The Australian Ballet

On the road with the Education and Outreach team

National Tour Week 3 Highights 2

2023 continues to be a rollercoaster of activities for The Australian Ballet. We learn about the importance of cultivating creativity in the wider community with the Education and Outreach team.

The Australian Ballet’s Education and Outreach team have been busy sharing their passion for dance across the nation. This year they headed out to the NRL Cowboys House in Townsville (Thul Garrie Waja/Gurrumbilbarra), to run a week-long residency. Held in the unique, culturally safe boarding facility for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from some of Australia's most remote communities. The young people who attended the residency attend partner schools across Townsville.

Jasmin Dwyer from the Education and Outreach team chats to Behind Ballet about the program and some of the highlights.


Students and staff at the NRL Cowboys House
Photo The Australian Ballet

What was the response to workshops?

It was really positive! For the first time, there were more participants on the second day which was great to see.

It was the first time we’ve held a residency at the NRL Cowboys House, and the young people were really interested in doing a choreographic project. It’s great to be able to facilitate the week-long creative projects, as it means the students can really develop their skills and it creates space for a richer arts experience.

National Tour Week 2 Highights 002

Our trusty tour bus
Photo The Australian Ballet

Why do you think these programs are so important for young people to be part of?

We believe that everyone has the right to a high-quality arts experience regardless of where they’re from. Everyone should have the opportunity to be involved in art and culture, not just those who live closer to big cities. It also helps to encourage the next generation of creative voices. By reaching out to the wider community we’re expanding our network and nurturing a diverse range of potential creatives.

WA 1

Students and staff on the Western Australian leg of the program
Photo The Australian Ballet

What are some of the best things about taking these programs out into the wider community?

One of best things is that I’ve seen some of the students grow up. I remember meeting them when they were in primary school and now, they’re in high school. It’s great when they remember you and you have that familiarity, so they know what to expect from the workshop, it makes it so much easier.
Other students have gone on to study at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and we bump into them in Melbourne occasionally, which is wonderful.


Awaken Dance Theatre
Photo The Australian Ballet

Your favourite moment from 2023 (so far)?

There was a special moment during the tour through NSW and Victoria. We started a partnership with a high school in Shepparton in 2017 and one of their teachers founded a youth dance company called Awaken. We’ve been mentoring them for a few years and while we were in Shepparton we asked if the dance group would perform a curtain raiser for the show (a curtain raiser is a performance before the main performance).

The Awaken group were kind enough to warm up the stage for us and noticed The Australian Ballet and Australian Ballet School dancers watching them from the wings. They thought they were just waiting to come on stage and were so happy when they realised that they were watching their performance. It was a really special experience for everyone.

Education and Outreach by the numbers:

So far this year our team have taken our programs to:

TAS - Ulverstone, Devonport

VIC - Melbourne, Shepparton

WA- Perth, Geraldton

QLD – Cairns, Townsville

NT – Alice Springs, Darwin


Workshops and presented


Performances of Romeo & Juliet and The Story of Pomi and Gobba.


Total participation at workshops & performances so far...


Collaborations with primary and secondary classes to co-create and present their own performances, based on themes such as chemical sciences, environmental issues, empathy, acceptance and celebration of cultures.