Join the Cultural Shift Towards Increasing Disability Leadership

In August 2014, AAA’s CEO Emma Bennison will travel to the United Kingdom in order to discover why there are more leaders with disability in the UK. But before she goes Emma needs your help!


Artists, arts workers, policy makers and emerging and current arts leaders with or without disability are invited to take part in an open discussion about the project via teleconference. This will be an opportunity for you to get an overview of the proposal and to have your say about what the focus areas of the research should be. We would love to get your thoughts and ideas.


Why we need your help

One in five Australians are people with disability, yet few opportunities exist for them to take on leadership roles in the arts and cultural sector. Even in peak arts and disability organisations, where it might be reasonable to assume numbers of leaders with disability would be higher, only three leaders currently identify as people with disability.

Emma will research successful disability leadership models, and the ways in which they can be used to further opportunities for people with disability to take up leadership roles across the Australian arts sector. Emma wants to consult with a range of people to make sure the research is relevant and driven by the arts and disability sector in Australia.

Emma said:

“I want to take everyone who’s passionate about increasing disability leadership in Australia on a journey with me. I want to make sure their voices are heard in the questions I ask of experts in the UK and bring back answers that are relevant and can influence change.”


How to get involved

In order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate, three teleconference sessions will be held as follows:

Tuesday June the 24, at 2 PM EST;

Tuesday June 24, at 8 PM EST; and

Thursday June 26, at 10 AM EST.

If you would like to join one of these sessions, please RSVP by Friday June 20, 2014, by emailing: with “Leadership” in the Subject line, detailing an access requirements.

A copy of the dial-in details for the teleconference will be sent to you when we receive your RSVP.

If you are not able to attend one of these sessions but would still like to contribute your ideas about the project, you can contact Emma Bennison on the details below, to arrange a suitable time for a conversation via phone or E-mail. To contact Emma you can call or text: 0419 201 338 or email:

You can also subscribe to Emma’s blog about the project here:


A bit of history

This video shares a bit of history behind Emma Bennison's appointment as the first CEO of AAA with disability.

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What we've been Tweeting about ...

ArtsAccessAust The internet is celebrating this 6-year-old's powerful response to someone calling her brother 'weird' via @mashable
ArtsAccessAust 14 empowering hashtags for people to celebrate their disabilities online via @mashable
ArtsAccessAust NFP CEO Named Victorian Telstra Business Woman of the Year via @probononews
ArtsAccessAust RT @AccEase: Thanks @ArtsAccessNZ for a great networking #artsacess forum. & meeting with Emma from @ArtsAccessAust.
ArtsAccessAust RT @ArtsAccessNZ: Claire introduces Emma Bennison @ArtsAccessAust, speaking on disability leadership & employment. Great stuff 4 Welly #Art