Arts Project Australia supports over 150 artists with intellectual disabilities, promotes their work and advocates for their inclusion within the broader contemporary art sector. Our Northcote gallery and studio are a hive of creative industry.

Leonard Joel has been a proud partner of Arts Project Australia for the past 10 years, supporting the production of exhibition catalogues and hosting fundraising auctions for this unique social enterprise.

As part of Leonard Joel’s Centenary celebrations, we are also proud to join with them in a new Traineeship Program, where two Arts Project artists participate in a fully paid 12-month traineeship in our respective workplaces. The trainees are supported by Interact Australia, who are mentoring each participant throughout the program.

NDIS participants with intellectual disabilities are the least likely to be in open employment, and data shows that only 24% of working age participants are currently in paid work. Recognising that on-the-job training is one of the best ways to build skills and confidence, Leonard Joel has welcomed Michael Camakaris as their first trainee in this program.

Michael recently joined the Leonard Joel team two days a week to gain arts industry auction experience. He is working across all departments, and is developing a range of skills to support the business, including client and colleague-facing skills, handling, presentation, auction and despatch skills across various departments. Michael is thoroughly enjoying his traineeship, and says “It’s a constantly changing environment. I’ve really enjoyed doing research into the history behind the paintings for auction.”

Leonard Joel Managing Director, John Albrecht says, ”We are passionate in our support of Arts Project Australia, all that they achieve and strive to achieve, and in addition to financial support, I wanted to implement an initiative that would make a real difference in our centenary year. Our involvement in this Traineeship Program not only provides social, economic and wellbeing benefits to the trainee, it also benefits our staff and adds diversity to our workplace.”

In addition to the Traineeship Program, we are delighted to announce that Leonard Joel will host an exhibition of Michael’s work at their premises in January.

Sue Roff | Executive Director, Arts Project Australia

For more information visit artsproject.org.au