• ACCELERATE 2015 participants ((Image: Supplied))Source: (Image: Supplied)
Five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts professionals have this week been selected to undertake a leadership skills development programme.
Yasmin Noone

2 Sep 2015 - 1:11 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2015 - 1:12 PM

Five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts professionals have been selected to fast track their careers by partaking in the 2015 annual leadership skills development programme, ACCELERATE, the British Council announced at an event in Sydney on Tuesday.

A designer, producer, visual artists, dancer and musician were chosen from a pool of creative applicants throughout Australia.

British Council director Helen O’Neil said she was confident that the five accomplished leaders chosen to be involved in this year’s program would flourish in their future careers.

“Over the past five years, ACCELERATE has attracted some of the most diverse and talented individuals from the arts sector,” Ms O’Neil said.

The participants announced for the 2015 ACCELERATE programme are:

  • Marcus Corowa – a musician from New South Wales;
  • Carly Sheppard – a dancer and choreographer from Victoria;
  • Emma Loban – a visual arts and museums curator from Queensland;
  • Teegan Cowlishaw – a fashion designer from Western Australia;
  • Angela Flynn – a producer and arts manager from South Australia.

“Each year, we see participants successfully using their ACCELERATE experience to flourish in leadership positions, and I’m sure this year will be no exception,” she said.

“Marcus, Carly, Emma, Teegan and Angela are incredibly accomplished future leaders and we are extremely proud to welcome them to the ACCELERATE cohort.”

The successful five will now go on to participate in three days of facilitated workshops to explore their understanding of leadership before traveling to the United Kingdom to fill a professional placement and receive mentoring tailored to their artistic field.

NITV News’ Natalie Ahmat hosted the ACCELERATE celebration held at Sydney’s Carriageworks.

“This year’s participants are about to begin their own challenging and inspiring sessions,” she told attendees.

“They will ponder their personal effectiveness as leaders and discuss what it means to be a leader within an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander context.”

The event featured a live musical performance from one of this year’s ACCELERATE participants, Marcus Corowa, and an address on leadership from IndigenousX creator Luke Pearson.

“I believe that with opportunity comes responsibility,” Mr Pearson said. “I see the ACCELERATE recipients as links in a chain, they have a great opportunity to go out and develop their skills on a global level but it is also important for them to then support the others that will follow them. After all, that’s what true leadership is about.”

The leadership intensive aims to enhance the participants’ understanding of their own leadership styles and provide them with the practical skills necessary to develop their career pathways.

Participants will also be able to join the national ACCELERATE alumni network. The idea behind the alumni is for participants to harness knowledge gained from the experience and pass it on to their peers, creative sectors and communities.