Friday 12 April 2019 saw the graduation of NAISDA Dance College’s Class of 2018 as part of the College’s annual Graduation Ceremony hosted by Master of Ceremonies, NITV News presenter and journalist, Natalie Ahmat.
Sydney Festival Artistic Director Wesley Enoch delivered an inspiring and emotional keynote speech in celebration of the impressive talent and dedication of NAISDA’s graduating artists as they go on to form Australia’s next wave of Indigenous creative and Cultural innovators.
Chief Executive Officer of NAISDA Dance College, Kim Walker, expressed his pride for NAISDA’s graduating class.
“NAISDA’s graduation ceremonies are an annual reminder of the significant transformation that our Developing Artists go through during their time at NAISDA – not just as artists, but as young adults,” said Mr Walker.
Two of the graduates, Gusta Mara and Kallum Goolagong, have been accepted into Bangarra Dance Theatre’s exclusive Russell Page Graduate Program, where they have joined the ensemble as part of its 30th anniversary program.
The other talented graduates Joan Atkinson, Amy Flannery, Emily Flannery, Aroha Pehi and Neville Williams Boney are already establishing themselves as respected independent artists, having performed with companies including Opera Australia and KARUL Projects, as well as developing their own projects in the short time since leaving NAISDA.
In his opening address, NAISDA Chairperson Sean Gordon warmly acknowledged the graduates’ achievements.
“On behalf of NAISDA Dance College, I wish the class of 2018 the best of luck as they pursue exciting career paths in dance, production, community, education and beyond – it is inspiring to know that our graduates will shape Australia’s future performing arts landscape as they carry the NAISDA legacy forward,” said Mr Gordon.
With applications to join NAISDA’s 2020 intake now open, the College is inviting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a passion for performance and production to apply for a coveted spot at NAISDA.
NAISDA’s training excellence is underpinned by a philosophy of support, encompassing holisitic wellbeing, culturally specific student services as well as a significant scholarship program – The Joanne Harris Scholarship Fund, which offers a unique range of scholarships and bursaries to help young Indigenous Developing Artists pursue success.
“Now is an exciting time to be considering studying at NAISDA. We are thrilled to be extending our curriculum in 2020 with the delivery of new career and training outcomes as part of our expanded framework,” said Mr Walker.
NAISDA’s unique cultural and creative learning is informed by powerful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Cultural Tutors, On Country residencies, communities and networks extending across Australia.
“As a Cultural learning institute, NAISDA holds a rare place in the Performing Arts training sector,” continued Mr Walker.
“At our foundation lies the values that have inherently guided our Cultures and peoples for thousands of years.
“Our goal is to provide our Developing Artists with the skills, opportunities, self-development, affirmation and independence for them to access and share the creative expressions and stories of today’s Indigenous Australia,” Mr Walker added.
Applications to train at NAISDA Dance College in 2020 are now open. Click here to learn more.
Click here to view the full album of images from the day.