The Colour Cycle Podcast

A podcast to challenge cultural whitewashing

It’s here! The Colour Cycle podcast SEASON 2!

The Colour Cycle Podcast is packed with important ideas, strategies and insights from leading thinkers in the arts. If you’re committed to equity in the creative sectors, then you don’t want to miss this. This season features a special recording of Fair Play season live at the Diversity Arts Symposium, Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.

We’re sharing these thought-provoking and courageous conversations far and wide. Conversations and experiences from First Nations trail blazers Genevieve Grieves and Tony Briggs, international guests like Deborah Williams from the UK’s Creative Diversity Network, Disability leader, artist Caroline Bowditch, Aseel Tayah, Paula Abood, and many more.

Listen to the Season 2 trailer and The Fair Play Season 2 episodes kicking off with Episode 1: First Peoples First on our website below or on all good listening platforms – iTunes, SpotifyWhooshka, PatreonPocket CastsPlayerFMStitcher and Listen Notes.

Legendary hip-hop and soul artist MC Trey composed our title track.

Support Diversity Arts on Patreon to help us continue to deliver our Colour Cycle podcast series.


The Colour Cycle – Season 2

Episode 1: First Peoples First


First People’s First, how do cultural organisations, institutions and arts practitioners put this principle into practice in ways that move beyond tokenism? This is one of the critical issues unpacked in depth by Genevieve Grieves.

Genevieve is a Worimi woman from southeast Australia based in Naarm, sometimes known as Melbourne. She’s an award-winning artist, curator and the Manager, Transformation Strategies in the First Peoples Department at Museums Victoria. This is her keynote address from the Fair Play Symposium, two days of talks and performances put on by Diversity Arts Australia at The Wheeler Centre.

Thanks to all of our Fair Play symposium partners: co-presenter The Wheeler Centre, core funder Creative Victoria, sponsors Ai-Media, British Council, Screen Australia.

Koorie Heritage Trust Inc, Arts Access Victoria, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Arts Front, Feral Arts, Regional Arts Victoria, Abbotsford Convent, Footscray Community Arts Centre.


Episode 2: Towards Creative Sector Self-Determination


Has representation become a buzzword? The representation box is often ticked when “People of Colour”, “First Nations” people and “People With Disability” are ‘invited into’ the conversation for a moment.

But how can we create real systemic change? Tune in to the panel: Towards Creative Sector Self-Determination from our Fair Play symposium at the Wheeler Centre.

Panelists: Eugenia Flynn (Participating Chair + Fair Play Creative Producer), Fiona Tuomy (Artistic Director, The Other Film Festival), Tania Canas (Performer, lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts, RISE Refugee member) and Jason Tamiru (Proud Yorta Yorta man, Associate Producer, Malthouse Theatre).


Episode 3: Diversifying Screen and Stage – Deborah Williams


Tune in to Diversifying Screen and Stage with Deborah Williams, artist and CEO of the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) in conversation with performer, teacher and CEO of Arts Access Victoria​ Caroline Bowditch at The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas​ for Diversity Arts’ Fair Play season.

Deborah Williams tackles assumptions about gender, race, disability and class through screen and stage work in this week’s episode of The Colour Cycle.


Episode 4: State of Play – Equity and Inclusive Practices

 So what is the status quo in terms of access and inclusion in Australia’s creative sector for people from First Nations backgrounds, People with Disability and culturally and linguistically diverse or migrant communities? How do you dismantle existing systems and structures of power? These are just some of the issues tackled by this panel on the ‘State of Play – Equity and Inclusive Practices’ in this week’s episode of The Colour Cycle.

Featuring panelists: Veronica Pardo (Participating Chair, CEO – Multicultural Arts Victoria), Tony Briggs (Acclaimed actor, writer, producer – Cleverman, The Sapphires), Michael Williams (Director – Wheeler Centre), Leah Jing McIntosh (Founder and editor-in-chief – Liminal), Bali Padda (Industry Development Executive – Screen Australia) and Kath Duncan (Researcher, producer, co-founder – Quippings deaf and disabled queer dance troupe).


Episode 5: The Diversity Monologues

After years of talking about diversity in the arts sector, it’s starting to feel like a monologue that only reaches an audience of our own communities, say Dr Paula Abood and Aseel Taya, a Palestinian creative director and installation artist. Aseel says when applying for arts funding, the process is not tolerant of people from migrant backgrounds and even less accommodating for those pitching art that is deemed not “relevant” for Australian audiences.

Dr Paula Abood is a writer, creative producer and educator, and a leading figure in the space for 30 years. She’s calling for the entire funding regime to be restructured because currently the major organisations take the bulk of the money while the small-to-medium sector, where diversity flourishes, is left with the crumbs.

Tune into this week’s Fair Play episode of The Colour Cycle Podcast:


Episode 6: Take it from the Top

In the creative sector, the most visible marker of power can be seen by who occupies positions of leadership, who is on the boards, who judges the awards and runs the company? Who hires? Who dispenses funds? Who signs off on the program or decides what work gets made? Tune in to the “Take it from the Top” panel at the Fair Play Symposium in Melbourne – hosted by Diversity Arts Australia.

Panelists include: Jodie Sizer (Co-CEO – Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting); Jeremy Smith (former Director  -Community, Emerging & Experimental Arts at the Australia Council for the Arts); Koraly Dimitriadis (Cypriot-Australian poet, writer, actor & performer); Jane Crawley (Director – Arts Investment, Creative Victoria); Michael William (former Director – The Wheeler Centre); Katrina Segdewick (CEO – the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Professor James Arvanitakis (former Chair – Diversity Arts Australia & pro Vice Chancellor – Western Sydney University).


Episode 7: Building Aboriginal Cultural Competency

Diversity and inclusion employment practices are often focused on recruitment, but not on retention. Promoting cultural competency in the creative sector is a step towards creating safe spaces that foster and encourage equity. In his keynote at the Fair Play symposium, Rob Hyatt from the Koorie Heritage Trust talks about the importance of identity in workplaces, and specifically addresses the arts sector in his keynote about cultural safety and inclusion.

Rob Hyatt is an Aboriginal man with ties to the Lake Tyers community and the Wotjobaluk in Western Victoria. He is the education manager of the Koorie Heritage Trust and works to foster an understanding of contemporary Aboriginal communities through an awareness of the past.

Rob explains the importance of identity and connection to Aboriginality through heart and mind.

Episode 8: Learning from Frida

In 2014, Caroline Bowditch premiered a dance theatre performance called “Falling in Love with Frida” with both disabled and non-disabled performers, and sign language interpretation embedded at its centre, the award-winning and critically acclaimed piece was shown 93 times to sold-out audiences across the UK and internationally.

In this keynote address, Executive Director of Arts Access Victoria Caroline Bowditch performs a monologue from this piece and then talks about her obsession with Frida Kahlo. She also talks about why it’s important to reclaim Frida Kahlo as a disabled artist, and why her work doesn’t focus on accepted mainstream conventions.





Episode 9: Learning from each other

Genuine diverse leadership has the potential for the audiences who are engaging with culture to see themselves, their narratives and histories, reflected in what they see and experience. This panel discussion includes arts leaders from the UK and Australia who participated in the inaugural year of the INTERSECT program.

INTERSECT is a joint British Council and Diversity Arts Australia knowledge exchange that aims to strengthen international collaboration and connections between diverse and indigenous arts leaders in both countries.

Featured panelists: Anna Hay (Participating Chair – British Council Australia), Adelaide Bannerman, Candy Bowers (Black Honey Company), Jacob Boehme (Yirramboi Festival), Mikala Tai (4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art), Abdul Shayek (Fio), Natalie Ibu (Tiata fahodzi).


Episode 10: The politics of intersectionality

Intersectionality can mean different things for different people and can be applied across a range of settings and in different ways it enables us to understand identity as a complex multi-dimensional category but it can also be an approach to the way we move and work in the world.

And as a practice it provides a foundation for working critically, sensitively and with nuance in the arts.

This panel: Eugenia Flynn, Creative Producer of the Fair Play Symposium; Azizeh Astaneh, a visual artist, graphic designer and founding president of Melbourne Artists for Asylum Seekers; Dominic Golding, an artist and a community worker who has worked with refugees, migrants, and people with disability; Peter Waples Crowe, a Ngarigo queer visual and performing artist, and Aboriginal Health worker; and Jax Jacki Brown, disability and LGBTIQ+ rights activist and Publishability Project Officer at Writers Victoria.

Our final episode for Season 2 is here! Keep an eye on our social media for Season 3 news in the future.

Introducing the Colour Cycle


The Colour Cycle aims to disrupt cultural whitewashing and examines whether Australia’s Arts and Cultural sector looks like Australia. Join the conversation on your socials with #TheColourCycle.

Listen to a short Intro:



The Colour Cycle – Season 1

Episode 1: Creating new reflections


What does it feel like to grow up without seeing yourself reflected on TV? Screenwriter Benjamin Law describes this exclusion as ‘quietly dehumanising’ and a form of ‘structural racism’.

He talks about his comedy series The Family Law changing the face of our TV screens – about casting the predominantly Asian-Australian characters, why quotas work and creating new opportunities and new reflections for writers of colour in Australia.

Listen now to Episode 1:


Episode 2: Making spaces for refugee artists


We talk a lot about the challenges for artists of colour to break into the arts sector and the pervasive stereotypes they face. But what if you’re also trying to manage the added difficulties of language barriers, work and trauma as a recently arrived refugee to Australia? Meet the extraordinary Carolina Triana who has created huge opportunities for artists from refugee backgrounds by establishing the New Beginnings Festival.

Listen now to Episode 2:



Episode 3: Art and Identity politics: What is the Australian voice?

Sunil Badami speaks at Beyond Tick Boxes

The great Australian author David Malouf is never referred to as the Great-Lebanese-Gay-Australian author. So do non-Anglo artists always have to represent the cultural identity of their parents or their birthplace?

Author and TV and radio host Sunil Badami talks about identity politics, and asks, what is the Australian voice and who does it belong to?


Listen now to episode 3:



Episode 4: Making art in exile

We know that people are moving around the world and fleeing persecution, fleeing environmental disaster at a rate that has never before happened in history. Damon Amb was unable to practice his craft in his home country for fear of persecution. He speaks about his journey as a refugee and how he is now working to rebuild his life and re-establish his artistic practice in a new country.


Listen now to episode 4:


Episode 5: Changing the narrative

Zainab Syed is a performance poet from Pakistan, she wears a headscarf so people assume she’s a refugee or has suffered hardship and that her work should reflect this. But her story is one of privilege. How do you change the stereotypes or assumptions made about artists of colour?

We also meet Kevin Bathman whose work about the inter-marriages of Indian and Chinese couples in south-east Asia doesn’t fit easily into most boxes.


Listen now to episode 5:


Episode 6: The Diversity of Australia’s First Peoples

This ancient continent has been populated by diverse groups of people and artists from over 500 language groups and nations. But too often Australia’s indigenous artists are relegated into one box to tick. In this episode, we talk to two important indigenous artists, Lily Shearer and Colin Kinchella about what we can learn from the diversity of Australia’s first peoples.



Listen now to episode 6:


Bonus Episode: Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane

In our first bonus episode we bring you a live recording of the speech from Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommosane, the Beyond Tick Boxes Symposium. It was so good we just had to share it with you. He challenges Australians to think about cultural diversity as more than just going out for souvlaki, dim suns or pho. Dr Soutphommosane also poses the question: is creative expression is a human right?




Listen now:


Bonus Episode: Are we there yet?

Over this podcast series we’ve heard lot’s of strategies for increasing cultural diversity in the arts and on our screens – so are we there yet? Well we’re on our way but still have a long way to go according to a panel discussion which Diversity Arts Australia hosted at the Performing Arts Connections Australia conference (Australia’s peak performing arts body for theatre, dance and performing arts). The panel included some Colour Cycle alumni; Sunil Badami, Benjamin Law, Zainab Syed, Maria Tran and Jackie Bailey.


Listen now:



Bonus Episode: Where are the teeth? Arts leadership

We often talk about the need for quotas to compel arts organisations to include more diversity in their programming. When Create NSW’s Screen division introduced a 50:50 quota for gender they significantly increased the participation of female directors, writers and producers within a very short period of time. So could quotas work to create a more culturally diverse arts sector?

This was a hot topic at the Beyond Tick Boxes symposium in 2017 with an animated panel discussion that we recorded live and nicknamed “Where are the teeth?”

Listen now:



“We want our podcast to open up the conversation about why our arts and screens don’t reflect Australia’s real cultural diversity. We’re also showcasing some brilliant artists and creative workers along the way.”

Lena Nahlous

Growing up without seeing yourself reflected back in your nation’s stories is a quietly dehumanising thing.”

Benjamin Law

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