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 Front & Centre Announcement

Congratulations to the twelve skilled participants selected for Front & Centre – a career coaching and professional development program for women and non-binary people with disability working in the arts, creative and cultural sectors across NSW, the ACT and Victoria.

Headshots of Audrey O’Connor, Bedelia Lowrenčev, Brahmmi Kumarasamy, Carly Marchant Supple, Casey Gray, Jaye Hayes, Lana Zilla, Larissa MacFarlane, Liz Cooper, Rebecca Hogan and Rhiannon Pegler and program coach Judith Bowtell.

This 10-month program aims to increase the representation of women and non-binary people with disability in leadership positions such as artistic directors, board members and senior positions in programming and management. Front & Centre is produced by NSW’s leading arts and disability organisation, Accessible Arts, with support from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women and with Victorian participants supported by Arts Access Victoria. The program is led by accredited specialist arts and creative leadership coach, Judith Bowtell of Albany Lane Consulting.

Accessible Arts Interim CEO Liz Martin says: “This program seeks to overcome the severe under-representation of women and non-binary people with disability in leadership roles in creative industries by fast tracking the development of the strategic networks that are essential to creating careers and leaders. Change comes from the top and helping more women and non-binary people with disability to become arts leaders will also help accelerate efforts to make arts, culture and events more accessible for artists, arts workers and audiences with disability.”

“We’re really excited for the twelve successful applicants of this valuable program and the role their experiences will play in helping shift the balance of representation in leadership roles in creative industries. Previous participants have gone on to achieve great things, and we look forward to seeing what our current participants achieve throughout this program and beyond,” says Liz Martin.

Front & Centre 2022 Participants

Audrey O’Connor

Audrey is an actress, story writer, filmmaker and advocate for people with intellectual disability. She is an Ambassador with the Australian Human Rights Commission to promote more employment of people with disability.

Bedelia Lowrenčev

Bedelia is a groovy, disabled actor, dancer, singer and theatre maker. She is Artist in Residence at PYT Fairfield and creates with The House That Dan Built, Spark Youth Ensemble, Dance Makers Collective, and DirtyFeet.

Brahmmi Kumarasamy

Brahmmi has a background in community outreach, government policy, and psychology research. She is a contributor at WestWords and a bharatanatyam dancer, playing with words and movement to navigate contradictions, resist, resonate and heal.

Carly Marchant Supple

Carly is a Crescent Head based artist and Gallery owner working in the medium of oils on canvas and is currently exploring the perspective of the female form in her work.

Casey Gray

Casey is focussed on raising the profile of women, feminine identifying and non-binary artists with lived experience of disability. She is engaged in a mission to transform the subtle discrimination in the arts sector regarding ‘what makes great art’.

Jaye Hayes

Jaye is a dance/media/installation artist, somatic movement educator, arts facilitator, and chronic illness warrior based in Naarm/Melbourne. Their queer-crip arts practice has emerged at the intersections of dance and disability, somatics and acoustics, research and rest. Jaye is currently completing a Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice at MIECAT

Lana Zilla

Lana Zilla is an Autistic, Queer and non-binary artist living on Tharawal land in South-West Sydney. Connection and collaboration within the community inform Zilla’s professional practice whilst abstraction, experimentation and play are the cornerstones of their personal practice.

Larissa MacFarlane

Larissa MacFarlane is a Naarm/Melbourne based visual artist and disability activist, working across a printmaking, community and street art practice, to investigate Disabled culture, identity, justice and pride.

Liz Cooper

Liz is an award-winning writer/director with a strong focus on performance-driven drama with distinctive female characters. Her work explores themes of marginalised women, female rage, social injustice, trauma, queerness and disability.

Rachel Williams

Rachel is a full-time mother, introvert and over-thinker. Currently studying Screen and Media, she is passionate about applying her studies as a platform to create community awareness of social issues such as mental health and cultural diversity.

Rebecca Hogan

Rebecca is the founder and creative director of Gem Rock Media, a tech-driven firm that specializes in digital access, content creation and social media inclusion. She is also a consultant for Accessible Arts and the ABC.

Rhiannon Pegler

Rhiannon is an artist who produces renditions of unseen scapes using multiple mediums. She delves into painting, mixed media, digital art and enjoys showing different scapes from micro and fantasy landscapes to the unseen inner body scapes.