Talent knows no boundaries as NIDA Open launches Equity Program to empower new creatives

Talent knows no boundaries. But in Australia, it’s still the case that finance, geographical location and school can prevent a young person from experiencing the empowerment and joy that creativity can bring.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art’s Open program is offering over $50,000 worth of complimentary tuition in 2021 to help young people and adult emerging artists who are experiencing financial or other disadvantage to achieve their full creative potential.

Julian Joshua Dolor, or JJ as he likes to be known, was just 13 when he joined the NIDA Open Musical Theatre 101 program in Chatswood, Sydney.

It was JJ’s first ever workshop, despite being chosen as one of the Young Simbas in The Lion King International Tour back in 2018. Looking back on that moment, JJ said he ‘noticed a change on my outlook in that I saw the potential of a career in the performing arts, but only if I worked hard. It inspired me even more to keep on working for my dreams and aspirations.’

Often it takes just one open door to unleash the passion and empower the imagination of a young or emerging artist. Providing equity of access to our short course program is a large part of the journey to ensuring everyone can explore their creative side through a NIDA program, said NIDA’s Director of Public Programs, Tricia Ryan.

JJ realises he learnt a ‘deeper understanding of the challenges every musical actor has to go through. And that those challenges, result in unique and beautiful theatre experiences, both for the performer and the audience.’

When Payge Karovolos-Dymott, from regional Queensland High School Gin Gin, took advantage of the opportunity in 2019 to take part in NIDA Drama School classes through the NIDA Open Equity Scholarship program it had a huge impact on her life as a creative young person.

The impact was felt across her school as drama and English teacher, Louise Mayocci, explains. ‘As a regional school, we rarely have opportunities to experience the arts or collaborate with students outside of our area. The NIDA Open Equity Scholarship helped give Payge confidence and skills to grow her acting abilities. She was able to bring that experiences and the activities she did back to the classroom, so we all could benefit.’

‘NIDA delivers world-class exploratory, creatively challenging and inspiring performing arts training,’ said NIDA’s Tricia Ryan. ‘We’re committed to supporting the rich diversity of aspiring creative talent across the Australian cultural landscape. This is why NIDA is proud to once again offer the Equity Scholarships for our online and face to face short courses in 2021.

‘We’re looking to ignite the creativity of young and emerging artists in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and across the country through our online programs by offering complimentary tuition on any NIDA Open short course throughout 2021.’<

Louise Mayocchi sums it up. ‘My advice for anyone considering taking part, is to pour your heart into this experience and take every opportunity with both hands. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there with students from across the state, as you’ll gain a new perspective which will be invaluable.’


The NIDA Open Equity Scholarships are available throughout the year and are open to all adult students aged 18+ and primary or secondary school students nationally, regardless of previous experience or professional ambition.

Applications can be made by individuals or by an organisation on behalf of a young person or emerging artist identified as a suitable scholarship applicant.

Students in the following age brackets are eligible to apply in 2021:

Children in school grades 3–6
Young people in school grades 7–12
Adults aged 18+ in face-to-face classes
Adults aged 16+ in online classes

Application closing date:

There are four application deadlines each year. The first round is for the Term 2 and Winter Holidays programs. Apply by Monday 15 March. All details and how to apply are on the NIDA website.


Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

Peter J Snee

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