Congratulations to graduate Emily Flannery, recipient of this year’s Joanne Harris Pre-Professional Support Scholarship - 07.09.20

NAISDA was delighted to award this year’s Joanne Harris Pre-Professional Support Scholarship to Class of 2018 Graduate Emily Flannery.

The annual scholarship, made possible through a generous bequest from the late Joanne Harris, helps recent NAISDA graduates take the next step in their professional careers, with support in areas such as professional training, work placement or study.

Emily, a proud Wiradjuri descendant from Forbes, says that she was elated to be announced as the recipient of the Scholarship.

“I am very grateful. As an emerging artist the opportunities can be few and far between, and I am thankful to Chris and Kathy Harris for providing this invaluable gift to NAISDA which will assist me in continuing to develop my own expression as an artist,” she said.

Dancing has been a lifelong passion for Emily, having started ballet as a little girl and knowing deep down that movement was an intrinsic part of who she is. However, misfortune stuck in her teens, with Emily suffering Achilles Tendonitis – a common ‘overuse’ injury in dancers.

Photo Credit: Tee Click

“I was devastated when I realised just how serious the injury could become if I didn’t take a break.  All I’ve ever wanted to do is dance – the thought of not pursuing a career in performance art was heartbreaking for a long time,” explained Emily.

“A few years later I was studying Psychology and Sociology at university when my sister suggested I join her in auditioning for NAISDA. I was hesitant at the time, but now thank her constantly for encouraging me to do it – it was a wonderful experience, made even more special having completed the four years with her by my side,” she continued.

Part of the application process for the Joanne Harris Scholarship requires applicants to outline how they will use the funding to support their professional development.  Emily plans on participating in The Jasmin Vardimon Company Intensive – a four-week course based in Kent, UK*.  The program nurtures individual skill and talent through intensive, highly physical and thought-provoking training.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of going to the UK to participate in the JV Intensive. The Company is known world-wide for developing versatility in performers. Combined with the skills and support I’ve already received at NAISDA, it’s an incredible opportunity to mature and evolve my creative voice and expression as an artist,” said Emily.

Emily said that her studies at NAISDA have been instrumental in preparing her for a professional career in the performing arts.

Photo Credit: Wayne Quilliam

“I graduated NAISDA with a well-rounded understanding of the industry and the skills that make it possible to participate in all aspects of performance – be it on stage or in the areas of pre or post-production. I feel that gives NAISDA graduates an edge on other emerging artists,” she said.

“It is truly one of the most supportive and inspiring environments for Developing Artists to learn and grow in. NAISDA allows you to establish connection with Country, history and culture whilst developing professional skills through access to incredible facilities, information and trainers.”

The Pre-Professional Support – NAISDA Graduate Scholarship is one of four annual scholarships and bursaries offered by NAISDA through the Joanne Harris Scholarship Fund.

*We caught up with Emily pre-COVID. Emily hopes to travel to the UK to participate in the Jasmin Vardimon Company Intensive in 2021. If international travel restrictions remain in place, NAISDA will work with Emily to help make alternative plans and use the Scholarship Award to benefit her creative practice and professional development.