Angela's cover image
Angela

Angela DRIVER

Year of Award: 2007 Award State: Tasmania Arts - Performing > General
The Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to examine how performance events can create a shift in ideas and perceptions within a community with emphasis on social and political empowerment - USA, Canada, U.K., South Africa
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Receiving a Churchill Fellowship was a game changer for Angela’s career.

She had already carved a formidable career in the arts as a theatre director, festival producer and arts administrator, with organisations including Tasdance, Streets Alive Youth Arts Festival and Second Story Theatre.

After her Fellowship she became the Northern Development Officer with Tasmanian Regional Arts. This morphed into a promotion as the General Manager of the 2010 Regional Arts Australia National Conference and the inaugural Junction Arts Festival – both titled Junction 2010 and held in Launceston.

Junction 2010 was an overwhelming success, attracting 710 Australian and overseas delegates.

Meanwhile the Junction Arts Festival, which wrapped around the conference, attracted some 62,000 people to the 47 festival events. The festival included exhibitions, theatre, dance, opera, installations, participatory events and a big top featuring live music and performances each evening.

One of the highlights of the festival program was a work called Haircuts by Children, which was the third in a series of collaborations between Canada’s Mammalian Diving Reflex and Mowbray Heights Primary School. This project saw teams of ten-year-olds cutting the hair of adults in an inner city salon. Really a project about breaking down the hierarchies between adults and children, Haircuts is at the cutting edge of participatory and community-based art. The relationship between Mowbray and Mammalian was facilitated by Angela as a result of her Fellowship.

The economic benefit of the conference and festival to Launceston and Tasmania was around AUD $2.6 million. The positive response to the festival resulted in Angela securing funding from Events Tasmania to make it an annual fixture. The festival continues to flourish today under Natalie de Vito, who moved to Tasmania after visiting numerous times with Mammalian Diving Reflex.

Angela attributes her ability to successfully lead the Junction 2010 conference and festival to her Churchill Fellowship, and is proud to have left such a legacy for the Tasmanian community.

In 2009, wanting to continue her professional development and armed with the confidence of being a Churchill Fellow, Angela successfully applied for the Tasmanian Leaders Program. This 12-month professional development program catapulted her career into a different direction as she is now the General Manager of the organisation, dedicated to making Tasmania a better place to live, work and do business by helping business and community leaders ‘be better’.

She remains committed to the arts in Tasmania as a non-executive director of the Junction Arts Festival and Chair of Mudlark Theatre, and attributes a lot of her success to her Fellowship.

Outside of work Angela lives in Launceston and has two children who help keep her feet firmly planted on the ground. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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