Fair Play Symposium

Equity, Inclusion & the Creative Industries

26 Feb — 27 Feb 2019

Equity, Inclusion & the Creative Industries

Structural bias is literally, everywhere. It can be difficult to feel like you have any agency when you can’t see yourself reflected in the world around you.

Working in the creative sector, and as producers of culture, representation and voice are the tools we wield to create worlds. So how can the arts be genuinely inclusive and reflective of Australian society? How do questions of intersectionality work in practice? How have others effected change? [And why are we STILL talking about diversity?!!]

The Fair Play symposium will platform the knowledges, leading practices and lived experiences of First Nations, Disability, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse creative practitioners. From the critical to the tactical, this symposium will focus on tangible ways to improve equity and inclusive practice in the Victorian creative industries.

Join local and international thought-leaders as they share perspectives and discuss pathways to creativity, participation and engagement.

Focussing on practical ways to improve equity and inclusion, this symposium is specifically designed for the Victorian arts and creative industries and will launch Fair Play | Equity, Inclusive & the Creative Industries Project.

The Fair Play Symposium will take place on the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation.
We pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.


See the full Fair Play Symposium 2-day program here.

Full Program

Keynote Speakers:

Deborah Williams Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network, UK

Deborah Williams is CEO of the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) – which promotes diversity and inclusion in the Broadcasting industry. As CEO of Creative Diversity Network, Deborah developed and delivered their Diamond diversity monitoring scheme, as well as data bases and online resources for the major broadcasters in the UK who are all members of the network.

Prior to her work with CDN, Deborah undertook ground-breaking work as Diversity Manager at the British Film Institute (BFI). This included opening a lottery fund to promote diversity and designing the diversity standards for film and contributing to the strategic and business plan of the BFI. She was responsible for leading on equity analysis and the introduction of the Creative Case for Diversity in the Arts Council England.

Outside of the UK, Deborah Williams has been an advisor to the Swedish Film Institute and Arts Council, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the Danish Film Institute, the Cannes Film Festival, the European Disability Forum and spoke at Australia’s Screen Diversity Inclusion Network in 2018.

In addition to her advocacy work, Deborah has over 3 decades of experience in the performing and screen arts in the UK including running her own theatre companies, acting with the Graeae Theatre Company,and teaching stage management at the Webber Douglas Drama School.

Genevieve Grieves Artist, curator and Head, First Peoples Dept, Museums Victoria

Genevieve Grieves is a Worimi woman from southeast Australia based in Narrm (Melbourne). She is an award-winning artist, curator and content creator committed to sharing First Peoples histories and cultures and interrogating colonising frameworks and practices.  Her recent projects include the Awaken exhibition at the University of Melbourne; Barangaroo Ngangamay, a place-based Augmented Reality app that shares and celebrates the cultures of Sydney Aboriginal women; and, she was Lead Curator of the internationally celebrated permanent exhibition, First Peoples, at the Melbourne Museum.  She is a passionate advocator of decolonising and community-engaged practice and teaches these methodologies in university and community contexts. Her current projects include a PhD in art, colonial violence and memorialisation; a new role at Museums Victoria as Head of the First Peoples Department; and, the very important role of mum to a new baby.

Caroline Bowditch Performer, teacher and Executive Director, Arts Access Victoria

After 16 years living and working in the U.K. Caroline Bowditch has recently returned to Australia to take up the role as Executive Director at Arts Access Victoria. She is best known as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry in the UK and further afield.

She held the role as Scottish Dance Theatre’s Dance Agent for Change (2008-2012). Caroline was awarded an Unlimited commission to create Leaving Limbo Landing (2012) for the Cultural Olympiad and in 2014 created Falling in Love with Frida, which was awarded a prestigious Herald Angel award. In 2016, she collaborated with Laura Hook, to create two works for young audiences, The Adventures of Snigel (3-8 years) and Snigel and Friends (under 1’s).

Caroline has been an Associate Artist with Paragon Music (Glasgow), Dance4 (Nottingham) and Imaginate (Scotland) and was Visiting Professor at Coventry University. She has been a regular consultant on accessibility and inclusivity to Skånes Dansteater, Sweden and British Council. She has led international residencies in Italy, Switzerland and Germany is regularly invited to be mentor local, national and international artists at all levels of their artistic development.


Dr Paula Abood Writer, CCD practitioner, creative producer and educator

Artistic Director/ Editor/Facilitator/Trainer Paula Abood is a writer, community cultural development practitioner, creative producer and educator. She has worked with diverse communities in capacity building projects for 30 years. Her productions include The Cartographer’s  Curse (2016), Auburn Cartographies of Diversity (2016),  Sacred Women’s Voices (2013 / 2011), Parenting Stories (2010), Hurriya and her Sisters (2009), The Book of African Australian Stories (2006), Poetry on Rooftops (2006), and Of Middle Eastern Appearance (2001). Paula was awarded the 2007 Western Sydney Artists’ Fellowship for the blogging project Race and the City and was the 2013 recipient of the Australia Council’s Ros Bower Award for lifetime achievement in community cultural development practice.  She has developed resources and taught widely on subjects including cultural diversity, advocacy, and community development at TAFE and in community education settings. Paula co-developed the Certificate IV in Community Arts and Cultural Development that runs out of St George TAFE in Sydney, and is a leading trainer and educator on human rights approaches across the community, arts and education sectors. Paula was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from UNSW in 2007 in the area of cultural studies.

More speakers

Speakers are being added to the program

See our Speakers page for more.

Who will be there?

All parts of the Victorian creative sector, including:

  • Community-based organisations
  • Commercially driven organisations
  • People working more broadly in equity and inclusive practice.
  • People from First Nations, disability and culturally diverse communities
  • Artistic, cultural and creative practitioners

Registration Information

With only 180 places available, places will be limited. Organisations may only register up to two representatives to attend.

Register your interest now to avoid disappointment.


Wheelchair access and a hearing loop will be available at the symposium. Accessible and all-gender toilets available. This event will be Auslan interpreted and live captioned on stage. Captions will also be accessible online.

  • Transcripts for Day 1 and Day 2 are now available here.

Please get in touch with us if you have other accessibility requirements.


(including GST):

        $440 per person
Large and Major
        $440 per person
Medium organisations/companies         $330 per person
Small organisations/companies
(less than $500k)
        $220 per person
Individuals         $220 per person
Independent artists
and arts workers
        $110 per person
Regional artists and arts workers         $110 per person



Do you need financial assistance to attend? Are you an independent artist? We have a limited number of sponsored places. Please email us at symposium@diversityarts.org.au to apply. Deadline to get in contact is Tuesday 12 February 2019, 5:00 PM.

Behind the Scenes

The Fair Play Symposium is presented by Diversity Arts Australia and The Wheeler Centre in partnership with Creative Victoria and our sector partners.

The symposium is the first event of the Fair Play capacity building and training project, which is a partnership with Koorie Heritage Trust Inc, Arts Access Victoria, Multicultural Arts Victoria, British Council, Arts Front, Feral Arts, Screen Australia and Regional Arts Victoria.

The structure and content for this symposium was developed through many discussions and consultations with the Victorian and Australian creative industries, and particularly via our collaborations with our project partners. We would particularly like to thank our presenting partner The Wheeler Centre and their incredible team for their contributions.


Places are limited

Fair Play Symposium | Melbourne | 26-27 Feb 2019

Register now