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 announces new Head of Cultural Leadership

Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art is pleased to announce Associate Professor Cheryl Stock AM as the new Head of Cultural Leadership.

Associate Professor Cheryl Stock AM has had an extraordinary career spanning four decades as a dancer, choreographer, director, educator, researcher and advocate. For the past 15 years, Professor Stock has worked in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, where she held positions as head of dance and director of Postgraduate Studies, and where she is currently an adjunct professor. In addition, she is currently the Secretary General of World Dance Alliance.

She has lectured and published extensively in practice-led and creative arts research, contemporary Australian and Asian dance, interdisciplinary collaboration and intercultural/interactive and site-specific performance.

Founding Artistic Director of Dance North and currently Artistic Advisor, Professor Stock has also created over 50 dance works as well as 20 collaborative exchanges in Asia. Twelve of these collaborative exchanges were in Vietnam resulting in her doctoral thesis on intercultural performance in Vietnam. Her more recent practice has focused on multi-site interdisciplinary performance projects.

Among a long list of awards and accolades achieved during her career, Professor Stock is a recipient of the Australian Dance Award’s Lifetime Achievement and in 2014 was awarded an Order of Australia for her significant service to the performing arts.

Professor Stock says that she is thrilled to be appointed Head of Cultural Leadership at NIDA, commenting:

‘It is a privilege and a delight to be joining NIDA as it embarks on its innovative Graduate School program, particularly in working alongside course chair Robyn Archer AO with the NIDA academic staff and industry professionals to deliver the ground-breaking Cultural Leadership course.’

‘I am looking forward to working with the industry practitioners who make up this inaugural MFA student cohort, and assist in providing them with strategies that support a professional creative environment to engender informed critical debate about broader socio-cultural issues beyond skills development and managerial competences. I also look forward to examining with the students, how and why we do what we do, and how we can effectively prepare together for an often volatile and ever-changing cultural landscape.’

NIDA Director/CEO Lynne Williams said NIDA is looking forward to welcoming Professor Stock to the team.

‘We are very fortunate to have an artist and cultural leader such as Professor Cheryl Stock on board to help shape NIDA’s new Cultural Leadership course,’ commented Ms Williams.

‘Cheryl’s extensive experience across many areas of arts and academia, nationally and internationally, will provide the critical leadership and guidance needed to ensure our students become informed and articulate advocates who can go on to drive change and innovation across the arts and culture sector.’

The MFA in Cultural Leadership is one of three new graduate courses launched this year, including the MFA in Design for Performance and MFA in Voice. These courses will be delivered in the purpose-built multi-disciplinary Graduate School alongside the popular MFA in Directing and MFA in Writing for Performance.

For more information or to apply for 2017, visit