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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. We believe that access to performing arts experiences should not be a luxury but a necessary, vital part of every child’s education and development.

The First Call Fund Partnership Program provides access to performances, workshops, tours and teacher PDs at Arts Centre Melbourne for the low-cost of only $1 per ticket (subject to program availability). The subsidy may also reimburse the cost of transport to and from 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 Partnership Program may be for you. Applications are accepted at the start of each school 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?

First Call Fund Partnership Program Applications for the 2020 Schools season will open on the 14th of October and will close mid-term 1, 2020.

Applications can be submitted via our online form.

Read the Terms and Conditions of this new Partnership Program thoroughly, especially if you have previously applied for a First Call Fund subsidy, as the Terms and Conditions have significantly changed.

What can the First Call Fund provide?

  • $1 tickets to all performances, workshops, tours and Teacher Professional Development sessions in Arts Centre Melbourne’s Annual Schools Program;
  • A contribution towards travel costs to and from Arts Centre Melbourne;

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.

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