Australia/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

There is a wide range of programs available in Australia for artists to link with colleagues in other parts of the world.  One of the most comprehensive is the Asialink Arts Residency program.  Asialink is a non-academic centre within the University of Melbourne that runs a wide range of programs that foster engagement between Australia and Asia, and its arts programs have, since the program’s founding in 1991, provided opportunities for professional exchange between artists and arts organisations in the Asian region.  Further information about the residency program may be found at

Australia, through the Australia Council, has also developed a partnership with the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM).  IETM describes itself as ‘…a membership organisation which exists to stimulate the quality, development and contexts of contemporary performing arts in a global environment.  It aims at proving the value of the performing arts in society by initiating and facilitating professional networking and communication, the dynamic exchange of information, know-how transfer and presentations of examples of good practice.’  The IETM-Australia Council Collaborative Project supports Australian performing artists, companies and producers to develop collaborative projects in Europe to build their artistic practice, skills and capacity to work internationally, and access new audiences and markets for their work. Australia currently has artists working in several countries in Europe, in collaboration with artists in those countries, and with some support from the Australia Council. For more on IETM see  For details of Australian projects working in Europe see

All state and territory governments have schemes that support international travel by artists, some focused on studios in overseas countries, and some focused on exchanges.  The major international arts festivals also provide unique opportunities for professional collaborations between Australian and international artists.  One such example is Seven Songs to Leave Behind, a production of the 2010 Melbourne Festival, which brings together singers from Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom with Indigenous Australian performers.  The Perth International Arts Festival has established a program called Vital Stages, which has as one of its objectives the linking of international with local artists in the delivery of programs.  So, for example, the Argentinian director Mariano Pensotti brought to Australia his street theatre piece La Marea in 2013, for which was delivered largely by Perth artists trained by Pensotti and his team, with a view to these artists then taking the work around Western Australia and more widely.

Chapter published: 26-12-2013