In addition to the five Symposium webinars, there were two satellite sessions, hosted by The National Institute of Dramatic Art and The Australia Council for the Arts, which explored intersections between creative practice, research, industry and government.

These sessions brought together Academy Fellows, humanities researchers and representatives from the arts and culture sector, government, universities, industry, philanthropy and the public.

Session 1
The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)


NIDA’s MFA in Cultural Leadership challenges students to question and debate the role of the cultural sector in our society and their place within it.  It is designed specifically for those who have active roles in the cultural sector and who aspire to facilitate resilient, new leadership models through collaborative and inclusive practices.

The course provides a platform for exploring dynamic approaches to practice-based research in the arts.  The key concept behind NIDA’s focus on generating research through practice is praxis: the interdependency of theory and practice, with one mutually informing the other.

For this session, four extraordinary cultural leaders were selected to showcase just some of the diverse topics of inquiry that staff, graduates and current students are engaged in.

Their individual areas of research not only provoke us to consider new perspectives on research and practice within the context of the Humanities, they also reflected poignantly on the theme of the Symposium, At the Crossroad?/Australia’s cultural future.

Session speakers:

  • Dr Suzanne Osmond (Senior Lecturer and Chair NIDA Research and Scholarship  Committee): Facilitator
  • Craig Middleton (Curator National Museum of Australia): Queering the Museum
  • Marilyn Miller (Arts Consultant/ Independent Producer/Performer): “Stepping” – generating First Nations research through practice
  • Craig Rogers (Manager, Arts and Culture at Moreland City Council): Affecting the Glasgow Effect: A framework for addressing the social determinants of health and related inequality
  • Dr Liza-Mare Syron (Indigenous Scientia Senior Lecturer UNSW, and Senior Artistic Associate at Moogahlin Performing Arts Inc. ): Indigenous language revival in play texts

Session 2
The Australia Council for the Arts


What skills do artists bring to a research project? This satellite session looked at the relationship between artists and researchers, considering the ways in which artists’ predisposition to enquiry, creative thinking, and how their ability to communicate ideas could be more intimately involved in research.

What might be the outcomes of allowing artists to creatively analyse data? How might artists’ creative communication of findings open onto new audiences, such as those who are unlikely or unable to read traditional research reports? Such questions have relevance for access and inclusion, suggesting research outputs that might be audio-based, or explore new methods of visual representation. They also raise further questions about opportunities for artists interested in working in cross-sectoral industry settings.

This session featured a panel of artists who have worked on research projects for government and industry, this event aimed to be very practical, helping artists and industry participants identify new ways of conducting collaborative and exploratory work. The session also looked at the relationship between artists and researchers, and considered the ways in which artists’ predisposition to enquiry, creative thinking, and how their ability communicate ideas could be more intimately involved in research.

Session speakers:

  • Ruth De Souza (RMIT): Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, nurse, academic and community engaged researcher in gender, race, health and digital technologies.
  • Pat Grant (UTS): writer and illustrator and the author of two graphic novels.
  • Gabriel Clark (UTS): designer, photographer and a producer of multimedia storytelling events.
  • Alon Ilsar: drummer, composer, instrument designer and researcher.