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Circus and Physical Theatre
Wrap up – Circus & Beyond: Arts Workers Forum

Circus & Beyond: Arts Workers Forum in Sydney, Jan 2019
13 – 15 January 2019, as part of Sydney Festival
Parramatta – Riverside Theatres, ICE

Facilitated by Simone O’Brien and Nisrine Amine
Produced by Sydney Festival / Pippa Bailey with the support of the Sydney Festival Circus Advisory Group

The two-and-a-half day event brought together the professional and youth circus sectors for discussion, debate, provocation and collaboration. Cross-sector colleagues were also invited into the conversation, and this resulted in a dynamic breadth of topics covered.

Keynote speakers Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of UK company Upswing, Moira Finucane and Simon Abbe from Shanghai Mimi, Ben Knapton and Rajesh Amrale of Circa/Mallakhamb India, and Michael Mohammed Ahmad, local Parramatta writer and academic challenged the sector on issues around diversity and inclusion, and representation, as well as what Circus as an artform can be.

Theatre Network Australia will feed these topics into our program of work for the year, in partnership with our Circus and Physical Theatre Advisory Committee, and monitor actions and progress by others as well.


  • What are the opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in our practice?
  • How do we make training accessible to all?
  • What is not being taught at circus schools (null curriculum)?
  • How do we implement an industry standard trainer award rate?
  • How do we increase support for the sector (including government support)?
  • What can we do to achieve a recognised funding strategy?
  • What are the pathways for older female performers?
  • What are the pathways for continued development – emerging, mid-career, established?
  • How can the sector engage with climate change and create a more environmentally sustainable practice?
  • Implement Reconciliation Action Plans


Chookas and Chats – Circus Performers Meetup Presented by South Australian Circus Centre Wednesday, Feb 20 & Mar 6, 3pm – 4pm
Fringe Club

Responding to the need to bring in more artists’ voices in sector conversations, Lara Croydon took leadership and initiated an artist gathering during Adelaide Fringe. Josh Hoare of South Australian Circus Centre has taken the reigns in organising the event, and will be mentoring Lara and another emerging artist to facilitate the sessions. TNA is very proud to support Lara and Josh with the event.


Youth Circus in Australia: A manifesto for the development of the Australian Youth Circus Sector 2014 – 2020

The Routledge Circus Studies Reader, edited by Peta Tait and Katie Lavers.


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