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16 Jun 2022

Arts Centre Melbourne introduces ground-breaking technical training program to Queensland theatres

Arts Centre Melbourne has announced it will partner with Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and Stage QLD to deliver a $750,000 accredited industry training program for performing arts technical crews. The first of its kind collaboration, funded by the Post-COVID Collaborative Funding Round, builds on Arts Centre Melbourne’s Arts Industry Learning initiative, and Tech Connect training program.

The Post-Covid Collaborative Funding Round is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund, Gandel Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, The Ian Potter Foundation and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

“Arts Centre Melbourne’s Tech Connect program is a ground-breaking initiative as it is the only one in Australia that operates in a working theatre space. We are thrilled to deliver this successful program in Queensland where there is an immediate and ongoing need for an industry-based Registered Training Organisation. It’s so important that we take a leadership role in helping the performing arts sector recover from the long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ says Arts Centre Melbourne Interim CEO Leanne Lawrence.

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Tech Connect QLD training builds upon the Tech Connect Victoria program, funded by Creative Victoria, that has delivered training in regional centres including Horsham, Shepparton, Gippsland and Geelong. The Queensland program will provide and deliver accredited industry training that creates sustainable employment pathways for young technical crews within the arts sector to deliver the next generation of theatre technicians. The training model combines formal classroom-based study with structured mentoring in theatres enabling trainees to work alongside the industry’s top technical specialists, directors, designers and performers.

“Many young people aspire to work in the arts, but it becomes a reality for only a few. Especially for young people in the regions, industry-relevant stage production skills training is scarce or non-existent. VFFF is delighted to support the Tech Connect partnership between Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Arts Centre Melbourne, to facilitate young people learning on the job in performing arts venues,’’ says Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jenny Wheatley.

“While we often collaborate with our friends at Arts Centre Melbourne to tour first-class international acts, it is wonderful to now work with them behind the scenes to build future resilience across the Queensland arts and cultural sector by supporting emerging artists and technical capacity. QPAC is grateful for the support of the Tech Connect QLD funding partners, particularly Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, and we look forward to commencing the program in early 2023,” says QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas.

“Arts Centre Melbourne’s training program is the gold standard for traineeships within the Live Theatre sector and this program allows opportunity to be delivered to our regional venues whilst allowing trainees to also experience the workings of Queensland’s premier performing arts precinct, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre,’’ says Stage Queensland Technical Committee Chair Tim Panitz.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s unique, nationally accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – Arts Industry Learning – will provide training to Technical Supervisors (Certificate IV level) & Trainees (Certificate III level). The RTO will deliver face to face training and assessment requirements over annual 2–3-week designated block training periods with QPAC nominated as the training hub for the first year. For the following years, block training periods will align with Stage QLD conferences in other host/hub venues state-wide.

Arts Centre Melbourne training will also include industry-specific mental health sessions delivered by the Arts Wellbeing Collective (AWC). The AWC brings together the expertise of mental and allied health professionals with industry insights from its members to co-design resources and services that support positive mental health for people working in the performing arts.

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