The goal behind the NIDA Connect program was to provide access to world-class creative industry training for local teaching artists and aspiring young people. Its focus was on regional students aged 15 – 18 who are looking to train up in acting, writing, design and technical production.

RiPA and NIDA vetted four trainers who completed NIDA’s “Train the Trainer” course to become Teaching Artists for our region.

Cassie Wynan (Acting), Oumi Karenga-Hewitt (Writing for Performance), Cynthia Arel (Design in Performance) and Sam Webber (Technical Production)

RiPA partnered with regional schools including Yanco Agricultural High School, Leeton High School, St Francis De Sales Regional College, Murrumbidgee Regional High School and Marian Catholic College to market workshops to students.

Through these partnerships RiPA and NIDA engaged aspiring students aged 15 to 18 to participate in skills development workshops in four areas of performing arts: Acting, Writing, Design and Technical Production.


  • Acting – 16 students
  • Writing – 9 students
  • Design – 6 students
  • Technical Production – 7 students

Leeton TAFE and Griffith Regional Theatre provided spaces to teach workshops with no charge for venue hire. Equipment, technology and practical support were provided where required. Three community members participated by volunteering their time to supervise students during lunchbreaks. Our newly trained Teaching Artists, working in collaboration with NIDA provided face-to-face practical learning to students over 16 hours to build fundamental performance and technical skills. 8 hours of additional self-paced distance learning was provided by NIDA for students to continue their training at their own convenience, rounding out the training.

Student feedback:

“I learnt a lot of tools to help my writing and was engaged the whole time.“

“I enjoyed the course and learnt useful tips to help me develop my skills.”

“It would be an amazing course to have frequently.”

“Loved that NIDA was reaching out to regional students.”

NIDA Feedback:

“Throughout our NIDA Connect partnership RiPA honoured and delivered on the agreement as set out in the MOU.”