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Creative Associate - Executive Leadership Program

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

A newly created position, the Creative Associate will contribute to the artistic leadership of our company by adding their voice across our program and will play a key role in informing the company’s future vision. The Creative Associate will participate in the delivery of the artistic program including developing new works, creatively driving the artist development and education programs, publicly representing the company, and contributing to its strategic vision.


ILBIJERRI is one of Australia’s leading theatre companies creating innovative contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists that challenge and connect with audiences. ILBIJERRI believes in the power of First Nations voices. Our creative processes support the empowerment of First Nations artists and communities to tell our stories, from our perspective.

Established in 1990 and based in Melbourne, ILBIJERRI is the longest running First Nations theatre company in Australia. Since 1990 we have been initiating and developing performances in collaboration with our community and artists. ILBIJERRI productions tour nationally and internationally, receiving critical acclaim and resonating with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences.

Mission: ILBIJERRI Theatre Company creates challenging and inspiring theatre by First Nations artists that gives voices to our Cultures.

Vision: Our voices are powerful in determining the future of Australia. Our Culture is respected, celebrated, and embraced.


At ILBIJERRI, we share leadership and we work collaboratively. We are careful and compassionate, making consensus decisions after focused deliberation. Our work is about nurturing voices and growing leadership in others. To empower others, we lead from behind.


The power of Indigenous voices: We work with First Nations storytellers (writers, directors, actors, key creatives, theatre practitioners) to tell our stories through high quality theatre as a continuation of our Culture.

Indigenous protocols and ways of working: We respect our people, Community and artists by working in accordance with the protocols of our own Community, and those whose Country we are working on.

Self-determination: We ensure First Nations people drive all key decision-making processes within ILBIJERRI.

Respect: We always give our fullest respect to our people, our Elders, our Culture and Country and to all peoples with whom we share our land.

Indigenous diversity: We respect, celebrate, and embrace the cultural diversity of First Nations peoples, our stories, our Culture and our experiences.


The Creative Associate role is a position for candidates passionate about investing their creativity into ILBIJERRI’s core program whilst also participating in a bespoke mentorship program aimed at developing the skills and experience to become a future Executive/CEO/Artistic Director within the First Nations performing arts sector.

Working directly with the Executive Director and Artistic Director, and across the producing team, the Creative Associate will support and actualise ILBIJERRI’s core creative business and its strategic vision of creating, presenting, and touring powerful and engaging theatre, creatively controlled by First Nations artists.

The Creative Associate will be involved in producing and providing creative support for core creative business including creative developments, rehearsal and presentation of major scale works, health works and touring shows and the artist development programs, ILBIJERRI Ensemble and BlackWrights. Though they will be engaged across the whole program, the Creative Associate will be encouraged to develop and present their own creative work over the two-year engagement.


At the core of ILBIJERRI’s mandate is to mentor and develop the next generation of First Nations artists and arts administrators to take up leadership positions across the sector. The Executive Leadership Program is an exciting and unique opportunity for First Nations candidates wishing to progress their career and leadership skills to the next level. Included in the position is a structured professional development program where the Creative Associate will receive:

  • A bespoke program of external professional development opportunities depending on the candidates’ aspirations and needs.
  • Attendance at key national and international performing arts markets in ILBIJERRI’s engaged markets.
  • One-on-one external mentoring tailored to individual professional needs.
  • Cultural guidance and support through ILBIJERRI’s Elders-in-Residence program.
  • In-house development in producing, marketing, fundraising, operational and financial management and governance.

At the end of the program, the Creative Associate will have gained/achieved:

  • The ability to produce small to major scale works for presentation at a local, national and international level.
  • A deep and extensive understanding of what it takes to be an arts leader within a fast paced, vibrant arts company.
  • A strong knowledge of international market development and national arts touring.
  • Strong working knowledge and relationships with First Nations artists, Communities, arts partners, funders, and other key stakeholders.
  • Strong professional networks across the Australian performing arts sector.
  • Hands-on experience in managing a small to medium arts company including decision-making skills, strategic planning, resource management, administrative and financial management, and implementing multi-faceted projects and programs that align with the company’s vision and mandate.


The Creative Associate’s key responsibilities will be adapted to suit the experience and ambition of the successful candidate. We anticipate that these responsibilities will include some, or all, of the following:

  • Working with the Leadership Team on developing and delivering ILBIJERRI’s artistic program and artist development initiatives.
  • Contributing to the artistic vision and strategic goals of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company.
  • Creating, directing, writing and/or providing dramaturgical support for new work.
  • Directing and overseeing remounts of existing work.
  • Overseeing the presentation of workshops/dialogues/sessions in schools and communities across Victoria and throughout Australia.
  • Representing the organisation at key sector events nationally and Internationally
  • Producing company work including the development and management of budgets, schedules, and contracts

In addition, the Creative Associate will be expected to:

  • Assist the Executive Director to oversee the daily operations and management of the company.
  • Assist the Artistic Director to oversee the implementation of the company’s artistic program.
  • Assist the leadership team to achieve the goals within the company’s strategic plan and market development plan.
  • Maintain strong relationships with members of First Nations and arts communities as well as key partners and stakeholders.
  • Create and maintain accurate project coordination processes.
  • Coordinate other activities as needed to support the company's external work including annual company, special and community events.
  • Ensure First Nations protocols are achieved in all day-to-day activities and internal and external communications.
  • Undertake research projects and/or other duties as needed and directed by the Co-CEOs or General Manager.
  • Provide general support for the day to day smooth running of the office
  • Develop and maintain excellent communication skills and a proven ability to build and maintain relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander/First Nations communities. This includes the ability to work successfully with a diverse range of people including artists, youth, presenters, educators, stakeholders, funders and First Nations community members.

Please read through the Full Position Description and if you have further questions about the role, please call Sarah Greentree on 0402 405 746 or email sarahg@ilbijerri.com.au using the subject line: Creative Associate - Executive Leadership Program enquiry via EthicalJobs.

This role is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and The Ian Potter Foundation.

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