Ausdance National has a dedicated new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work.
Board member Annette Carmichael lives in the creative enclave that is Denmark, a small town on the Great Southern coast of WA. From her vibrant home, she works as a dance artist and creative producer.
Annette shares how she got started in dance and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.
How did you get started in dance?
I grew up in Port Hedland, a remote part of northern Western Australia. At six years old I was fortunate enough that an incredible ballet teacher moved to town and slapped up a poster in our local shopping centre. Since then, dance has been a lifelong pursuit, although I’ve hung up the ballet shoes and now call contemporary dance my artistic home.
What was the first Ausdance National project or activity in which you participated?
In 2002 I became the Executive Officer of Ausdance WA, so it was a National meeting in Adelaide that was my first activity. I remember there was talk of rebranding Ausdance and the green A came into existence soon after. The National Community Dance Conference held at the Brisbane Powerhouse in the early 2000s was my first event. It was an extraordinary gathering of community artists and producers!
What is the key benefit that Ausdance membership offers to its members?
Information! As a regionally-based artist, Ausdance is my lifeline to the wider sector by keeping me up to date with all manner of things including research, international activities and sector development. Ausdance also plays a vital role in advocating for the dance sector to government and the broader community.
Why did you decide to join the Ausdance National Council?
Ausdance has provided me with many valuable opportunities over the years as both an arts manager and a dance artist. At this critical point in Ausdance National’s history I felt like it was time to give back.
Why do you believe a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance?
The dance sector needs an accountable and responsible voice in Canberra. The state branches of Ausdance and the major dance companies already hold significant responsibilities specific to their particular missions or geographic focus. No-one else has the capacity to be an independent advocate for the whole sector, and without this, the sector’s political power will be diminished. Now more than ever we need a national advocate.