UNSW and NIDA reaffirm historic relationship

8 July 2020

Above: NIDA students perform Peter Weiss’ The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis De Sade. Directed by NIDA Director Centre for Acting John Bashford and Head of Movement Gavin Robins. Set, props and costume design Olivia Rowlands. (Photo: Patrick Boland)

NIDA is reaffirming its relationship with the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) with the aim of invigorating artistic collaborations, learning and research opportunities for staff and students.

NIDA CEO Liz Hughes and UNSW’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs reflected the collaborative nature of this relationship in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed until 2023.

NIDA CEO Liz Hughes said she was excited about the opportunities arising out the MoU. ‘NIDA and UNSW have had a very longstanding relationship, the MOU confirms the solid, rich history, but also opens up the conversation for innovative collaboration between UNSW and NIDA going forward,’ she said.

‘Both UNSW and NIDA share a deep understanding of the performing arts and we see great possibilities in building NIDA’s collaboration with the Art & Design and Arts & Social Sciences faculties through bringing our students together in communities of practice and scholarship.’

‘There is immense potential to build on our partnership,’ Professor Jacobs said. ‘The possibilities of our combined imagination and innovation are endless.’

‘NIDA’s shared history with UNSW dates back to NIDA’s inception so I am delighted we will not only continue our relationship but strengthen our bonds,’ said Professor Ian Jacobs. ‘We have already seen the fruits of collaboration between Australia’s leading performing arts school and various faculties across the university – in artistic collaborations, joint events, research and professional development.’

‘NIDA is already positioned as a global organisation, but the focus is on how we can extend the value of our education more broadly, inclusively, globally and through new collaborations to make a big difference to the world,' he said.

‘There are many research initiatives happening at UNSW which are awe inspiring and we don’t always hear about this incredible work. As part of the collaboration, we hope that some of NIDA’s presentation skills training could be used to enhance the telling of some of the research stories that are not widely known for different audiences to profile the fantastic work that’s happening at the University.’

‘Engaging emerging performing arts professionals to use the skills of storytelling in knowledge translation and communicating research outcomes is an exciting opportunity,’ he said.

Also set out in the MoU is the provision of many services, including access to performance spaces, training and development programs and careers and employment services.

‘It’s a fantastic relationship because we have a lot to gain from each other – although there are similarities, there are also a lot of differences and once we are out of COVID-19 we can think more broadly about how we can engage and what we can dream up,’ Liz Hughes said.