The power of mentoring: an interview with curator Professor Natalie King OAM

Professor Natalie King has been recognised for her 20-plus years spent mentoring other women, colleagues and First Nations peers working in the arts.

By Catriona May

People who take the time to listen are few and far between. Life is busy, distractions never-ending and moments of quiet are often just out of reach.

Lending an ear to a friend, a colleague or even a stranger can be a rare gift. But it’s one that Natalie King is happy to give.

For the past 20 years, the internationally renowned curator, Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Enterprise Professor and OAM-recipient has been mentoring others, initially working with colleagues and more recently also volunteering with female mentoring initiative, Mentor Walks , listening and reflecting with them, and helping them navigate priorities.

This service was recently recognised by the University of Melbourne, with Professor King receiving this year’s Patricia Grimshaw Award for Mentor Excellence.

Primarily mentoring other women working in the arts, Professor King comes across challenges that are often familiar (balancing work and family, speaking out for a pay rise), but brought into particularly sharp relief by the sometimes-brutal arts world.

Source: The University of Melbourne