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On Sunday 6 December, the National Institute of Dramatic Art launched an exciting addition to the award-winning institution – a new Graduate School – with a gala event at the Kensington campus.

Hollywood star and NIDA graduate Mel Gibson AO, Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and Minister for the Arts the Hon Senator Mitch Fifield joined NIDA Director/CEO Lynne Williams, NIDA Chair Jennifer Bott AO and NIDA Foundation Trust Chair Peter Ivany AM, to officially open the building.

Hacksaw Ridge star Teresa Palmer and husband Mark Webber and NIDA alumni including Kurt Phelan (Dirty Dancing Musical), Marney McQueen (Hair to the Throne Cabaret Show) and Sacha Horler (The Dressmaker) as well as donors, friends and supporters from across the arts and entertainment industry were in attendance to celebrate this momentous occasion in NIDA’s history.

After walking the red carpet, guests were welcomed into a beautiful exhibition of work by current NIDA students and entertained by alumni from across the years. This was followed by a grand tour of the Graduate School and an evening of celebration.

Comprising a two-storey addition to the award-winning campus, the new school is an important expansion for NIDA. It provides a dedicated space for the institute’s growing suite of Master of Fine Arts courses, with purpose-built facilities where Australia’s future creative leaders can study, research, collaborate and create innovative new work.

Lynne Williams welcomed guests and said how wonderful it was to share this moment with so many of NIDA’s friends and supporters.

“This is not just a significant chapter in NIDA’s evolution. The Graduate School is a huge step forward for the Australian performing arts industry. It will provide many more opportunities for creative professionals to explore new ways of making work and new ways of engaging with audiences,” commented Ms Williams.

“Our graduates will reinforce Australia’s competitiveness in the global arts and entertainment industry and ensure Australian voices continue to celebrate, challenge and articulate who we are as a nation.

“I would like to thank the Australian Government, the NIDA Board, the NIDA Foundation Trust and our many supporters, without whom this project would not have been possible.”

Photography by Belinda Rolland.


Angus Wilkinson

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