The next step for Disability-led arts initiative Alter State

New Disability, Equity & Inclusion Plan enters formative stage. Arts Centre Melbourne is embarking on a period of profound transformation.

As the organisation thrives to evolve, important initiatives continue to drive disability, access, equity, and inclusion. As Australia’s largest performing arts centre, there is a need to make sure the experiences of the artists, visitors and staff are at the centre of decision making and action.

The release of the Disability, Equity & Inclusion Plan (DEIP) in 2021 has provided a catalyst.

And now Arts Centre Melbourne is developing a roadmap for the future.

Inclusion Coordinator, Telia Nevile is working on the project and offers insight into its progress.

Telia Nevile, Inclusion Coordinator at Arts Centre Melbourne:

Since the release of our first Disability, Equity & Inclusion Plan, we have learnt from, and listened to the disability community.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s Equity & Inclusion Teams are focussed on facilitating changes that make Arts Centre Melbourne a welcoming and inclusive place for our audience, staff, artists and stakeholders.

As Karen Quinlan, Arts Centre Melbourne, CEO:

We know that when we start from a place of inclusion, we break down barriers, we innovate, and the benefit belongs to all.

An intensive period of community consultation has highlighted areas for innovation, and Arts Centre Melbourne is now working on an organisation-wide plan.

We have engaged external access consultant Morwenna Collett, who has worked with organisations such as the Sydney Opera House, the Australia Council, and Back to Back.

Over the last five months we have been led by interviews and focus groups with both internal and external stakeholders.

External stakeholders have included peak bodies, presenters, advocates, advisors, Alter State artists, project partners and audience members. Internally, representatives from 17 teams across Arts Centre Melbourne have contributed their thoughts and input. We’ve also offered our team a range of opportunities to share their ideas and received a fantastic response to a visitor survey.

After listening to our team, stakeholders and community, we’re about to start outlining action items, timelines and measurable outcomes.

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