Australian Dance Awards selection panel

In This Article

There are 13 members on the Australian Dance Awards (ADAs) selection panel, representing each state and territory around the country. These are the people who need to see your performances! You can email invitations to the nominations coordinator, or ask for a copy of the contact list so that you can email each member directly.

Members of the selection panel are invited by the Australian Dance Awards committee, made up of Chair Robina Beard, OAM, and advisors Lee Christofis, Jeff Meiners and Julie Dyson, AM.

The criteria for panel members is that they should:

  • be recognised and respected by peers
  • have, or have had, a career in a dance or dance-related profession
  • have a high local profile, and preferably a national one as well
  • be able to spend time seeing dance works, both live and online
  • be prepared to serve a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years

The Committee tries to have a good cross-section of ages and sectors represented on the panel at all times. (If a member of the panel is nominated in any category, he or she is excluded from voting in that category.)

The chair, the advisors and members of the selection panel are all volunteers. It is a demanding job considering the number of nominations each year—and decisions are not made lightly. A thorough and fair voting system is in place, with two, sometimes three rounds of voting.

2018 Australian Dance Awards selection panel

ACT – Michelle Potter, writer, historian, curator & dance reviewer

Michelle has a doctorate in Art History and Dance History from the Australian National University. A recipient of two Australian Dance Awards, Michelle was founding editor of Brolga–an Australian journal about dance, inaugural Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia (2002–2006) and Curator, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, NY Public Library for the Performing Arts (2006–08). Her writings and oral histories are extensive and range from major books, to articles in scholarly journals and reviews in magazines, theatre programs, newspapers and on her website Michelle Potter On Dancing.

NT – Julia Quinn, teacher & freelance artist

Julia is a teacher and freelance artist in Darwin. Trained as a dancer in both the NT and SA, Julia was co-artistic director of Juniper Tree Dance Co. from 1993–2002 and was the Dance Animateur for Tracks from 2002–2008. She currently works extensively for the NT Department of Education and the Cecchetti studio, The Darwin School of Ballet, and is a regular guest artist and mentor for SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre. With a particular interest in youth, Julia promotes dance as a pivotal tool to empower young people to excel in their lives.

TAS – Lesley Graham, teacher & education consultant

Lesley has been performing and teaching dance for over 25 years. Teaching positions include Lecturer in Dance Education and Course Coordinator of External Dance Studies at Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Education/Human Movement and sessional Lecturer in Dance at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania. She was the Education Consultant on the National Indigenous Dance project Treading the Pathways and contributed to the Curriculum Corporation’s— Access Asia project. Lesley is a co-chair of the World Dance Alliance—Asia Pacific Welfare and Status Committee.

VIC – Susan Bendall, lecturer, writer and dance reviewer

A writer and reviewer for Dance Australia magazine, Susan has a particular interest in new Australian work and the kinaesthetic empathy inherent in the viewer/dancer connection. With a practice-led research Master of Fine Arts in dance (VCA, 2015), Susan approaches the artform from multiple perspectives: the viewer, the reviewer and the practitioner. Susan is a published author and currently lectures in English for Academic Purposes at Trinity College. Through her practice overlays an objective critical response to dance as a complement to her passion.

VIC – Karen van Ulzen, editor Dance Australia

After training as a professional dancer, Karen completed a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Writing, working as a freelance book and dance reviewer before joining Dance Australia first as editorial assistant then as editor. In 1998 Karen received a Churchill Fellowship to study dance companies and schools overseas. Aside from her work for Dance Australia, Karen has contributed as a dance writer to many other publications, including The Australian, Dance Magazine (US) and Ballett International. She has also published a novel, Crowning Glory and other works of short fiction. She received an Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance in 2008.

WA – Michael Whaites, lecturer at WAAPA & Artistic Director, LINK Dance Company

Working in the dance industry over 30 years, Michael was a founding member of Dancenorth and has danced with Australian Dance Theatre, Twyla Tharp and Dancers and the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. He has worked with numerous independent artists and institutions across the globe and has choreographed over 30 works both nationally and internationally. Michael has served as a member of the Dance Board of the Australia Council, of the WAAPA Board and a committee member of Ausdance NSW, Strut Dance Inc, Future Moves and Move Me. He currently sits on the advisory committee of the new dance company Co3.

WA – Terri-Ann White, Director UWA Publishing

Terri-ann has spent her working life around books and ideas: as a bookseller, writer, teacher, editor, festival organiser and now publisher. The one driving constant in her life is the passion for the unique voice in writing and other artistic expression, and she has collaborated to make work with dancers, visual artists and musicians over decades. She has been Chair, Strut Dance Collective and a peer assessment panelist for the Australia Council for the Arts and is currently Director of UWA Publishing. What keeps her awake at night is an obsession with contemporary dance and its ideas and bodies.

QLD – Bradley Chatfield, dancer & Head of Dance, ACPA

Bradley is a descendant of the Kamilaroi people and a graduate of The Australian Ballet School. He performed with the Hong Kong Ballet before commencing an award-winning career with Sydney Dance Company (1991–2009). Bradley toured extensively with SDC, both in Australia and internationally. Bradley is highly acclaimed in the dance industry with an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer (2003). In 2009 he was named in Sydney Morning Herald’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Sydney, and in 2010 he joined Dancenorth as Rehearsal Director.

QLD – Matthew Lawrence, dancer, choreographer & associate lecturer in dance, QUT

Matthew was a principal artist with The Australian Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Queensland Ballet, and a guest artist with Stuttgart Ballet, World Ballet Festival in Japan and The Royal New Zealand Ballet. He has taught for The Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet (Mentor to the Young Artists’ Program) and other leading training institutions. Matthew has written for the Dancing Times and currently writes for Dance Australia. He has choreographed works for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Queensland Ballet, Elmhurst School of Dance, Queensland Ballet Academy and QUT.

NSW – Patrick Harding-Irmer, independent artist

Patrick has a BA Dip.Ed. from Sydney University and a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance from the University of Kent. He worked with London Contemporary Dance Theatre for 17 years as dancer, teacher, choreographer and acting artistic director. In 1985 he was voted best modern dancer in Britain by Dance and Dancers magazine. Since retiring from LCDT, Patrick has been teaching the Martha Graham technique around Australia and working as freelance performer with some of our leading companies and independent artists.

NSW – Darren Spowart

SA – Maggie Tonkin

SA – Carol Wellman Kelly