“I think the mentorship has done more for me than I could have ever imagined and it’s just given me that validation or the acknowledgement from a very prominent contemporary peer that I admire that my work is good.” (Catapult Mentee)

This project is an extension of the work done by the UniSA Creative research team through the Australian Research Council three-year funded project ‘Promoting the making self in the creative microeconomy’ (the ‘Crafting Self’ project). As part of their funding request to the Ian Potter Foundation, Guildhouse approached UniSA to undertake an independent, research-informed study of both previous Guildhouse, and before that Craft South, mentorship programs, as well as the three years of the Catapult program funded by the Ian Potter Foundation. The brief was to examine the impact of mentorships on artistic careers over time, and to provide feedback to enhance future programs for both mentors and mentees.

This four-year research project (2019–2022) consisted of two primary activities. The first is semi-structured interviews with mentees and mentors who have participated in Guildhouse (and formerly Craft South) mentorship programs over the last decade about their experience of the program and its outcomes. For Catapult 2018 – 2020 participants, this interview took place roughly 6 after program completion.  The second activity was a follow-up online survey of Guildhouse Catapult 2018-2020 program mentors and mentees undertaken approximately 12 months after completion of their mentorship program.

Research team

  • Professor Susan Luckman
  • Emma Fey, Guildhouse
  • Debbie Pryor, Guildhouse
  • Professor Stephanie Taylor, The Open University (UK)
  • Dr Jane Andrew

Project funding source

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View a recording of the presentation on 4 November 2020 here

Mentor=Mentee: A Creative Relationship 

This interim report, funded by the University of South Australia’s Researcher Connection Innovation Fund,  offers some initial findings from a three-year project undertaking a research-informed evaluation of Guildhouse’s new three-year ‘Catapult’ mentorship program as well as its various mentorship programs of the last decade. The project’s aim is to examine the impact of mentorships on artistic careers over time. This research fills an important gap in existing knowledge for, despite the centrality of mentorship – formal and informal – to the development of creative careers globally and across time, not to mention the significant financial and human resources invested in formal mentorship programs globally, surprisingly little research has been undertaken into their conduct and efficacy.

Download the interim report


The final report from this study, the first to follow-up on the experiences of creative mentees and mentors in such a detailed way through an independent university-conducted research project, complements the earlier interim report by presenting findings specifically from the last three years of the Catapult mentorship program. It offers insights into the impact of COVID-19 on creative careers (as compared with pre-pandemic), with the research data collection covering three iterations of the same program from 2019-2022.

Download the final report


Key contact
Professor Susan Luckman: Susan.Luckman@unisa.edu.au