NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.


NIDA Board Principles


We have witnessed sweeping protests for change around the globe including in Australia. This movement comes on top of the decades of First Nations change-making. This global moment has become an invitation to make a better world beyond racism and inequality.  We accept that invitation.

In the wake of concerns raised by our students and alumni about NIDA’s own record of action we as the NIDA Board commit ourselves to the following principles.

  • We recognise the sovereignty of First Nations Peoples.
  • We affirm our support for the lives, wellbeing, dignity and creative agency of First Nations Peoples and People of Colour. We see that this support comes with a duty to act.
  • In acknowledging the powerful role that the arts play in Australia, we also must acknowledge our key responsibility in supporting anti-racism and decolonisation. As a leader in the training of world-class performers and other professionals in the national and international performing arts, NIDA acknowledges it has a role to play in being part of global change.
  • We recognise that this change must be led by First Nations Peoples and People of Colour. We are ready to listen to and resource this process.
  • We support existing calls to action for meaningful structural change made by First Nations Peoples and People of Colour, both in the arts sector (including NIDA) and beyond.
  • It is essential that NIDA is a place where every person feels safe to bring their whole self, to tell their stories and so be a courageous and creative voice for the nation. Where NIDA fails to be inclusive, we will change.
  • We are committed to changing how we operate because it is the right thing to do. We are ready for truth-telling and rebuilding, as well as ensuring that First Nations people and People of Colour have their rightful supports and representation at NIDA.

The NIDA Board commits to addressing the racism and discrimination experienced by students, staff and alumni who are First Nations and People of Colour by:

  • Working to institute ongoing and empowered decision-making positions for First Nations Peoples and People of Colour across NIDA’s governance structures, including on its Boards and Committees.
  • Committing to consultation, listening, receiving feedback and communication.
  • Increasing the representation of First Nations Peoples and People of Colour within the staff and student cohorts, widening access and building the provision of financial support and counselling.
  • Implementing more regular cultural and anti-racist awareness training and education opportunities for staff and students. We do this acknowledging that cultural awareness and anti-racist education is only one step.
  • Implementing cultural protocols and acknowledging culturally significant dates and events working in partnership where appropriate with First Nations arts organisations and arts organisations driven by People of Colour.
  • Ensuring NIDA’s course and curriculum delivery, artistic programs and production seasons acknowledge the strength of First Nations storytellers and stories.
  • Measuring progress by setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Ensuring a genuinely inclusive culture for all, recognising differences within First Nations communities and within communities of People of Colour.

Issued by the NIDA Chairman on behalf of the NIDA Board of Directors

Noel Staunton

27 July 2020