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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Travis Cardona joins NIDA in Head of First Nations role


Image source: NIDA 2023

NIDA is pleased to announce the appointment of alumnus Travis Cardona (Acting, 2008) to the new role of Head of First Nations.

This senior leadership full-time role will see Travis drive engagement with First Nations creatives, organisations, NIDA alumni, communities, and future First Nations students nationally; contribute to NIDA’s strategic direction and help implementation of NIDA’s vision on the ground; and connect and support First Nations staff and students at NIDA and as they transition into the creative industries. The role will also support the learning of First Nations knowledge and play a key role in student and staff engagement and recruitment.

CEO Liz Hughes said: “It is wonderful to welcome Travis back to NIDA in such a pivotal and influential role. He will lead and further develop NIDA’s commitment to supporting First Nations students, staff and storytelling and be integral in encouraging creative partnerships and collaborations with First Nations creatives.”

Travis has always had a passion for storytelling and believes that having an Indigenous voice at the table to develop Indigenous creativity and content, is very important.

Travis Cardona said: “I am very excited to be back at NIDA and honoured to take on such an important role. Working with First Nations creatives has always been a passion of my mine, and I look forward to further develop NIDA’s commitment to supporting First Nations staff and students. I hope to create more awareness among First Nations communities about NIDA and the many courses it has.” 

Born and raised in Darwin, Travis is a saltwater man from Malak Malak, Iwaidja and Torres Strait Island roots. He made his professional acting debut at 14 when he successfully auditioned for roles in the Richard Frankland plays No Way to Forget and Harry’s War alongside Aaron Pedersen, directed by Glen Shea.  Travis moved to Sydney in 2006 to study the three-year BFA Acting course at NIDA, of the time Travis says. “It was very fast paced but the experience was worth it.” Travis graduated in 2008 and worked across film, TV and theatre. Most recently he has produced many programs for NITV and was also SBS Indigenous Policy and Stakeholder relations advisor.

Travis will work alongside NIDA’s First Nations Consultant Rhoda Roberts AO and Elder-in-Residence Matthew Doyle to further support First Nations students and to amplify collaboration and knowledge of First Nations culture and creativity.

For further information:

Vanessa Hollins 
NIDA Publicity Consultant   
M: 0418 479 70

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