10 women with disability from NSW have been selected to take part in a new professional development program aimed at supporting women with disability to achieve their arts leadership goals, including improving representation in the arts and cultural sectors.
Produced by Accessible Arts – NSW’s leading arts and disability organisation – the Front & Centre program is designed to support women with disability develop confidence, connections and clarity so that they can progress their own projects and move into roles including artistic directors, board members and senior positions in programming and management.
Funded by the NSW Government through the Women NSW 2019 Investing In Women Grant Program, the initiative involves an accelerated 14-week program of 1-to-1 specialised leadership coaching, peer support and introductions to senior decision-makers and influencers in the arts, creative and cultural sectors.
Front & Centre participants will have access to six 50-minute coaching sessions (in person and online), a range of professional networking opportunities (in person and online) and a range of professional development tools. The coaching and networking will be conducted by Judith Bowtell of Albany Lane Consulting, a highly experienced career and leadership coach who specialises in supporting people in the arts, creative and community sectors.
Accessible Arts CEO Kerry Comerford: “We’re excited to be providing this important professional development opportunity for 10 women with disability. It’s a diverse group of women from a range of creative practices and we’re looking forward to working with all the participants to help shift the balance of representation of women with disability in leadership roles in creative industries.”
The 10 participants are:
Emily Dash – an emerging theatre and film practitioner from Sydney, Emily has written, produced, directed and/or performed in many screen and stage productions in Sydney and has worked with the ABC and Sydney Opera House.
Darlene Thornton – a multi-generational Deaf Australian from the Central Coast, Darlene has over 25 years of experience in the fields of education, training, researching, translating, and advocating for Auslan users and members of the Australian Deaf community.
Zhila Hasanloo – a writer, director and musician from Sydney with lived experience of visual impairment, Zhila has a PhD with a focus disability rights and disability arts.
Johanna Garvin – an award-winning filmmaker from Sydney, Johanna has studied screen production and communication, and is an ambassador and board member of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
Natalia Stawyskyj – an emerging screenwriter from Sydney, Natalia has studied at the AFTRS in Sydney and the New York Film Academy, and has been published in the Sydney Morning Herald among a range of publications.
Kate Burton – an emerging visual artist from Lake Macquarie with Asperger’s Syndrome, Kate’s multidisciplinary practice incorporates ink, watercolour, gouache, acrylic, collage and printmaking, and has been exhibited in Newcastle, Melbourne and Hong Kong.
Eugenie Lee – a Korean born Australian interdisciplinary artist from Sydney, Eugenie’s interdisciplinary practice focuses on participatory performances using technologies, installation, and paintings to explore her lived experience of persistent pain.
Athena Pavlis-Goard – a scriptwriter, actor, songwriter and poet from Sydney, Athena combines her passion for the arts with over 30 years of experience within the disability sector as a disability educator and lecturer.
Sigrid Macdonald – a Deaf creative, accessibility advocate and community worker from the Northern Rivers region, Sigrid is currently working on establishing an Auslan Festival on the NSW North Coast with a focus on culture and the arts.
Suzanne Whiteman – a dance practitioner with over 30 years of experience in community arts, Suzanne runs an all ages and abilities integrated dance, drama, music, and creative arts community group in the Northern Rivers region.
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