It is with great excitement that on behalf of the Ausdance National Council, I am pleased to announce that the recruitment process for our new Executive Director has been completed, and this week we welcome Kerry Comerford to our Ausdance community! Kerry is an exceptionally experienced senior executive and CEO who has worked for more than 30 years across the global arts and entertainment industries. Her extensive experience in small-to-medium arts organisations in Australia through to the global likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group Asia Pacific, provide Ausdance National with a wonderful platform through which to lead the work towards our refocused vision. With an early passion for dance and previous experience working with the both the art form and many artists within the sector, Kerry will use her leadership, producing, directing and board experience to work closely with the dance sector and our other arts sector colleagues to best represent and advocate for dance in Australia.
With Kerry now taking over the leadership of Ausdance National as Executive Director, this will be my last formal President’s Report for our monthly e-news. I look forward to supporting Kerry and the staff, volunteers and broader Ausdance network from more of a ‘behind-the-scenes’ Board position. A big thank you to the Ausdance network, dance community and broader arts sector for all the advice, encouragement, and collegial support that has been provided to both myself and the Board during the past 13 months! We look forward to working with you in a slightly different, although still 100% committed, capacity moving forward.
In the interim, advocacy work has been ongoing. Ausdance National will be representing the sector at the upcoming Industry Roundtable being held by Live Performance Australia in Melbourne on ‘Education and Training Resources to prevent workplace discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying’. This is a result of the #metoo and #timesup movements, and will be an important opportunity for the broader arts sector to discuss the way forward on this critical issue. Additionally, Ausdance National continues with its role as one of the inaugural members of the Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment Advisory Committee Meeting with the next meeting being held in Sydney in late April.
Finally, the Ausdance National Annual General Meeting will be held in Sydney at the Ausdance NSW meeting room on Sunday 13 May at 10 am. We look forward to having as many members attend the AGM to be able to meet our new Executive Director, hear about the all of the various achievements in 2017—our 40th Anniversary year, in addition to receiving an update on all the exciting plans ahead for Ausdance National! We look forward to seeing you all there.
The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc, the national peak body for dance, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director for Ausdance National.
Board President Professor Gene Moyle today announced the appointment of Kerry Comerford, who takes up the position this week.
Professor Moyle said, ‘After a comprehensive recruitment process, the Ausdance National Council is pleased to welcome Kerry Comerford to our Ausdance community.
Kerry is an exceptionally experienced senior executive and CEO who has worked for more than 30 years across the global arts and entertainment industries. She brings a broad range of experiences to the role having worked extensively with small-to-medium arts organisations in Australia through to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group Asia Pacific.
With an early passion for dance and previous experience working with both the art form and many artists within the sector, Kerry will use her leadership, producing, directing and board experience to work closely with the dance sector and our other arts sector colleagues to best represent and advocate for dance in Australia.’
The appointment of an Executive Director is the first stage in the implementation of Ausdance National’s 2018 Australia Council for the Arts funded project. The project refocuses the work of Ausdance National to better represent and service the dance sector in Australia in 2018 and beyond.
Under Kerry's leadership, and with the support of the Ausdance National Board, Ausdance National will achieve a number of key outcomes that support identified sector priorities including the review and update of Dance Plan 2012 involving sector-wide consultations; advancing advocacy items with key federal politicians, representation and relevant sector submissions; and establishment of a career development project.
For interview contact:
Professor Gene Moyle ARAD MAPS MCSEP GAICD SFHEA
President Ausdance National Council – Ausdance Inc.
Phone: +61 7 3138 3616
You are invited to the upcoming annual general meeting of the members of the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc. The details of this meeting are as follows:
- Date: Sunday 13 May 2018
- Time: 10.00 am – 11.00 am
- Place: Arts Exchange Building, 10 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, NSW (Ausdance NSW meeting room)
At the meeting, members will be updated on Ausdance National’s plans for the future including a restructure of the organisation and consolidation of advocacy efforts. Reports will provide information on Ausdance National’s 2017 program and finances.
At the meeting, members will be asked to vote to:
- accept the minutes of the last annual general meeting
- accept the annual report
- accept the auditor’s report
- accept the annual financial statements.
The agenda, minutes and annual report will be available in the coming weeks.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday 13 May 2018.
Professor Gene Moyle
Ausdance National President
Five Australian entertainment industry professionals attempt suicide every week. The time for change is now!
We need you, as an Australian entertainment industry professional, to share your thoughts surrounding the mental health needs of our industry people, how they should be supported and what are the most pressing issues.
There is still time to have your say. Your opinion matters.
In less than 25 minutes, you can complete the survey and help guide the development of programs aimed at enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of Australian entertainment industry professionals.
Conducted on behalf of Entertainment Assist and the Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment, findings from the new Everymind study will inform the development and implementation of a Prevention First Framework for Mental Health in the Australian Entertainment Industry.
Please share far and wide. Mental health and wellbeing in our industry is our shared responsibility, and we are looking for perspectives from all industry sectors.
If your job is technical, creative, behind-the-scenes or in front of a microphone or camera, we want to hear from you!
Survey link: bit.ly/MHEntertainAUSDANCE
Your response will remain strictly confidential and any published results de-identified.
We have identified that our industry has significant mental health and wellbeing problems. It’s now time to work on a solution together.
Twitter: @entertainassist #haveheart
About the Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment
The Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment is an Entertainment Assist cross-sector peer-to-peer initiative, for shared interest in positive mental health and wellbeing behaviours for a sustainable Australian entertainment industry.
Why is Ausdance National supporting this research?
Ausdance National is a founding member of the Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment.
As a member, we strive to uphold the AAWE Statement of Values that highlight respect, integrity, empathy, courage and collaborative leadership. We aim to provide advocacy and practical support to the mental health and wellbeing of industry professionals.
‘AAWE officially launched on World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2017, and it is a very exciting network for dance to be involved with, given it is a world-first, cross-sector initiative for shared interest in positive mental health and wellbeing behaviours for a sustainable Australian entertainment industry.’ —Professor Gene Moyle, Ausdance National President
International Dance Day is celebrated on the 29 April every year. Find out more about the day on the International Theatre Institutes's website.
This year the International Theatre Institute has selected five message authors to write a message—one from each of the five UNESCO Regions: Africa, the Americas, Arab Countries, Asia Pacific and Europe.
It’s been a very busy start to 2018 with quite a number of changes happening at Ausdance National!
Firstly, we ended our 40th year with a fabulous acknowledgment of the important work that Ausdance National undertakes, through critical funding support from the Australia Council for the Arts to assist in supporting the advancement of dance sector priorities. We are very grateful for the opportunity to appoint a new Executive Director to lead a refocused Ausdance National as a future enabler for the sector. We are currently in the final stages of the recruitment process, which has drawn strong applicants from across Australia and Internationally. The Board looks forward to completing this process very soon and actively supporting the incumbent in transitioning into the role.
The Ausdance Queensland Management Committee has announced their new executive director, Kate Usher. Kate is a vibrant and tenacious leader who brings to Ausdance Queensland a wealth of international and national connections to continue the growth, diversity and outstanding reputation of dance in Queensland.
North Queensland based and nationally renowned dance company Dancenorth have been awarded the 2017 Sidney Myer Group Award
The winners of the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were announced by Carrillo Gantner AO, Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Australian Performing Arts Market on Wednesday 21 February 2018.
Congratulations to Lucette Aldous who has been made Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.
Lucette has been recognised with the nation’s highest honour for her eminent service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, as a principal artist at the national and international level, to dance education, and as a mentor and role model for young performers.
Lucette received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Dance Awards.
Ausdance National has received $64,860 from the Australia Council’s Arts Projects program to support the position of a new executive director who, in 2018, will work towards achieving outcomes that support identified sector priorities.
Under the leadership of a senior arts professional, and supported by a skills-based board, Ausdance National will advance prioritised national agendas across education, research, health, employment, and sector development.
As the end of the year draws closer, it has provided the opportunity to reflect on what a year 2017 has been for Ausdance National.
Firstly, we turned 40! It is incredible and humbling to reflect upon Ausdance National’s achievements over the past 40 years, including the huge number of people that have made significant contributions to supporting, advancing, promoting and celebrating the dance sector. While there were a number of key events and activities that assisted in celebrating this important milestone, a detailed outline of all these achievements can be found on the Ausdance National website.
Taipei National University of the Arts, 10–11 November 2017
There were some special moments at the Dance in Proximity conference, hosted in Taiwan by the Taipei National University of the Arts in November, and organised by a wonderful team of artists, choreographers and teachers, led by Yunyu Wang.
The NAAE has had another busy year advocating on behalf of all five arts subjects in the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. In 2017 we –
The Safe Dance Report IV: Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers, published today on the Ausdance National website, examines the Australian context and occurrence of injury in professional dancers and makes recommendations to support sustainable, healthy, and productive dancing careers.
A collaboration between The University of Sydney and Ausdance National, Safe Dance IV is the fourth in a series of Safe Dance research projects. It continues the important work started by Ausdance National almost 30 years ago.
The survey of 195 Australian professional dancers found 97% experienced at least one significant injury in their dance career, compared with 89% in 1999. And 73% of dancers reported experiencing a dance-related injury in the past 12 months.
Author and lead researcher Amy Jo Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney, said the consequences of these injuries can be quite substantial and include missed performance opportunities and income, ongoing pain and disability, and expensive treatment including surgery. Serious injuries can even lead to early retirement from dance careers and lifelong disability.
‘The proportion of dancers reporting fatigue as a contributing factor to their injury has increased from 26% in 1990 and 33% in 1999 to 48% in 2017’ she said.
‘However, compared with previous Safe Dance survey results, fewer dancers reported poor technique or environment as a contributor to their injury. This demonstrates the benefits of education, policies and interventions regarding safe dancing practice for dancers and teachers at all stages of a dance career, including early teaching and pre-professional training’.
Ausdance National President, Professor Gene Moyle, said the Safe Dance Report IV continues an important lineage for the Australian dance community. Hearing the words “safe dance practice” being so much a part of our language and approach within the dance sector today is a testament to the impact and contribution of the collective Safe Dance reports within our industry.
Recommendations have outlined that access to dance-educated or dance-specialised healthcare services is essential; addressing the cultural aspects of injury reporting is critical; and that a better acknowledgement of the psychological and psychosocial aspects of injury is required.
Survey respondents’ employment as a dance performer was most commonly with a dance company (66%) or as an independent dance artist (38%).
Injuries remain common in professional dance, with 73% of professional dancers reporting experiencing an injury in the past 12 months. The most common site of injury was the ankle (26%), followed by the knee (11%) and hip (10%).
The most common injury type was a strain (25%), followed by chronic inflammation (19%) and a sprain (18%).
There was one accidental or traumatic injury for every two overuse or gradual injuries. The most common responses regarding the self-reported contributor to injury were fatigue (48%), followed by new or difficult choreography (39%) and ignoring early warning signs (31%).
Despite 62% of respondents reporting belief that there is still stigma associated with sustaining injuries as a professional dancer, 75% of dancers did say they would seek professional opinion if they suspected an injury. However, only 50% stated they would tell someone within their dance employment and 49% said they would also take their own preventative steps to manage their injury.
Despite seeing a clinician for treatment of their injury, 40% of dancers whose injury was currently unresolved were unsure if their injury would resolve in the foreseeable future. This indicates that many dancers need to be provided with improved and realistic expectations of their injury, capacity to dance during their injury and likely return to full dance ability.
For interview contact:
Amy Vassallo | PhD Candidate
Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Sydney
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 9351 9010 and 02 9351 9108
Professor Gene Moyle ARAD MAPS MCSEP GAICD SFHEA
Ausdance National Council – Ausdance Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 7 3138 3616
Download Safe Dance Report IV media release
WDA Asia Pacific will elect a new Executive Board and regional Vice Presidents at its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 11 November in Taipei. Nominations were called for several weeks ago, and the AGM agenda circulated.
Since our last report, NAAE has been engaged in meetings and correspondence with the NSW Education Minister, Mr Rob Stokes, and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) about the development of a new Creative Arts syllabus in NSW.
While it only feels like yesterday that the 2017 Australian Dance Award winners were announced, nominations for the 2018 ADAs have opened! You can find information on selection criteria, an eligible works list, and a link to the nominations page at Australian Dance Awards 2018. The awards ceremony will be produced by partner Ausdance QLD and held in Brisbane in August 2018. Stay tuned for the confirmed dates and further information on this important ‘night of nights’ for the Australian Dance community.
After much consultation and discussion, the ArtsPeak Executive Committee has sent the following letter to all members. The committee will monitor any developments at national political level to ensure that there is still a voice, when, for example, a Federal election is called. The letter reads as follows:
Expressions of interest are sought from contemporary dancer–makers for Tasdance professional ensemble 2018–20.
Tasdance has embarked on a daring new approach to the nature of the professional contemporary dance ensemble to become the Tasdance Makers Company.