Ausdance VIC elects new board for 2021/22

The peak body for dance in Victoria has elected a refreshed board of directors to lead the organisation in the post-COVID world. The new board was elected at the Ausdance VIC annual general meeting on Monday 24 May.

Chair of the new Ausdance VIC Board is Helen Haines who previously served as Treasurer. Helen says she is delighted to take on the role of chair:

We have a great team at Ausdance VIC; the board and the staff work well together.” Ms Haines says the new board is looking forward to supporting the organisation and harnessing the great skills that new members bring to the board table.

We are looking ahead to the next strategic plan for Ausdance VIC, as well as coming back in 2021, bigger, better, and brighter” after the difficult period pandemic period, Ms Haines says. Our priorities for this year are building the organisation’s capabilities and making use of the talent and experience of our great new board members.

Reflecting on 2020, Ms Haines simply says :

Yuck! What a year,” and recalls it was “devastating” for many in the dance sector, but it also showed the sector’s “resilience and strength of character.Everybody found 2020 difficult,” Ms Haines says, but the ability to recover and “keep things going”, showed the depth of strengths that “people didn’t know they had.

 2020 was difficult for everyone

Ausdance VIC Executive Director Michelle Silby told the AGM that 2020 had been a “tumultuous” year of “unprecedented challenges” for everyone due to the intensity of the COVID-19 lockdowns across Victoria. Dancers, performers, dance / performing arts studio owners, choreographers, teachers and students all had to put their training, rehearsals and performances on hold because of restrictions on public and private gatherings.

New Board Chair Helen Haines adds that the performing arts sector “was hit harder than most,” but that dancers, choreographers and teachers all found the resilience to carry on.

Despite the constraints of 2020, Ms Silby also reported that Ausdance VIC held effective advocacy discussions with the Victorian government around measures to assist the dance sector in its recovery.

Ms Silby said:

We kept our focus on meeting the critical needs of the entire sector.

To assist the sector come to terms with the COVID-19 restrictions, Ausdance VIC facilitated communication   and resources for studio owners and teachers, independent artists and teachers of dance in Victorian schools. Over 800 people participated in online sessions that covered topics such as being COVID-safe in dance spaces, assistance to artists applying for Jobkeeper and other stimulus payments, and establishing return to dance guidelines.

Advocacy work did not let up during the worst of the pandemic with Ausdance VIC continuing to lobby the federal and Victorian governments on behalf of the sector. Ausdance VIC also secured funding for the Think Tank Dance Assembly as a forum for independent dance artists to support each other during lockdowns and to articulate a way forward as the sector emerges from COVID restrictions.

Despite the difficulties of working through the pandemic, Ausdance VIC made some notable progress that strengthened its relationships with the sector and with government decision-makers.

In her final address to the AGM, outgoing chair Kelly Dickson acknowledged that Ausdance VIC had led a creative, innovative and resilient response to the COVID pandemic that had been “truly inspiring”

Ausdance VIC 2021 Board

Chair: Helen Haines
Vice Chair: Amity Jarvis
Secretary: Carmen Pace
Treasurer:  Kate Outridge
Board Member: Alisdair Macindoe
Board Member: Rhys Holden

Additional material about the board members

Helen Haines, Chair
Helen Haines was elected chair after serving a term as treasurer. Helen is the Director and founder
of Dollars + Sense Consulting, a boutique bookkeeping company based in Cremorne. Helen is passionate about seeing small businesses succeed and takes a holistic approach to their business but getting to know why they do what they do, not just the what, or the how. Helen has a range of financial experience in compliance, small business advisory and operational administration. She helps businesses grow, thrive and achieve their goals every day.

In January 2018, her little girl, Francesca, arrived and outside of work family time is her favourite
thing! Between her and her husband they are changing the stereotypical family roles and living the
concept of work-life rhythm. Helen is passionate about the arts and being a part of the Ausdance

Amity Jarvis, Deputy Chair
Amity is an experienced legal professional and arts advocate with extensive engagement in the legal and arts sectors spanning a decade. She is committed to artistic and cultural expression in Australia and loves all forms of dance.

Amity is a senior commercial lawyer with particular expertise in commercial transactions drafting  and review, contract negotiation and corporate advising. Throughout her practice she has provided legal and business advisory services for the creative sector assisting artists and arts organisations and has  accumulated  broad experience in not-for-profit board governance. Amity also has expertise in arts media and marketing having worked with flagship performing arts companies The Australian Ballet, as Publicist, and Bangarra Dance Theatre, as Marketing Manager. She has also worked as a Marketing Consultant managing the strategic marketing activities of Cirque du Soleil, Luna Park and Sydney Dance Company.

Kate Outridge, Treasurer
A CPA qualified senior tax manager, Kate Outridge is passionate about presenting complex financial and performance data in terms her stakeholders understand. Drawing on over 14 years’ industry experience, Kate is currently the Finance Manager for a notfor-profit Health Organisation. Kate also manages her own tax and accounting business, which focuses on supporting small to medium enterprises in all stages of the business cycle. Having held a Treasurer role on a board for a not-for-profit arts organisation, her experience includes providing financial information for the grant acquittals process with local Council, Creative Victoria, and the Australian Arts Council. With a keen focus on individual needs, Kate delivers a truly personalized service to her clients.

Quote attributable to Kate Outridge:

I am excited to support our arts and dance community by helping the Ausdance VIC board to get the most out of their finances especially in the current climate we find ourselves in.

Carmen Pace, Secretary
Carmen Pace has extensive experience in Leadership and Operations. She has worked with NFP, NGOs, Government and Corporations with commitment and a passion to add value.

Carmen is an engaging leader with proven success in managing change and leading complex projects in areas of HR, Finance, Governance, Audit and Risk. Ms Pace has previously held a number of Board positions. Carmen has an interest in the Arts and Culture and is active member of a local community Pop Choir. She is based in Melbourne where she enjoys the city’s diverse culture, food, festivals, and coffee scene.

Quote attributable to Carmen Pace:

I am pleased and honoured to contribute to Ausdance VIC as an active member of the Board, utilising my experience in Strategy, Governance and Risk Management. I am looking forward to a productive association with Ausdance VIC and the wonderful work the organisation undertakes to contribute to and promote an inclusive, diverse, culturally rich dance community. Being able to make a contribution to this effort is also personally rewarding to me.

Rhys Holden, Board Member
Rhys is a passionate advocate for artists and the value of the arts. Currently he is the Associate Producer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for Michael Cassel Group. Prior to joining Michael Cassel Group, Rhys was General Manager of La Boite Theatre Company in Brisbane, leading a significantorganisational growth phase.

Previously, Rhys worked in company management for a range of companies including Really Useful Company on the Asian tour of Cats. At Sydney Theatre Company he worked as Company Manager, line-producing touring productions, commissioning new works and managing the design, build and launch of the STC’s renovated Bar at the End of the Wharf.

Quote attributable to Rhys Holden:

I’m thrilled to be joining the passionate Ausdance VIC Board and Executive Team in advocating  for artists, organizations and the impact of dance in our community. The effects of COVID continue to be felt through the arts community, but Ausdance VIC has not slowed down.There are numerous new festivals and long-term programs underway which I feel will provide great hope to the sector.”

Alisdair Macindoe, Board Member
Alisdair Macindoe is an Australian dancer, sound designer and choreographer. His experience in these fields has taken his work to many countries world-wide, earning critical acclaim in the media and receiving local and international awards including five Greenroom awards, a Helpmann, and a New York Bessie. Notable collaborations include his work as a dancer for Lucy Guerin, Chunky Move, Antony Hamilton, Stephanie Lake and DanceNorth, and his work as a sound designer for Chunky Move, Antony Hamilton, STOMPIN and DanceNorth. His choreographic work includes commissions for DanceNorth, Lucy Guerin, Next Wave, Performance Space, and STOMPIN.

This year Alisdair is in the director’s seat for the presentation of 4 new performance works: Reference Material presented as part of the Darebin Speakeasy program, Progress Report with co director Alison Currie at Vitalstatistix SA, System Error with co-director/performer Tamara Saulwick, and A.I.D. an investigation into computer generated audible dance manuscripts at Dance North.

Quote attributable to Alisdair Macindoe:

Ausdance VIC has touched the lives of so many dance practitioners, artists and students and to be on the board is an honour and privilege. 2020 was such a devastating year for the Australian dance sector, in particular Victorians, and to have a peak body as dedicated and driven to support us as Ausdance VIC was a godsend. As a board member in 2021.look forward to sharing my perspective and insight as an artist working in contemporary dance as the sector starts to rebuild and reform itself.”

Statement from Executive Director, Michelle Silby:

Ausdance VIC would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication given to the organisation by our board members who did not seek re-election, former Chair Kelly Dickson, former Secretary Amy Jennings and former Board Member Kate Denborough who served with passion and commitment and who were incredible advocates for Ausdance VIC and the sector in general.

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