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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NIDA Open Day rolls out live and online

Above: The NIDA Acting alumni panel was led by Chika Ikogwe (Acting, 2018).

NIDA’s campus was live and buzzing on 12 June with over 2,300 visitors and 500 online attendees for the annual Open Day.

The event included talks by all 13 Head of Course leaders, industry specialists and star NIDA alumni, interactive sessions, guided tours, and a foyer full of expert staff sharing their knowledge and passion.

The day was punctuated by the opportunity for visitors to see one of the five Student Productions presented in June or to attend a free NIDA Open workshop and be introduced to the fundamentals of Acting, TV Presenting or Script Writing.

Across the campus, NIDA alumni spoke to inspire the next generation of students with tales of experience, hard work and passion.

Above: NIDA Open day drew large crowds.

Open Day was a vital opportunity to communicate to the community that there are no fees this year to apply to study for any course. The event focussed on the genuinely inclusive environment and diversity of NIDA’s student cohort and staffing. Information was available about the support for First Nations and under-represented artists through scholarships and financial and cultural assistance.

Above: Michelle Vergara Moore (Acting, 2005) and Toby Moore (Acting, 2005) spoke at NIDA Open Day.

Alumni from NIDA’s famous Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) took part, including power couple Michelle Vergara Moore (Acting, 2005) and Toby Moore (Acting, 2005) talking about their experience of their recent production Unusual Suspects on SBS. They also looked back on their time as students at NIDA, which is where they first met.

Star of Ms. Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries Joel Jackson (Acting, 2013) spoke to prospective students, as well as recent graduate Chika Ikogwe (Acting, 2018) recently seen in ABC's Mikki vs The World, who hosted the Acting alumni panel.

Above: Demonstrations were held all day in the NIDA Costume workshop.

In the area of designing and making, Costumier for film and television Victoria Perry (Costume, 2019) spoke about her experience on Three Thousand Years of Longing and Shang Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings for Marvel Studios.

Award-winning Australian production designer Jonathan Hindmarsh (Design, 2015), the recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Design and the 2018 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Costume Design of an Independent Production, spoke to future students about his career.

Recent graduate from the Bachelor of Fine Art (Properties and Objects) course Ruby Marchese (Properties and Objects, 2019) spoke about her internships with Mortal Kombat Movie in Adelaide and Aardman Animations in the UK.

Above: Tours across the campus were a regular feature of NIDA Open Day.

Staging professional Eileen Ortiona (Staging, 2019) came to NIDA from a career in information technology and used her tech experience to develop her skills in performance construction.

Technical theatre manager and occasional podcaster Sarah (Duckie) Stait  (TTSM, 2011) spoke about her work in and around live theatre and performance.

Over in the Graduate School, Yasmin Masri spoke about her Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership, (2018) and her current role as Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator at City of Ryde.

Playwright Angela Collins (Writing for Performance, 2018), originally from Newcastle NSW, spoke of her journey as a writer. Ang was shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2017 and the Phillip Parsons Award in 2018. Her play MATE was awarded Highly Commended in Playwriting Australia’s Max Afford Award in 2018.

Above: Sample classes by current students were held all day in NIDA's purpose-built rehearsal rooms.  

Theatre and opera director Imara Savage (Directing, 2008) spoke about her extensive experience in directing award-winning productions for leading Australian companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Theatre and Sydney Chamber Opera.

Open Day provided a unique insight into NIDA’s one-year, intensive Diploma level courses. Zoe Ioannou (Diploma of Musical Theatre, 2016) spoke about her experience in the industry, in particular her role in West Side Story for Australia Opera. William Lodder (Diploma of Stage and Screen, 2020) known for Go Karts and Wakefield, also spoke about his career.

Students from the Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-Up Services) spoke about the opportunities in the fashion, film and television industry while course tutors spoke about the opportunities available in the Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services course.

Feeling inspired? Find out more and apply to study in 2022 at

Catch up on some of the course talks on the NIDA YouTube channel.

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