NIDA Director/CEO recognised for contribution to performing arts industry
The city of Wollongong has always held NIDA Director and CEO Lynne Williams in high regard. She was born and educated there and in the early years of her career in the performing arts, made a significant contribution to the creative life of the city.
As an Australia Day Ambassador for 2015, Ms Williams proudly accepted the invitation to help launch the Wollongong Australia Day program early last week and is looking forward to joining her home town again on Australia Day for the celebrations. She will be presenting seven categories of citizen awards, including Citizen of the Year and delivering the occasional address at the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony to welcome 85 new Australian citizens.
In addition, late last year the University of Wollongong (UOW) recognised her contribution and service to the Australian and international arts industry with an Honorary Doctor of Letters, in particular for her service to creative arts at UOW and her dedication to broadening access to contemporary arts.
“I feel very fortunate to have been able to follow my passion and dedicate my life to the performing arts,” commented Ms Williams. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to go back to my roots in Wollongong and acknowledge the people that inspired me in the early days of this incredible journey which has taken me all over the world."
In a career spanning 45 years, Ms Williams has developed a significant breadth of arts practice and cultural entrepreneurship across not-for profit, government and commercial sectors.
Her experience in performing arts began in Australia where she taught and performed as a professional singer specialising in contemporary music and music theatre. Lynne founded the Conservatorium Theatre Company in Wollongong at the invitation of Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she had previously studied. She lectured in Education and Performing Arts at UOW and made a significant contribution to establishing a new Faculty of Creative Arts at UOW.
Ms Williams later pursued a career in the UK where she held many high-profile arts and cultural leadership positions, including the development of the four-year culture and education program of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. She was also the founder and chair of a number of independent performing arts companies and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom.
Passionate about contributing to performing arts education in Australia, Ms Williams has successfully led NIDA for over six years, responding to the rapidly evolving demands of the international arts and entertainment industry and ensuring NIDA graduates are equipped to contribute to the creative leadership of Australia.
Professor Amanda Lawson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at UOW said at the presentation of Lynne William’s Honorary Doctorate, "Lynne Williams is a University of Wollongong alumna who has seized opportunities that were presented to her -or, sometimes, created them for herself; a woman whose ambition, determination and passion for living a creative life is a powerful demonstration of how to take hold of the moment and lead."