2019 Program

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Three days of engaging and thought-provoking experiences.

Meeting Place 2019 Canberra took place from 1-3 December. The event began with a relaxed welcome program at Belconnen Arts Centre on Day 1, followed by a plenary session at the National Gallery of Australia on Day 2. Day 3 offered a choice of creative and professional development workshops and thought-provoking discussions at national and local arts and cultural venues across Canberra.

At the culmination of the program was a final celebration of access and inclusion in the arts, with Arts Access Australia partnering with the Australia Council for the Arts to present the first National Arts & Disability Awards event on 3 December, the International Day of People with Disability.

You can download a word doc of the program here: Meeting Place Program 2019 (doc, 140 KB)

Sunday 1 December

Welcome (Relaxed Program)

Location: Belconnen Arts Centre (118 Emu Bank, Belconnen ACT 2617)

Exhibitions, films & artist talks

  • 10am: Doors/registrations open. Registration will be open all day
  • 10am: Relaxed exhibition viewings of F L U X, (In)Visible, Eleanor Waight, Bounce Back and Traces IV
  • 11am: (In)visible in conversation. Join exhibition curator Penelope Pollard and selected IGNITE artists for a discussion about the In(visible) exhibition, a sculptural exploration of how disability informs the rich tapestry of human experience
  • 11.45am: Lunch break
  • 12.15pm: F L U X floor talk with Dan Savage. Australian artist Dan Savage discusses his curatorial debut F L U X, which explores contemporary digital art from around the world by prominent d/Deaf and disabled artists
  • 1.15pm: Ausdance ACT’s Packed Lunch: Matt Shilcock in conversation. Matt Shilcock is one of Australia’s leading dance artists and specialists in inclusive dance practice. Always charming and always informed, Matt joins us in Canberra to share his recent experiences working nationally and internationally
  • 2.30pm: Screening of The Wide Angle Film Festival. Enjoy this program of Australian and international short films, which has been specially curated by the Festival to celebrate Meeting Place 2019. The Festival brings films that reflect the lived experience of people with disability to Australians nationwide every year. The Festival screens with a suite of access that is continually being extended so that every Australian can enjoy the award-winning short-film programs.

Networking soiree featuring local musicians

  • 4pm: Networking Soiree: Grab a wine, beer or soft drink and network with colleagues while enjoying a curated musical showcase featuring local musicians Duncan Sargeant, Ben Signor and Miss Adventure (Ruth O’Brien and Damian Ashcroft)
  • 6pm: Day 1 ends

Monday 2 December

Industry Forum

Location: National Art Gallery (Parkes Place, Parkes, Canberra ACT 2600)


  • 9am: Doors/registrations open
  • 9.30am: Welcome to country
  • 9.50am: Welcome to NGA by Director Nick Mitzevich 
  • 10am: Address by Minister for Disability Susan Orr MLA
  • 10.10am: Official welcome by AAA CEO Meagan Shand
  • 10.20am: Opening keynote address by Amanda Cachia. Los Angeles based Amanda Cachia, Professor of Arts History, a mother and an artist, will discuss her recent work Automatisme Ambulatoir, exploring how ‘hysterical’ gestures can work to subvert, undo, transform and re-imagine the disabled body and language


  • 11am: Brunch break

Afternoon panel discussion

  • 12pm: Panel discussion: Leadership, Identity and Pride. Featuring keynote Amanda Cachia, Michelle McDonald (Actor, Rebus Theatre), Martin Sawtell (Business Director, Access2Arts) and Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Grey (Artistic Director, ADF Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills Program). Facilitated by Belinda Locke (Chair, Arts Access Australia).
  • 12.40pm: Second keynote address: Aunty June Riemer, Author & Deputy CEO FPDN
  • 1.20pm: Panel discussion: Culture is inclusion. Following a keynote presentation from Aunty June Riemer, this panel brings together diverse voices of Australian artists with disability, to discuss their experience of inclusion through their cultural lens.  Panel members include June Riemer, Tilly Davey (Manager, Hands on Studio), Penny Pollard (artist, Belconnen Arts Centre), Joshua Campton (artist) and Michael Chan (artist, Back to Back Theatre). Facilitated by Shane Nelson

Afternoon tea

  • 2pm: Afternoon tea break

Afternoon breakout sessions

  • 3pm – 4.30pm (approximately)
  • Session 1: Digital drawing workshop. Participants are invited to respond to Jackson Pollocks Blue Poles in a collaborative drawing workshop. iPads are supplied. Presented by the National Gallery of Australia. Please note: This workshop is limited to 15 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment.
  • Session 2: Exhibition tour of NGA’s main collection. Book into a tour of the NGA collection. Presented by the National Gallery of Australia. There are three tours to choose from:
    • The Auslan sign-interpreted tour with a focus on The Spirits of the pumpkins descended into the heavens 2017 by Yayoi Kusama. Contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama creates immersive installations. Experience her work as part of the International art display on Level 2. Please note: This tour is limited to 20 participants
    • The Audio-described Australian Art tour (this tour will focus on 4 -6 works of art in the Australian art display on level 1. Please note: This tour is limited to 4 participants
    • General access tour of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander galleries on level 1. Please note: This tour is limited to 15 participants
  • Session 3Bounce Back exhibition and workshop. Come and work alongside Australian National University (ANU) and Belconnen Arts Centre’s IGNITE artists, learn a new skill, reflect on meaning through material process and be part of the collaboration. Presented by ANU. Please note: This session is limited to 12 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment
  • Session 4: Public Art Tour. Explore the public art on display throughout Canberra on this specially curated tour, presented by artsACT. Please note: The bus for this tour boards at 2.30pm and leaves at 2.45pm. The tour is limited to 45 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment
  • Session 5: Journeys to Meeting Place. Meeting Place Travel Grant recipients, past and present, share their stories. Presenters include Michelle Brown, Debbie Chilton, Ceilidh Dalton, Jeremy Hawkes, Andi Snelling and Rachael Woodward. Facilitated by Dan Savage

Afternoon wrap-up

  • 4.30pm: Day 2 wrap-up
  • 5pm: Day 2 ends

Tuesday 3 December

Breakout sessions (10am - 3pm)

Session 1: The National Portrait Gallery

  • Location: National Portrait Gallery, Liangis Theatre (King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600)
  • 10am: Disability-led Q&A session: Shaping our future – what will it take? In this Q&A style panel discussion six leaders and influencers will respond to your questions about arts, disability and culture; and share their vision for an accessible future in the arts and what it will take to get there. Discussion members include Caroline Bowditch (CEO, Arts Access Victoria) Emma Bennison  (artist, CEO of Blind Citizens Australia), Jeremy Hawkes (artist & arts worker, recipient of the Australia Council Mentoring program), Emiko Artemis (academic and visual artist), Anna Molnar (theatre director) and Bree Hadley (academic, Queensland University of Technology). Facilitated by Liz Martin (AAA Board Member, Accessible Arts (NSW)). Presented by Arts Access Australia.
  • 12pm: Lunch break
  • 1pm: Auslan tour (45 mins) or audio-described tour (1 hour) of the highlights of the NPG collection. The tours will explore the history of the National Portrait Gallery, the building (all on one level) and their collection of portraits of diverse and remarkable Australians. Please note: Tours are limited to 15 participants, not including carers/companions/support-workers. Please register early to avoid disappointment
  • 2pm: Day ends

Session 2: The Street Theatre

  • Location: Street 3, The Street Theatre (15 Childers St, City West ACT 2601)
  • 10.30am – 11.30am: Brunch / early lunch
  • 12pm – 3pm: Crip the Stage: Performance and Disability. What role does disability play in your performance and art creation? A mini-workshop degustation will be led by various theatre and dance artists, followed by a panel discussion on creating performance works with or about disability. Facilitated by artist and performer Hanna Cormick. Please note: this is a strictly a fragrance-free and food/drink free event (water excepted). This event is limited to 30 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment.

Session 3: Ainslie Arts Centre

  • Location: Ainslie Arts Centre (Elouera Street, Braddon, ACT, 2612)
  • 10am – 3pm: The Last Dance with the Last Avant GardeCome and have a big dance up session, and hear the findings from the Last Avant Garde’s Australia-wide performance workshops research with Deaf and disabled artists. Lunch will be provided. Presented by Alstonville Dance Studio and the Arts Access Victoria/Melbourne Uni/Sydney Uni Disability Arts research team. Please note: This session is limited to 15 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment.

Session 4: Belconnen Arts Centre

  • Location: Belconnen Arts Centre (118 Emu Bank, Belconnen, ACT)
  • 10amRelaxed exhibition viewings of F L U X, (In)Visible, Eleanor Waight, Bounce Back and Traces IV
  • 11.30am: Open Doors, Open Minds is an interactive theatre performance created by Rebus Theatre, about the barriers that people with disability face in accessing community activities. Please note: This event is limited to 50 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 1.30pm: Preview screening of UNSOUND. When gigging guitarist, Noah, finds himself disillusioned and transient, he quits the band of his 90’s pop icon mentor, and returns to his mother’s home. Clashing with his mother over old wounds, Noah seeks solace elsewhere, and soon finds himself with a young, trans-man, Finn, who is a proud, Auslan-only speaker. But as the two become closer, and with no shared language to fall back on, they only risk hurting each other, as they learn to be true to themselves. Presented by Screen Australia and Wise Goat Productions.
  • 3pm: Day ends

National Arts & Disability Awards Night

Location: National Portrait Gallery (King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ACT, 2600)
  • 5.30 to 7.30pm
  • Presented by Arts Access Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts, this red-carpet event celebrates the work and achievement of artists and arts-workers with disability from around Australia. The Awards Night is free to attend, but registration is essential. Find out more about the National Arts & Disability Awards night.

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