Australia Council invests in arts and disability leadership development

Art News from Australia. Published by anonymous on Friday 24 April 2015.

The Australia Council is offering up to 10 arts leaders with disability the opportunity to join the Sync Leadership Program, providing a focus on the interplay between leadership and disability.

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said the Sync Leadership Program, now in its second year, provided the opportunity to challenge existing thinking in this area, and would build on the Council’s commitment to supporting the arts and disability sector.

“The Australia Council has a number of arts leadership programs and we felt it was important to provide one that is specifically aimed at artists and arts workers with disability with a view to enhancing access to leadership roles across the sector.”

The program will be held from 12 to 16 October, providing training through a five-day residency in Adelaide, followed by individual coaching sessions delivered by the two program creators and presenters.

The Council is inviting expressions of interest from cultural leaders and influencers with disability to apply for the intensive leadership program. It will again be presented by Jo Verrent, who created the Sync Leadership Program with Sarah Pickhall, and this year Sarah will join Jo in Adelaide for the event.

Jo is a UK-based artist, producer and consultant with disability who specialises in diversity and access, and she is a Senior Producer with the Unlimited Festival in the United Kingdom. Sarah is a consultant, coach, community producer and diversity engineer also based in the UK.

Racheal Missingham, a deaf artist from Queensland, participated in the Sync Leadership Program last year.

She has worked with Vulcana Women’s Circus in various roles since 2011, including as a Board member, a trainee arts worker, participating in aerial classes and representing deaf women in circus arts.

Racheal has been invited to join the Vulcana Women’s Circus Mentoring Program and she has been developing the foundation of the Deaf Arts Network for SEQ, formerly Deaf Arts Queensland, in partnership with Access Arts Queensland. The network aims to cultivate innovative artists and make a tangible difference to the lives of deaf people as well as provide creative integration of Australian Sign Language into arts and culture.

Now studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Drama, at the Queensland University of Technology, Racheal aims to be a performer, director and producer. She said the Sync Leadership Program provided her with the essential tools to help her reach her goals.

“The Sync Leadership Program is radically different to other leadership programs that I have participated in as it was more about exploring and discussing the individual strengths and weaknesses,” Ms Missingham said.

“The tools include identifying personality and leadership styles, which has helped shape my thinking when collaborating with other leaders in the arts industry.

“Without those tools I would have been stuck in a rut on my leadership journey.

“Also you will have the opportunity to learn from other’s experience.”

The Sync Leadership Program is delivered by the Australia Council in partnership with Arts Access Australia.

Applications for the Sync Leadership Program close on 2 June 2015.

To apply, go to: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/strategies-and-frameworks/sync-leadership-program/