Sam Walsh AO inspires NIDA’s graduating class of 2017
NIDA officially launched the careers of 147 talented creative artists at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2017. Newly-appointed Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts Sam Walsh AO and former NIDA Academic Board member and alumni Alana Valentine each delivered an inspirational Occasional Address to the future creatives.
Photo: Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts, Sam Walsh AO
View photos from the ceremony
Last Sunday (20 May), the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) officially launched the careers of 147 talented creative artists at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2017. Newly-appointed Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts Sam Walsh AO and former NIDA Academic Board member and alumni Alana Valentine (Playwrights, 1989) each delivered an inspirational Occasional Address to the future creatives.
Filled with excitement, hope and determination, NIDA’s gifted graduates left the building with one of the following degrees: Master of Fine Arts in Design for Performance, Directing, Voice, Cultural Leadership or Writing for Performance; Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, Costume, Design for Performance, Properties and Objects, Staging, or Technical Theatre and Stage Management; the Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services; the Diploma of Musical Theatre; Diploma of Stage and Screen Performance; or the Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services).
The ceremony, led by NIDA Director/CEO Kate Cherry, was an opportunity to celebrate the graduates’ aspirations, imagination, dedication, courage and tenacity.
‘NIDA is proud of its legacy of nearly 60 years of conservatoire education, with artistic practice always at the forefront of everything we do,’ said Cherry, as she listed some of the world’s most successful artists that the graduating cohort had experienced, including NIDA guest artist actor/director Judy Davis, director Priscilla Jackman, performer Robyn Archer AO, international vocal specialist Kristin Linklater, Indigenous theatre director Rhoda Roberts, distinguished Icelandic director, Professor Egill Heiðar Anton Pálsson and mentors Margot Robbie, Tim Minchin and Barry Humphries.’
‘You have been tested and have risked much. You have developed a core purpose and the ability to work in a team. And you have thrived. Today we celebrate your aspirations, dreams, imagination and courage,’ said Cherry.
Sam Walsh AO spoke about his life in business at Rio Tinto and offered advice to the next generation of artistic practitioners. ‘You must learn to take charge and pursue with energy those things that will help you fulfil your goals. Nobody gets a career break just sitting back and waiting for some miracle to happen. You must create your own opportunities.’
NIDA alumni Alana Valentine spoke passionately to the students about the arts in our society. ‘Whether you are in a tiny little co-op theatre production or in an international blockbuster movie franchise you will be doing the cultural work that feeds our spirits and nurtures our souls. You will be the keepers of our hearts and our hopes and without you we cannot continue to cohere the society in which we live. Without you we will turn on each other, we will not be able to go on unless you give us the joys and rage and insight and pain and perspective that only this new generation can.’
Guest speakers included student Nikita Waldron (Acting, 2017) and actor Jessica Marais (Acting, 2007), nominated for a Gold Logie this year.
Two special awards were presented to high achieving students. The Lynne Williams Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Leadership was presented to Yasmin Masri.
‘The Lynne Williams Award was developed in recognition of the former NIDA CEO’s contribution in developing the graduate school and the MFA Cultural Leadership course,’ said NIDA Director Graduate Studies and Head of Cultural Leadership Associate Professor Cheryl Stock AM.
‘Yasmin Masri is not only outstanding academically but has demonstrated impressive leadership qualities and the capacity to contribute to our cultural future. She will use this award to travel overseas and further her creative and curatorial work in architecture, craft and design.’
The Leslie Walford AM Award was presented to Bachelor of Fine Arts (Costume) graduate Kathleen Szabo. ‘Kathleen’s work has always been of the highest standard and she excelled in every area of her course. She was supervisor of two of the biggest productions in her final year and I know she will make the best use of this award,’ said NIDA Head of Costume, Annette Ribbons.
Learn more about NIDA's BFA and MFA courses at Open Day on Saturday 16 June. Register here: nida.edu.au/courses/open-day
Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership)
Master of Fine Arts (Design for Performance)
Master of Fine Arts (Voice)
Syaiful Ariffin Bin Abdul Rahman
Master of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance)
Sarah Odillo Maher
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting)
Helia Lalanne Sulak
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Costume)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Properties and Objects)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Staging)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management)
Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services
Ella Van dam
Diploma of Musical Theatre
Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services)
Diploma of Stage and Screen Performance