency centre on opportunities for research, creative and professional development, encouraging excellence in writing, and nurturing connections with potential publishers.

Closing dates and timelines

Applications for residencies in 2022-23 will close at midnight WST Monday 12 September 2022. Applications will be accepted electronically.

Successful applicants will be notified in October 2022.

Upon notification, successful writers will be invited to a familiarisation briefing with the National Trust of Western Australia to introduce writers to the archive systems and research capabilities, program expectations, and an on-site induction will be necessary to introduce the heritage sites, meet volunteers, and staff, familiarise with security, local and emergency contacts, evacuation procedures etc.

Five residencies will be implemented between October 2022 and April 2023.

For details on INSPIRE and how to submit your application, please follow the links below to download the information pack or to access the submissions page.


Information Pack   Submissions


For further information please contact:

Ricky Arnold
Writer in Residence Program Coordinator

INSPIRE is proudly supported by


This exciting initiative has implemented nine residencies over 2020 and 2021 to an eminent group of Western Australian writers: David Allan-Petale, Nandi Chinna, Lisa Collyer, Madison Godfrey, John Mateer, Ros Thomas, Melinda Tognini, John Toohey and Sasha Walsey. The value of the residency is stated in their own words:

Hear from previous INSPIRE Writers in Residence

As I’d already conducted extensive research and been to the property twice, I came to my first day of residency with a journal full of ideas. What I hadn’t accounted for was how the dynamic experience of inhabiting the property, the setting, and the people I would come in contact would influence my work. I felt an urgent sense to work at speed wanting to get the most out of the experience and subsequently produced an edited poem a day.

— Lisa Collyer

Living and working in a historic home true to the time I was writing about was an incredible experience. I expected to be enthralled by the area’s history, and while that happened, I found I was strongly moved by the home itself.
That a prime minister lived in such a simple place in such a complex time was very inspiring to me. My book explores moral corruption in the Second World War, so to be in a place where a family lived frugally, honestly, and openly was very moving. It has helped give my story a true north, more heart, and dare I say grit.

Many nights I would sit on the front veranda and imagine John and Elsie Curtin facing the darkest days of Australia’s history with brave determination. Being in their space has opened my eyes to more than just history, but to a way of living and being that endures.

— David Allan-Petale

The Inspire program provides writers with a rare opportunity to focus wholeheartedly on their creative practice. The inclusion of a stipend for participants meant that I could pause all my other commitments, and focus on writing new work without stressing about how I was going to pay rent afterwards. This is an opportunity I am very grateful for.

— Madison Godfrey, who won the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, run by the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA, with her poem ‘Unmade’ written while Writer in Residence at Peninsula Farm in late 2020.


INSPIRE heritage locations

John Curtin, wartime Prime Minister of Australia, and his wife Elsie built this house in 1923. Over the next seventy-five years, four generations of the Curtin family lived here.

The house underwent major conservation and interpretation works  in 2010 including restoration of the garden. Inside you will find fascinating information on the day to day lives of John, Elsie, their children and even their dog, Kip! If you want to know more, read the Curtin Family Home booklet or let ‘Elsie’ tell her story through an audio tour of the house.

This National Trust project provided an exciting opportunity to focus on what is an often neglected part of John Curtin – the importance of his home life. The unassuming nature of the Jarrad Street House reflects the nature of the man and his family and helps explain his political convictions and directions for the nation during the Second World War.

The property has been in the care of the National Trust since 2002 and is one of only four former prime ministers’ homes that are in public ownership.

Onsite facilities

Residency includes access to a writing space, Wi‐Fi, kitchen facilities and toilet access. Overnight accommodation is available subject to availability: two bedrooms, (one double bed and two singles), one standard bathroom. Length of stay is negotiable (2–3 weeks), with the costs of rent and services covered by the INSPIRE initiative. Access is fair but non-wheelchair toilet and bathroom. Curtin Family Home is close to public transport and walking distance to the Cottesloe township.

East Perth Cemeteries sits on Whadjuk Noongar Country in an area known as Martellup, on a sandy hill overlooking Western Australia’s capital city.

In 1829 this was the site of the first colonial burial ground in Perth when a general cemetery was established. This was followed by 6 more of different denominations, plus one for felons, until the closure of the eight cemeteries in 1899. More than 10,000 people who died in colonial Perth are buried here, from the wealthy and prominent to the poor and unknown.

In the middle of the Church of England Cemetery stands a simple Gothic church, designed by colonial architect Richard Roach Jewell. Despite a period of neglect, St Bartholomew’s is still a consecrated church and is used for church services, weddings, and other religious events.

Since the closure of the Cemeteries, the majority of the grave headstones and markers have been lost through decay, neglect, vandalism, and well-intentioned ‘cleanups’. The remaining 800, now cared for by the National Trust, offer a unique opportunity to tell and explore stories of bravery, tragedy, illness and accident, of success, suffering and loved ones lost.

Onsite facilities

Residency includes access to a writing space with limited disability access, Wi‐Fi and limited kitchen facilities (running water only at toilet block). There is a universal access toilet on site. Overnight accommodation is not available. It is close to public transport and walking distance from East Perth and the CBD.

ANZAC Cottage was the earliest First World War memorial to be built in Western Australia, and was initiated by the Mount Hawthorn Progress Association in December 1915, to honour those who fought in the Gallipoli campaign.

Made possible by donations of money and building materials from the community, and generous commitment of skills by tradesmen and labourers, ANZAC Cottage was constructed in one day: Saturday 12 February 1916.

ANZAC Cottage was deemed to be a ‘practical memorial’, and served as a place of commemoration for those who lost their lives at Gallipoli. It was also a home for a returned wounded soldier and his family. Private John Porter was the first returned soldier to live in Mount Hawthorn, a member of the famous 11th Battalion C Company which took part in the historic landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Private Porter and his family lived in ANZAC Cottage until the 1960s and descendants still maintain a close connection with the cottage.

Onsite facilities

Residency includes access to a writing space and basic kitchen facilities. There is a standard toilet available with no disability access toilet available on site. Overnight accommodation is not available. There is easy access to public transport from ANZAC Cottage.

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