The inaugural Australian Theatre Forum was an invitation to the wider theatre sector to gather and explore new approaches, new thinking and different modes of operation – encouraging failure that would breed innovation, progress and sustainability.

Fourteen years later, we’re gathering in the wake of unprecedented global upheaval and staring down the barrel at economic, social, technological and environmental forces that herald a tidal wave of inevitable disruption.

Much like the rest of the world, we will need to pivot, innovate, and overcome seemingly insurmountable differences to see a different future for the performing arts in so-called Australia.

A future that will become our legacy.

I began my tenure as this year’s curator by having many divergent conversations. I’ve talked about collective tree planting with Angharad Wynne Jones, self-determined arts leadership with Veronica Pardo, the complexity of cultural responsibility with Emily Coleman, and investing in the growth of an arts sector that can support artists to be artists with Nathan Sibthorpe & Nisha Madhan. Nisha also talked about mapping a constellation of her desires, which I think everyone should do at some point their careers.

I know that the wider performing arts sector is riddled with complex challenges, but these conversations, and many more, reminded me that our sector is also full of leaders, thinkers, advocates, artists, and arts workers who have the capacity to enact change that will propel us into the next 100 years.

With TNA’s provocation considering legacy top of mind, this year’s forum is also inspired by the forums that came before, which were curated by some of the sharpest minds in our sector. This year, we continue a tradition of exchange – knowledge, ideas, practices, and provocations – that will shape the future of the performing arts sector.

The 2023 Australian Performing Arts Forum invites everyone to consider the individual legacies we’re each carving out in our respective roles.

I hope that we can all sit together in community while talking, planning and disagreeing in the sessions to come.

I look forward to listening and contributing to the conversations that will unfold.

Thank you for your contributions.

Sanja Simić
Curator, 2023 APAF

CONSIDERING LEGACY: Today, tomorrow & 100 hundred years from now

DAY 1 (today)

The 2023 Australian Performing Arts Forum kicks off with a Welcome to Country, an opening keynote, artform breakouts in Theatre, Dance, Circus & Physical Theatre and Experimental & Multi-Artform practice, alongside performances from local artists, and drinks hosted by Creative Australia.

DAY 2 (tomorrow)

Delegates will be invited to co-design action planning for the national sector with discussion of urgent and emergent issues, alongside a suite of workshops and presentations.

DAY 3 (one hundred years from now)

Delegates will look to the future with candid conversations, international perspectives, and a host of other provocations and invitations to take an active role in shaping the future of the arts sector.


A little bit of industry matchmaking for those who would like to meet someone new at this year’s APAF. Let TNA curate a lunch date for you, with one or two other delegates, on the first or second day of APAF!

Registered delegates will receive more information about locking in a lunch date.


Bring a Plate Dance are hosting a lunch time boogie on DAY 3 of the forum – pack your sneaks, folks! Find them in the Brisbane Powerhouse forecourt and get ready to dance.

Please note this session will be accessible to movers of all stripes, but please get in touch with TNA to chat through any specific access needs.

Start reading the program …