First Nations Focus

The 2023 Australian Performing Arts Forum curatorial team has considered the representation and involvement of First Nations voices and perspectives at this year’s forum at every step of the process. We recognise and celebrate the invaluable and ongoing contributions of First Nations artists, arts workers, and leaders in our sector.  

2023 APAF brings together a stellar line-up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners, across various art forms and areas of expertise, including Theatre, Dance, Circus & Physical Theatre, and Experimental & Multi-Artform practice. 

We have invited Uncle Lafe Charlton to contribute to the forum as our 2023 Elder in Residence. He will play a crucial role in overseeing and contributing to the forum with their deep cultural knowledge, support, and guidance. His wisdom and experience will enrich the entirety of the event, ensuring that the delivery of the whole program is grounded in authenticity and respect. 

Beyond acknowledging the wisdom and legacy of our Elders, we also believe in fostering the growth of emerging voices and talents within the First Nations community. We are delighted to showcase the work of Ethan Enoch-Barlow, as this year’s responding artist.

Theatre Network Australia and the 2023 APAF team are committed to promoting First Nations artists, their diverse voices and perspectives across the program. We celebrate the leadership and expertise of our artists, practitioners, and leaders, and recognise the significance of cultural guidance and support from our esteemed Elders in Residence. We aim to create a dynamic environment that fosters intergenerational sharing, reciprocity, and respect by striking a balance between the wisdom of Eldership and the fresh energy of emerging voices. 

First Nations Breakout Space   

This breakout space is for all First Nations and Indigenous-identifying participants, and can be utilised for connecting, networking, community support or just to sit down for a rest in between sessions. This space can be accessed any time during the forum. 

Elders in Residence  

Aunty Roxanne McDonald & Uncle Lafe Charlton  

Responding Artist 

Ethan Enoch Barlow