New opportunity for disabled arts leaders

The Australia Council for the Arts will present a leadership development initiative specifically for arts leaders with disabilities.

The Sync Leadership programme, part of the Council’s Disability Action Plan, will enable wider access and participation in the arts.

Disabled Australian cultural leaders and professionals are invited to apply for the five-day intensive development programme, which will be held in Sydney from 22-26 October. Up to 12 applicants will be offered a place.

Jo Verrent, a UK-based artist, consultant, and co-founder of Sync Leadership, will present the scheme in Sydney.

She told IAM: ‘The general public perception of leaders rarely includes disabled people. Through Sync we aim to examine and challenge this, illustrating that not only are disabled people capable of leading – in all areas – but that within the cultural arena, the very skills we have as part of being disabled people make us uniquely adaptive, honing our talent for influence and leadership. Sync aims to make these manifest – not only for the benefit of disabled people, but for the benefit of the whole cultural sector.’

Sync Leadership programme participant
Sync Leadership programme participant

Verrent will also present a number of forums in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, where potential participants can find out more about what will be on offer. Following the five-day intensive course, coaching sessions take place over six months with either Verrent or Sync’s co-founder, Sarah Pickthall.

Arts Access Australia CEO Emma Bennison said: ‘Jo is an extraordinary and authentic leader whose expertise will inform and engage the arts and cultural sector in an important and long overdue conversation about how to increase leadership by people with disability.’

The application deadline for the Sync Leadership programme is 30 July.

Main image: Portal by artist Susan Austin, a participant of the Sync Leadership programme © Susan Austin