The 2023 APAF Digital Program is an opportunity for artists and arts workers from around the country to join the conversation by accessing a selection of streamed sessions across all three days of the forum. Facilitated by performance maker, Kate Sulan, the APAF digital offering will also aim to make space for delegates to connect with likeminded colleagues and practitioners.  

The program will run from Tuesday 12 – Friday 15 September.  

If you have access requirements that may be relevant to accessing the Digital Program, please email Claire or call us, so we can make sure you have an excellent experience.



Online Workshop, 10 11AM

Queensland delegates are invited to join Arts QLD for this online information session about funding opportunities for the local performing arts sector.


Online Gathering, 5 – 6PM

Indigenous delegates are invited to connect, before the forum officially kicks off, at a casual afternoon catch-up.

Hosted by Emily Coleman (Associate Curator, 2023 APAF)


OPENING KEYNOTE – on becoming better ancestors

Streamed Session, 1 – 2PM

A multi-generational panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and non-binary artists reflect on the past to consider the future they’ll leave behind. The continuation of a long history and ancient line of matriarchs, these five artists “consider legacy” in relation to kinship and a shared cultural responsibility to community and country. 

Speakers include Chelsea Watego and Nayuka Gorrie
Moderated by Michelle Tuahine


Streamed Session, 2 – 2:30PM

Hear from advocacy and funding bodies about the latest workforce, funding, and skills development opportunities for the performing arts sector.   

  • Arts QLD (Kirsten Herring – Deputy Director General)
  • Creative Australia  (Annette Madden – Head of Theatre)
  • MEAA  (Michelle Rae – Organising Director)
  • Theatre Network Australia (Erica McCalman – Chair)


ON COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY – co-designing the future of the arts sector  

Streamed Session, 10 – 11AM

What are we doing, right now, as a sector, that will have value in a generation? How can we embed and enact hope so that the ripple effect is significant? And what support do we all need to leave a lasting legacy for generations of artists to come? 

Using the inclusive Open Space Technology (introduced at ATF in 2009 by Improbable Theatre, and utilised again in 2011), delegates are invited to develop a vision for what our performing arts sector will look like 10, 20 and 100 years from now. 

Session #1*: Coming together to decide priorities – the first part of Co-Designing the Future, led by Lenine Bourke and Nathan Stoneham, will bring online and in-person delegates together to decide priorities. Delegates will deliberate on topics, ideas, and priority areas that are essential to keep, invent or reinvent for the wider arts sector and future colleagues, collaborators, and stakeholders.

We encourage delegates to connect with likeminded friends and colleagues ahead of the forum, to discuss potential ideas for the working groups – come with a topic/conversation starter to contribute and volunteer to host a conversation (but also, no pressure).   

Led by Lenine Bourke & Nathan Stoneham 

*Please note that digital delegates are invited to watch this session for context – you will have an opportunity to decide priorities and run your own working groups later in the day.

WORKSHOP – on holding space

Streamed Workshop, 11:30AM 1PM

Community, Connection & Cultural Safety

This session will offer an opportunity to communally imagine ways to grow a culturally safe performing arts community. We will define cultural safety and use a needs-based lens to discuss trauma-informed approaches and share frameworks that can underpin collaborations and performance making. 

Facilitated by Sukhjit Khalsa (The Blue Room Theatre), Katrina Irawati Graham (La Boite Theatre) & Perun Bonser 

ON COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY – co-designing the future of the arts sector 

Session #2: Online delegates decide priorities 

Online Gathering, 2 3:30PM

Delegates are invited to a digital gathering facilitated by performance maker and former Artistic Director of Rawcus, Kate Sulan and Footscray Community Arts’ Asha Bee Abraham. This session is an opportunity to connect with other online delegates, discuss this year’s theme – ‘considering legacy’, unpack attended sessions, and decide on priorities for the online arm of Co-Designing the Future (taking place later in the afternoon).

Hosted by Kate Sulan & Asha Bee Abraham (Footscray Community Arts)

ON COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY – co-designing the future of the arts sector 

Online Workshop, 4 6PM

Session #3: Digital Working Groups 

Breaking off into working groups – delegates will plan how their idea, project, vision, or specific need can be met, by whom, when and how. This is it, the big brainstorming session – an opportunity to co-design alternative futures for the arts with your fellow delegates.

All relevant decisions, ideas, and takeaways will be documented online.  

Facilitated by Kate Sulan & Asha Bee Abraham (Footscray Community Arts)


KEYNOTE CONVERSATION – on alternative realities  

with Louise Bezzina & Maxine Doyle (UK)

Streamed Session, 9 10AM

Louise Bezzina (Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival) hosts this one-on-one conversation with independent artist and choreographer, Maxine Doyle (Salamander, The Burnt City, Sleep No More).  

Drawing on decades of experience and her impressive breadth of work with UK company, Punchdrunk, this conversation will delve into Maxine’s expansive independent practice, collaborative processes, creative leadership, and ongoing commitment to centring audience experience in the creation of large-scale work(s) across genre, form and context.  

WORKSHOP – on the future of arts leadership   

Streamed Session, 12 – 1:30PM

Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.
– bell hooks, “Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope” (2013) 

As we contemplate recovery and renewal, the role of the arts leader comes into sharp focus. Critical questions emerge: Is our leadership narrative in danger of being consumed by notions of stress, strain and overwhelm? How can we speak about these real challenges while at the same time developing a consciousness desire and capacity for sectoral reform? Where can we turn to for models that challenge, uplift, and extend?  

The discourse on arts leadership over the past few years has reasonably centred around COVID recovery and the long-term impacts on an ecosystem that, in many ways, was already under tremendous strain.  

One aspect of our leadership discourse that was suspended during the pandemic relates to the diversity agenda. It is time to reconnect with our ambitions to be more diverse, representative, and equitable, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because in our search for answers about how to lead beyond our present challenges, we must remember that true diversity is about doing things differently.  

Embedding different worldviews, practices, knowledges, and sensibilities at the heart of leadership practice enables a forward vision that propels us into a new landscape – let’s begin the conversation with all of us together in the room, making space for many voices. 

Led by Veronica PardoAngharad Wynne-Jones & Karilyn Brown  

PRESENTATION – on sustainable inclusion

Streamed Session, 2:30 3:30PM

It’s 2023 and arts organisations are still working out the response to the global charge for diversity, equity and inclusion action from 2020. But just as quickly as the black squares of solidarity came down, the people brought in to diversify our stages are leaving.  

Effie Nkrumah, Lead Facilitator at Stage A Change, speaks about the ABIDE framework of Access, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity and offers considerations for a future that includes and uplifts Australia’s people along with their perspectives and practices.  

With the strong need for a plan for the sustainability of new artists, new audience, and new administrators, Effie will speak about the line between tokenistic actions for 2023 and commitments for inclusion and representation to create, amplify and sustain new voices for the next 100 years. 

Led by Effie Nkrumah (Stage A Change) 

ON COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY – co-designing the future of the arts sector 

Streamed Session, 4 5PM

Session #3: The wrap-up – top-line discussion points and ideas will be shared with the wider delegation, with action-based outcomes recorded and presented to the wider arts sector at the conclusion of the forum. This session will close out APAF on Friday 15 September – we encourage delegates to stick around and take collective responsibility for actioning your ideas!   

and CLOSING REMARKS with Ethan Enoch-Barlow