The Islamic Museum of Australia has unveiled major changes to its annual Australian Muslim Artists (AMA) exhibition with the announcement of La Trobe University as a major sponsor, with a new $15,000 Art Prize at the heart of the sponsorship.

The Islamic Museum of Australia opened artist registrations to participate in the Australian Muslim Artists 2019 exhibition, which will open on 12 September 2019 when the winner of the La Trobe University Australian Muslim Artists 2019 Acquisitive Art Prize will also be announced.

The sponsorship is part of a new, overarching Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties that sees La Trobe University committing as the Museum’s education partner for specific initiatives including the AMA exhibition.

Islamic Museum of Australia Chairperson and La Trobe alumnus, Moustafa Fahour OAM said the partnership was born out of a commitment to shared values including strengthening cultural awareness and social inclusion through education, research and the arts.

“We’re excited to formalise our existing relationship with La Trobe University, we see La Trobe as being a real change-maker, who through their leadership team, staff and students are committed to contributing to social harmony and cultural awareness,” said Mr Fahour.

“Their support of our flagship art exhibition, highlighting the work of Australian Muslim Artists is a testament to their commitment and will certainly elevate the exhibition to the next level,” he said.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the partnership reinforces the University’s commitment to connecting with all communities and transforming lives through education.

“The benefits from our continued collaboration with the Islamic Museum of Australia are far-reaching,” Professor Dewar said.

“Together, we are looking at opportunities including teacher training in Islamic cultures, the development of new curricula in journalism and work-integrated learning opportunities.”

The Islamic Museum of Australia is located in Thornbury, in Melbourne’s north. It is the only Islamic museum in the country and provides educational and cross-cultural experiences for all ages. The Museum is open 10 am – 4 pm, Monday to Saturday.