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Education Training, Indigenous

Calls To Industry Leaders To Ignite First Nations Arts Education and Careers At SXSW Sydney

NAISDA Dance College 3 mins read



Australia’s leading performing arts training organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, NAISDA Dance College (NAISDA) is calling upon industry leaders and creatives to consider how better education outcomes can be achieved for First Nations people through stronger connection to culture, as the CEO speaks at SXSW Sydney on Wednesday 18 October.

With a rich history of nurturing and shaping the lives and careers of First Nations performers for almost 50 years, the college is excited to bring its unique and successful tertiary learning approach to SXSW Sydney alongside a series of other leading networking events and panel presentations showcasing the best in innovation, technology and creativity.

“We are delighted to be a part of the inaugural  SXSW Sydney and share our unique understanding as Australia’s only arts training organisation specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students,” said NAISDA CEO Kim Walker.

Mr Walker is set to speak at SXSW Sydney on how NAISDA’s radically different learning approach which draws on over 60,000 years’ connection to culture and Country, can achieve extraordinary results and outcomes.

The College’s nationally-accredited courses put culture at the core of its framework of arts education excellence.

This has resulted in a multitude of positive benefits, course achievement, student careers and entrepreneurship in the arts sector including the creation of Bangarra Dance Theatre and Karul Projects, both of which were established and developed by NAISDA graduates.

Mr Walker continued, “As a leader in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, NAISDA has been shaped by the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities, and has successfully built a supportive and culturally strong environment that allows our students to achieve their goals.”

“We also pride ourselves on a completion rate that is double the national average in accredited vocational education and training.”

Dr Nerida Blair, NAISDA’s Board Director and Chair of the NAISDA Board of Studies, said, “At NAISDA, many leading voices have created a curriculum which privileges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowings. This means dance and performance are pure expressions of cultural knowledges which are activated and embedded through experience and not limited within a western-based context.

“We support this learning journey with a First Nations approach to social and emotional wellbeing. Our holistic program of Wellness and Connection for students provides a strong foundation for a lifetime of achievement. We look forward sharing our perspectives at SXSW Sydney.”

To consider how the power of over 60,000 years of storytelling is igniting Indigenous leadership, Kim Walker will be joined by Wiradjuri woman and NAISDA Chair Mayrah Sonter, Yawuru woman, NAISDA graduate and Bangarra dancer Lillian Banks and Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri and Ni-Vanuatu man, NAISDA graduate and Co-Artistic Director of Karul Projects Thomas E.S. Kelly on Wednesday 18 October at SXSW Sydney.

To learn more about NAISDA’s learning approach, curriculum and success, interviews with Kim Walker and Dr Nerida Blair will be available to watch by visiting

Details of SXSW Sydney session with Kim Walker are available at



About us:

About NAISDA Dance College

NAISDA has been Australia’s bedrock for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts, cultural learning and creation for nearly 50 years. Since 1976, the College has nurtured the cultural and artistic development of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; keeping culture strong and empowering First Nations people and communities through training, skills and careers.

Shaped by our world’s oldest living cultures, NAISDA is Australia’s only tertiary arts training organisation providing nationally accredited arts training courses specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

NAISDA’s national, residential campus is based on Darkinjung Land on the NSW Central Coast.

Contact details:

For more information, please contact:

Isobel Goodwin-Moore | |

02 4324 6962 | 0416 599 947


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