10 people of various ages and cultural backgrounds standing in a line in a white room

ILC Regional NSW Pilot Project


Our ILC Regional NSW Pilot Project is focused on increasing participation of people with disability in the arts and cultural life of Newcastle, the Upper/Lower Hunter and the Northern Rivers regions of NSW.

Funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency, through the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program, the project is designed to build the capacity of local arts organisations and people with disability to participate as artists, volunteers, workers and audience members.

The project has also been instrumental in developing a platform for ongoing engagement with the arts and disability communities in these regions into the future.

Project Officer

A Caucasian woman with long blonde hair wearing a yellow top and denim jacket

Dr Riona Tindal

Dr Riona Tindal

Riona is a creative artist, thinker, photographer and problem solver. Her practice involves work in the creative industry, advocating accessibility for artists with disability.

Riona has a passion for the environment and advocacy for wildlife and their right to have their habitat undisturbed by human impact. Riona has a Bachelor of Art Natural History Illustration (BANHI), a BANHI First Class (Honours), (Faculty Medal) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PHD, Natural History Illustration) from the University of Newcastle. A Bachelor of Arts (BA), Visual and Performing Arts and an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design and Graphic Communications.

Project Participants

  • Catapult Choreographic Hub
  • Hunter Writers Centre
  • Maitland Regional Art Gallery
  • Museum of Arts and Culture (Lake Macquarie)
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Newcastle Civic Theatre
  • Newcastle Writers Festival
  • Northern River Performing Arts
  • Octapod
  • Screen Hunter
  • Tantrum Youth Arts
  • The Lock Up
  • Lismore Art Gallery


Accessing The Arts Group (ATAG)

We’ve have facilitated a series of The Arts Groups or ATAG networks in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Lismore and most recently on line with Maitland Art Gallery. ATAGs are regular meet ups and networking events for workers in creative and cultural industries who want to learn more about including people with disability in their professional practice.

We’ve held events in each region since the project commenced in 2019. The ATAG networks we’ve developed have over 100 members in total who regularly receive information about making arts and culture more accessible for and inclusive of people with disability.

Each on location ATAG event had a dedicated theme and included a one-hour presentation and panel discussion followed by networking over light refreshments. Each ATAG event was attended by a diverse range of arts workers from leading local cultural institutions through to small independent operators as well as relevant policymakers from local government.

Promotional image for ATAG event featuring black and white accessibility icons and text about key event information

ATAG Lismore social media promotional image

The following events were delivered:

  • Staying Accessible In A Rapidly Chnaging World | ATAG Online 19 May 2020

THis ATAG – delivered online due to the COVID crisis – was about improving access to online content and services for people with disability during COVID and post-COVID.

  • Showcasing Access To the Arts | ATAG Hunter 2 Dec 2019

This ATAG on the eve of the International Day of People With Disability explored how arts, culture and events workers who are part of the Independent Creative Alliance Newcastle (ICAN) are improving their access and inclusion frameworks for artists and audiences with disability.

  • Unpacking Access To the Arts | ATAG Lismore 22 Oct 2019

This ATAG event explored how arts, culture and events workers in the Northern Rivers region are improving their access and inclusion frameworks for artists and audiences with disability.

  • ATAG Newcastle | 17 July 2019

This ATAG event featured a panel discussion around accessibility to festivals, events and functions in the Newcastle, Lower Hunter arts scene.

Disability Awareness & Equity Training Workshops

We’ve been providing disability confidence training sessions for arts workers in selected locations. Our Disability Awareness and Equity Training workshops are specifically designed to help workers in the arts and cultural sector improve how they connect with and support people with disability. The training will assist participants to be more inclusive in their programming and practice.

10 people of various ages and cultural backgrounds standing in a line in a white room

Lismore disability confidence training participants

Development Of Trainers and Consultants

We’ve recruited and trained X artists with disability from across the Hunter, Newcastle and Norther Rivers regions to become disability confidence trainers and digital accessibility consultants.

We provided our training to 9 participants who are now able to deliver our Disability Awareness & Equity Training Workshops to local arts and cultural organisations.

We also delivered digital accessibility training to a further 8 participants who are now able to conduct audits of the websites, social media and other digital assets of local arts and cultural organisations, then make recommendations on upgrading respective content and functionality to make it more accessible.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this training was delivered online.

Images of 12 people of various ages, genders and cultural backgrounds stacked in a Zoom online meeting formatious people

Digital accessibility training participants in a Zoom training session

Professional Development Workshops

We’ve supported local artists with disability to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence so they can advance their careers as professional artists by encouraging their participation in our online training programs and ensure accessibility for other sector Professional Development workshops e.g NAVA

Peer-Led Artists Groups

We’ve been working with local councils and local communities of artists with disability in selected locations to foster the development of peer-led groups for artists with disability. These groups provide an opportunity for artists with disability to connect and network as well as receive relevant support, education and training.

Get Involved

If you’d like to get involved in our local ATAG networks, get some disability confidence training for your organisation, get your digital assets more accessible, or join one of our peer-led artist groups, then please contact our us at info@aarts.net.au

catapault logolismore regional gallery logo tantrum logo     screen hunter logo   octapod logo   northern rivers performing arts logo

Hunter writers centre logo .     city of newcastle logo .    maitland regional arts gallery logo .   museum of arts and cultre logo .   Newcastle civic theatre logonewcastle writers festival logo

Project Supported By:

NDIS logo

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