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 Green: green-skilling the creatives of the future

Australia’s leading dramatic arts educator, the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) today announced NIDA Green – a plan to become a leading sustainability educator in the arts and entertainment industries.

(Photo: Phil Erbacher)
L–R: Liz Hughes, Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Damon Gameau, Yael Stone.

NIDA Green is an environmental sustainability strategy, that will see NIDA become a fully regenerative and climate positive organisation by 2030 and, perhaps even more impactfully, equip new generations of industry practitioners with the sustainability skills and practices to create positive change in their future workplaces across Australia and around the world.

NIDA Green is underpinned by the evidence-based work of the Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS), drawing on best practice in sustainability solutions, deep research and extensive consultation with NIDA staff and students, industry practitioners and international partners. The resulting roadmap identifies measurable green outcomes across NIDA’s curriculum, student productions, building infrastructure and operations.

NIDA CEO Liz Hughes said: “For over 60 years, NIDA’s unparalleled rigour, industry-relevant training and connections have produced some of the world’s most influential and in-demand storytellers and storycrafters across the performing arts, screen, interactive gaming and beyond. In 2022, one of NIDA’s key visions is to be leader in sustainability education in Australia’s dramatic arts sector and we are committed to providing the next generation of creatives with sustainability skills and practices that are future focused. This exciting strategy positions NIDA to become a fully regenerative and carbon positive organisation by 2030.

As part of NIDA Green we will create an environmentally conscious community that harnesses the input of people who want to make a difference. Our plan sees sustainability becoming a core part of NIDA’s education and we will change the way we create and produce creative works at NIDA to lead and cultivate green industry practice.”

Damon Gameau, NIDA alum, actor, producer and director, is NIDA’s inaugural Green Ambassador. At the launch of NIDA Green, Damon said: “It is wonderful to see NIDA’s Green Plan, as no industry is immune to the climate crisis. Given the large reach and influence that artists can have, there is a unique opportunity for NIDA to lead the charge for more meaningful action. Indeed, art has always played an important role in any significant cultural change.”

Also participating in the launch was NIDA alum, actor, activist, Founding Director of ‘Hi Neighbour’ (a community organisation committed to a renewables energy transformation) Yael Stone: "Imagination and creativity are pivotal in taking positive action on climate change - these are two things that NIDA has in spades. I am cheering on their intro into the sustainability space, I know they will inspire and inform our next generation of creative leaders - pushing the needle on thought and action."

Scott Cleggett, currently in his third year of studies in NIDA’s Technical Theatre and Stage Management Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a member of the NIDA Green Team, shared his reflections: “My classmates and my peers across all disciplines at NIDA are mindful of our creative footprint.  We know that we can lead an industry capable of change while maintaining high standards of theatre making. And we’re proud that NIDA also believes in this and can support our learning by investing in our practice and our leadership.”

Cate Blanchett, NIDA alum and advocate of sustainable creative practice also welcomed the launch of NIDA Green, “NIDA, once again, is ahead of the pack. NIDA GREEN is a pioneer curriculum-based program which aims to have every graduate leave with a comprehensive understanding of the “why” of sustainability and a tool kit to make the “how” possible. With this understanding, sustainability will be business as usual across all practices. The learnings and teaching of this first of its kind program will be folded into NIDA Productions by 2023 and the findings shared with others. This is the kind of initiative that makes bedrock industry change possible. It is extremely exciting and knowing NIDA, as I do, I am certain it’s just the beginning.”

NIDA has already embarked on its sustainability journey with the installation of solar panels, battery storage, energy efficient air-conditioners, E-waste recycling systems and LED lighting, reducing NIDA’s draw on the energy grid.

NIDA Green will be overseen and managed by Grace Nye-Butler, NIDA’s inaugural Sustainability Manager, who has experience across the arts and sustainability industries.

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