Director appointed for CDU’s new Academy of Arts

Charles Darwin University

A new Director has been appointed to run Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new Academy of the Arts, to shape the direction of the academy and invigorate creative education in the Northern Territory.

Dr Amanda Morris has been appointed as the Academy’s Director and brings considerable experience in the arts and education sectors including 17 years at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), most recently in the role of Executive Director Conservatoire.

At NIDA, Dr Morris was also instrumental in establishing VET courses and in developing the NIDA Open Program, a performing arts short course program, which attracted up to 15,000 people annually across Australia.

CDU’s Academy of the Arts will look to invigorate creative education in the Northern Territory by delivering a range of education programs in visual, screen and the performing arts.

A vibrant arts and cultural hub will be developed with students able to collaborate with each other, arts practitioners and teachers on exhibitions, screenings, performances, and festivals.

Studio spaces will be available for students in screen printing, printmaking, ceramics, digital design, screen media, music performance and recording and theatre production.

On her appointment, Dr Morris said she is looking forward to working with CDU staff and students as well as the broader Northern Territory arts community to develop the Academy.

“CDU has the opportunity to create a unique Academy of the Arts, one that gives focus to contemporary Australian arts across disciplines and is informed by and celebrates First Nations arts practices,” Dr Morris said.

“A significant part of my role will be to help shape CDU’s Academy of the Arts so that art lovers from across the Territory can study visual and performing arts without feeling like they need to leave the Territory.”

“I will look to seek ideas from a range of stakeholders including CDU staff, students, alumni and the broader NT arts community to ensure the Academy provides a collaborative and creative environment for our students to develop their skills.”

“I plan to draw on connections in the arts from across Australia and internationally to collaborate with us and set up partnerships to support our students so that young, emerging artists can graduate with the skills and confidence to make a rewarding career of their own,” she said.

College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts, Dean Professor Ruth Wallace, said Dr Morris’s appointment as the Director of the Academy of the Arts will ensure its success.

“CDU is exceptionally pleased to have Amanda on board to fill this role and she brings with her exceptional skills, experience and a wealth of knowledge,” Professor Wallace said.

“Amanda’s knowledge and expertise will ensure that CDU has the best person to help shape and grow the Territory’s own Academy of the Arts which will bring together emerging artists, experts, creatives and the broader community.”

Dr Morris comes to CDU having previously worked at several other Universities across Australia and internationally and has led the development of a variety of arts and education projects across the Asia Pacific region.

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