The ABC John Bean ACS Memorial Scholarship for Cinematography, established in 2012, recognise and honours the talent of the late John Bean ACS, an alumnus of Griffith Film School (GFS).

The biennial scholarship encourages excellence in cinematography and supports the ongoing study of a talented student in the field of cinematography, with a focus on documentary.

Maximum value: $25,000 paid in instalments, plus an intensive internship with the ABC News camera crew for a total period of six weeks.

Apply by 12 pm Monday 22 February 2021.

Can I apply?

To be eligible you must:

  • hold an undergraduate degree in film or a related field, with a proven track record in cinematography
  • demonstrate a commitment to cinematography as the primary focus of your career
  • enrol or be enrolled in the Masters of Screen Production, to commence study in 2021, specialising in cinematography.

Griffith Film School encourages and welcomes applicants from diverse or disadvantaged communities.

What do I include in my application?

To be considered for this scholarship you must complete the following sections within the application:

Study details

  • Tertiary education history: You must hold an undergraduate degree in film or a related field, with a proven track record in cinematography.


  • Personal statements
    • Career goals and aims: What are your career aspirations?
    • Experiences: Outline your commitment to the craft and your desire for cinematography and camera work to be the focus of your career.

You must upload the following in the supporting documentation section. Please use only the following formats: PDF, Word, jpg, or Excel. We can only guarantee these formats will be accepted.

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): including details of your creative work to date, as well as your education and employment history (optional).
  • Other attachments: include details of your portfolio.

Start your application


The scholarship has a maximum value of $25,000, paid in instalments, and an intensive internship with the ABC News camera crew for a total period of six weeks (internship offered at the discretion of the donor).

Scholarship monies will be issued in two payments, direct to your nominated bank account, after the first trimester census date for each year of study;

  • maximum $16,500 paid in 2021
  • maximum $8,500 paid in 2022 (conditional to the successful completion of, or every effort made to complete, the internship period in year one).

Internship dates are to be mutually agreed and scheduled prior to the University census dates. The best times for internships (according to program production) are either February to May or July to October. The internship can be arranged to take place in any national location. Travel and accommodation costs are at the scholarship winner's own expense and the internship location will take account of this.

The internship is offered with no expectation of employment.

Sponsor details

John Bean 1963–2011

As an exceptional television cinematographer for ABC News and myriad current affairs television programs in Australia, the Pacific and the USA, John Bean never stopped trying to deliver to his reporters the best possible pictures to enhance their stories. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 31 August 2011: "He had a beautiful eye. Nothing he did was ordinary. He put 100 per cent into everything."

John's tragic death in a helicopter crash at Lake Eyre on 18 August 2011, which also killed the ABC reporter Paul Lockyer and the pilot Gary Ticehurst, shook not only the television industry but bought heartfelt testimonials from government ministers and the general public alike. All had been moved by his images, his professionalism and his caring nature. He worked on programs such as The 7:30 Report, Australian Story, Catalyst, The New Inventors and Gardening Australia. His images of the devastating Queensland floods in 2011 were just one example of the emotive power of his work.

John Wayne Bean was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, on 12 June 1963 and finished his schooling at Glenmore State High. With a TE score of 990, John opted to go to the Queensland College of Art at Seven Hills to do graphic design. It was then he discovered the power of the television camera and he graduated in 1983 with a Diploma in Arts majoring in Film and Television.

After a variety of jobs in regional Queensland, he worked for the ABC in Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. John met his wife, Pip Courtney, a journalist, while he was working on Landline. The couple married in 1999 and in 2009 John was assigned to the ABC Bureau in Washington before returning to Australia to continue his busy scheduled.

John was passionate about camerawork and set very high standards that became renowned within the industry. He was generous about mentoring others and spent considerable time over many years with students at Griffith University Film School. For this reason, ABC News has established the ABC John Bean ACS Memorial Scholarship for Cinematography at Griffith University Film School to support the ongoing study of a talented postgraduate student in the field of cinematography and to encourage excellence in the specialist field of cinematography.

To remain eligible for the scholarship, you will be required to:

  • remain enrolled at Griffith University in the Masters of Screen Production, specialising in cinematography
  • maintain good academic standing at Griffith University.

Year two payment is conditional to the successful completion, or every effort made to complete, the internship period in year one.

You must keep a work blog to assist in tracking hours plus work activity during the internship.

You cannot defer the scholarship. Should you wish to defer the commencement of your degree, you must reapply for the scholarship in the year you commence the degree. You may seek leave of absence for up to a maximum of one year due to extenuating personal circumstances or medical reasons supported by a doctor's certificate.

The above conditions are verified each trimester at census date. If you fail to successfully meet these conditions, scholarship payments may be withheld, or the scholarship may be terminated.

Applications, including any supporting documentation, must be completed and submitted by the closing date.

The judging panel will consist of four people i.e. the HOS of GFS or Head of Cinematography GFS; one lecturer (full-time staff, sessional staff or an international artist in residence) having taught in the Bachelor of Film and Media at GFS; one designated person from the Australian Cinematography national Executive and the News Operations Manager, ABC News Operations. If ex-aequo, the HOS or program convener of GFS will have two votes. The panel can award the scholarship in accordance with the quality of applications received.

Offers are made via email.

Applicants may be shortlisted and be required to provide additional information.

Griffith University reserves the right to withdraw an advertised scholarship at any time.