Give more children with disability extraordinary performing arts experiences

The First Call Fund, part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s Access Program, is our way of ensuring that all Victorian students can benefit from participating in remarkable experiences at Arts Centre Melbourne.

The First Call Fund can help to cover the cost of tickets, transport and other costs associated with a visit to Arts Centre Melbourne. The Fund also provides a means for ongoing engagement with the State's largest performing arts centre, leading to greater benefits from the arts experiences it provides.

The First Call Fund is available to any Victorian school that meets the selection criteria.

Is the First Call Fund for us?

If you are a teacher or principal who wants to foster creativity and curiosity among your students and broaden their experience, then a visit to Arts Centre Melbourne is a must! If your school faces barriers that make a visit difficult, the First Call Fund may be for you. Applications are accepted and assessed throughout the year. Eligibility is based on a number of criteria:

  • Your school Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is a number based on parents' occupation and education, a school's geographical location and proportion of Indigenous students. It was developed by Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. ACARA's website provides school profile data sets up to 2017, or you can refer to your MySchool listing.
  • The location of your school
  • The socioeconomic and cultural background of your students
  • Special circumstances such as high unemployment, drought, flood, bushfire etc

How do we apply?

Via our online application form

What can the First Call Fund provide?

  • Subsidised tickets to all performances, workshops and tours in Arts Centre Melbourne’s Schools Program;
  • A contribution towards travel costs to and from Arts Centre Melbourne;
  • A contribution towards CRT costs and other costs associated with your excursion;
  • Subsidies range from 25% - 100% of the ticket price, depending on assessment of your First Call Fund application.

How can schools contribute?

  • Get involved. See a performance, go on a tour of our venues, visit one of our free exhibitions or take part in a practical workshop.
  • Share your story. Let your whole school community know about the important role arts excursions play in supporting your students.
  • Make the most of it. Share with us the impact your visit has had on student learning.
  • Follow up. We provide comprehensive teacher resources as a launching pad for follow-up activities in your classroom. Let us know how you use these activities and what the students thought of the show. We love to hear from you.


Arts Centre Melbourne is committed to providing a range of access services throughout our venues. General access information is available on our Accessibility page, with more specific access information appearing on event pages when appropriate.

Thank you very much for your continuing support of our school by providing the students with rich cultural experiences. Our students are new arrivals and the majority from refugee backgrounds. The rich cultural experiences you are providing is a wonderful introduction into their new country. On behalf of the school I cannot thank you and your organisation enough for continuing to support our students. The feedback from students and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.

Principal, First Call Fund School

Once again, thank you so much for making quality Arts Performances accessible to our students. It really makes a difference, and I hope you know that these events have the capacity to enrich lives.

Teacher, Ardeer South Primary School

Who can I contact with any questions?

Phone: (03) 9281 8582

Find out more about or Access Program and how you can donate to this subsidy.

Frequently Asked Questions

For schools: There is no limit to how many tickets you can book (subject to availability).

For community groups: Considering the breadth of shows available, limits may apply.

For schools: Your assessed application is valid for the activities you apply for. There may be some limits and all shows are subject to availability, so get in touch to discuss how to make the most of the First Call Fund throughout the year.

For community groups: Your assessed application is valid for 12 months and you are welcome to make multiple bookings in this time. There may be some limits and all shows are subject to availability, so get in touch to discuss how to make the most of the First Call Fund throughout the year.

For schools

Before the event, email a quote from your bus company. The amount the First Call Fund can contribute to your costs will then be clarified in writing.

After the event, email a copy of your receipt of payment to the bus company and invoice Arts Centre Melbourne for the determined amount.

Note: The level of contribution is determined on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed.

For community groups

Calculated at $7 per person, up to $350 (50 people).

Pricing based on the cost of an adult Myki ticket.

Organisations are to invoice Arts Centre Melbourne directly

Transport subsidy is at the complete discretion of the First Call Fund assessment committee and on a performance by performance basis, and cannot be guaranteed.

The First Call Fund was established in 2008 thanks to the incredible generosity of Arts Centre Melbourne’s philanthropic supporters. Since then, the fund has continued to grow through the generosity of many different Victorians who share our belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to engage with the arts in a meaningful way.

Read more about contributing to the Fund

Still need help? View all frequently asked questions
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