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.

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Students create first ever NIDA parade for Sydney Mardi Gras

NIDA students created the first ever NIDA parade in the iconic Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2019.

Above: The lead banner reads Storytellers of the Future. (Photo: Merette Boutros)

NIDA students took part in the iconic Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2019 to stunning acclaim. ‘We wanted to march up Oxford Street with pride and show that we are inclusive, that everyone is loved, and that there is a place in this school for everyone no matter what our differences are. This is not just about being LGBTQIA+, this is about showing that all diversities are needed at this school and also at the helm of our creative industry,’ the students said.

‘We are the students of the National Institute of Dramatic Art and we have the passion and skill to pay justice to these stories. We are also incredibly supported by our beautiful teachers, lecturers and peers without any prejudice. We want everyone to know that absolutely everybody is welcome at our school no matter who you are, who you identify as, what your sexuality is or where you come from. To us every story and life is equally important.’

The project was led by the Student Camp Committee made up of Bachelor of Fine Arts students: Phillip Patterson (Properties and Objects) - President, production manager;  Amanda Torrisi (Properties and Objects) - Marketing, sponsorship, fundraising, recruitment; Ruby Marchese (Properties and Objects) - Marketing, sponsorship, fundraising, recruitment; Micaela Ellis (Acting) - Choreographer, documentary; Morgan Saint Clair (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) - Lighting, Sound, Stage Manager.

‘I had just started my first year here in Bachelor of Fine Arts (Properties and Objects) and I was wondering why there wasn’t a float at the parade from NIDA students,’ said Phillip Patterson. ‘I did some research and was amazed that there had never been one, and so I thought let’s get something happening. I wanted to say we are proud of being queer and proud of being gay, we are not closed off. It’s about creating that voice and letting everyone know that we are here.’

Everything was built at NIDA in the Props and Costumes workshops.The project included all the students from all the departments - design, props, costuming and lighting, staging and acting.

'It’s a cohesion of all of these disciplines together,' said Phillip. 'There are some big structures, intense costuming, and lots of lighting, choreography, and even scripts printed on the costumes which represents the writing students.’

Click on the image below to view the video of the parade.

Find out more and register for NIDA Open Day on Saturday 15 June. To register your interest to apply for NIDA Courses, go to

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