Read more information below then fill in an Expression of Interest form. Applications close Friday 1 December 2017.


The BlakDance Presenter Series is a professional development opportunity for Australian and international presenters who want to program First Nations’ contemporary performing arts. The series will transform cultural thinking and programming. It follows the highly successful model delivered by BlakDance at YIRRAMBOI. The series will be led by Collette Brennan and Rhoda Roberts.



Collette Brennan is the CEO of Abbotsford Covent in Melbourne, Australia’s largest multi-arts precinct. She is also Chair of the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board and a Board member of the International Society for Performing Arts. Previously she was: Director of International Development, Acting Executive Director of Arts Development, and Director of Market Development at the Australia Council for the Arts; Executive Director of Brisbane’s internationally acclaimed contemporary circus Circa; the founding Creative Director of The Edge, State Library of Queensland’s program for children and young people; General Manager of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Out of the Box Festival for 3 to 8 year olds, and; Executive Officer of Youth Arts Queensland, the state’s peak body for youth arts and cultural development.

Collette has also worked in schools as a drama and history teacher, as a lecturer with QUT and Griffith University, and as a youth arts worker in a range of school and community contexts with children and young people.


A member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul and Gidabul clans of Northern NSW and South East QLD, Rhoda is an experienced motivated and versatile arts executive.

She was a co-founding member of Australia's first national Aboriginal theatre company, the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust (ANTT) and coined the term Welcome to Country, establishing protocol manuals and welcomes by local custodians for the arts industry.

Currently Rhoda is the Head of Indigenous Programming, Sydney Opera House; Creative Director, Rhoda Roberts Gallery and Events; Festival Director, Boomerang Festival.

She has been involved with a number of large events in varying roles including Creative Director, Awakening Segment Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Rugby World Cup 2003, Athens handover ceremony, The Opening Ceremony of the Musee Du Quay Branley, Paris, Japan Expo, World Youth Day events and Australia Day events where she developed the Woggan ma Gule annual ceremony to honour the day, acknowledging and paying homage to the ancestors and the Gadigal, first peoples. Rhoda was the Creative Director for Songlines – the phenomenally successful lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails, which opened Vivid Festival Sydney 2016.

As an actor, producer, director and writer, Rhoda continues to work as a consultant and is a sought after speaker and performer in theatre, film, television and radio.


  • Deeper engagement with First Nations’ performances at APAM
  • Enhanced understanding of cultural programming and performances
  • Tools and techniques to engage with First Nations arts and performance


The program is open to all registered APAM 2018 delegates, however, places are limited and awarded via an Expression of Interest (EoI). More information below.

All applications will be assessed by the Presenter Series advisory group and applicants will be notified by Wednesday 20 December 2017.

The Presenter Series advisory group is made up Judy Harquail, Tim Wilson, Vallejo Gantner, Collette Brennan, Rhoda Roberts and Jacob Boehme.

The group will assess the impact of the opportunity for the individual or organisation according to the following selection criteria:

  1. How the opportunity will strengthen your capacity as an arts professional and/or organisation to deliver your programming and audience development goals
  2. The relevance and timeliness of the proposed opportunity in delivering your programming and audience development goals
  3. The ability of you and/ or your organisation to effectively implement change


There is no cost to be part of the program, however, Presenter Series participants must be self-funded covering the cost of their APAM delegate pass, travel and accommodation and any other on-the-ground costs.


To coincide with the launch of the Official APAM Program of Showcases and Pitches, the EoI for the BlakDance Presenter series opens on Wednesday 25 October 2017. The EoI closes on Friday 1 December 2017.

The BlakDance Presenter Series delegation will be formed with a framework that considers the overall mix of participants necessary to reflect a diverse range of art forms, regions and experience.


Wednesday 25 October 2017 APAM 2018 program launched, and registration and EoI
Friday 1 December 2017 Expression of Interest closes
Monday 4 December 2017 – Friday 15 December 2017 Applications assessed by Presenter Series advisory group
Wednesday 20 December 2017  Notification of acceptance into the BlakDance Presenter Series
Sunday 18 February 2018 Arrive in Brisbane (if not from Brisbane)
Afternoon session with leaders
Monday 19 February 2018 Morning session with leaders
Monday 19 February 2018 – Friday 23 February 2018 Attend APAM and BlakDance Presenter Series
March 2018 Provide feedback on BlakDance Presenter Series


Australian Contact

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact BlakDance directly: Merindah Donnelly, BlakDance Executive Producer E: