ACCELERATE is a tailored leadership skills development programme. It's designed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders working within the creative industries with the skills and networks to generate, take up and excel in leadership positions.
The programme is aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia who have at least five years’ experience in the creative industries and can demonstrate a bold vision for where they want to take their career and their community.
In its sixth successful year, ACCELERATE has been instrumental in discovering a pool of talent deep and wide in Indigenous culture as a new generation of leaders comes to the fore in Australia. This year, the selection panel has identified five more outstanding mid-career professionals ready to move in to senior leadership roles across the arts and creative industries.
The participants of the 2015 ACCELERATE programme are:
- Marcus Corowa – a musician from New South Wales
- Carly Sheppard – a dancer and choreographer from Victoria
- Emma Loban – a visual arts and museums curator from Queensland
- Teagan Cowlishaw – a fashion designer from Western Australia
- Angela Flynn – a producer and arts manager from South Australia.
The five participants were selected from a nation-wide call for applications and were announced as part of a special celebration held at Sydney’s Carriageworks on 1 September 2015. For more information about the event, see our media release.
The first part of the programme involved intensive leadership training in Australia in September. Delivered by visiting UK expert Mark Wright of People Create, the training aimed to enhance the participants’ understanding of their own leadership styles as well as providing them with the practical skills necessary to develop their career pathways.
The group then travelled to the UK in November 2015, where they underwent mentoring and professional development placements with high-profile individuals and organisations in their artistic fields. While there, the group was busy travelling across the UK visiting some of the country's top festivals, museums and arts companies. They were able to use the time to utilise creative skills, draw upon their rich cultural knowledge base, and develop valuable international relationships with other creative leaders.
Carly Sheppard found the trip to be an experience of growth. "ACCELERATE really did fast track the work I really wanted to do in understanding who I am and what I do," she says.
Marcus Corowa found the experience equally life-changing. "I’ve learnt so much about the music industry and also about myself," he says. "I have come away from the programme hugely inspired and with a real sense of clarity and focus about where I am heading in my career."
British Council Director Helen O’Neil says, “ACCELERATE helps the new generation of emerging creative leaders reach the next stage in their careers. By drawing upon connections with the UK’s vibrant creative industries, it presents a unique opportunity for Indigenous Australians to not only utilise their creative skills and draw upon their rich cultural knowledge base, but also to develop valuable international relationships with creative leaders. Each year, we see participants successfully using their ACCELERATE experience to flourish in artistic leadership positions.”
ACCELERATE has been instrumental in fostering innovative UK-Australian collaborations and helping the new generation of emerging creative leaders reach the next stage in their careers. Over the years, ACCELERATE has attracted some of the most diverse and talented individuals from the arts sector in Australia. The programme now boasts 29 alumni in total, including leading curators, producers, artists, musicians and writers. You can find out more about past alumni here.
ACCELERATE 2015 is presented by the British Council and the Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with Arts NSW, Creative Victoria, Department of Culture and the Arts WA, Arts Queensland, British Airways and SBS NITV, with additional support from BT Global Services and Carriageworks.