NAISDA honours its Class of 2019 with digital graduation ceremony

NAISDA Diploma Developing Artists - Image by Jamie JamesWith a crescendo of dance, culture, celebration and emotion, NAISDA Dance College has become one of a number of learning and training organisations worldwide to celebrate its Graduating Class of 2019 by holding an innovative, completely digital, graduation ceremony.

A highlight in its annual calendar of events, NAISDA was determined to honour its Developing Artists’ achievements whilst being mindful of keeping our communities safe, and in accordance with social distancing, NAISDA broke new ground by staging its first online celebration in the organisation’s 44-year history.

Distributed through NAISDA’s social media channels, website and electronic direct mail (EDM), the virtual ceremony was shared today (Thursday 9 April 2020) in recognition of NAISDA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates’ hard work, talent and success.

The unique ceremony uses a variety of media to capture highlights and share memories; including personal messages from NAISDA spokespeople and graduates sent from across the country, along and a selection of moving video packages showcasing graduate performances and special moments.

NAISDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kim Walker, explained why the digital ceremony was a fitting – and accessible – way to mark the occasion in such an unprecedented time. “Like so many, the current situation has presented NAISDA with some significant challenges,” said Mr Walker.

“But this hasn’t stopped us from celebrating our Class of 2019 in a truly special and unforgettable way. It is more important now than ever before to come together and connect in celebration of our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates’
pursuit of learning and cultural and creative expression.”

“We are proud to share our captivating ceremony which deservedly acknowledges not just our graduates, but everyone who has played a role in their journeys – our Boards, Executive, staff, trainers, tutors, family members, carers, communities, friends, funders, donors and supporters. It is wonderful that this year we can share these messages widely and make the celebration accessible to more people than ever thanks to digital technology.”

The ceremony pays special tribute to the Class of 2019 cohort of Diploma graduates, David Biondi-Odo, Jarryd Dixon, Kiarn Doyle, Hosken Macfarlane, Maddison Paluch, Edan Porter and Kiara Wilson who are already making an impact working across creative, cultural and community sectors.

Kiarn Doyle joined Bangarra Dance Theatre as this year’s recipient of Bangarra’s Russell Page Graduate Program, while Maddison Paluch and Edan Porter are both undertaking Pre-Professional Year at Sydney Dance Company.

“I wish the class of 2019 warm wishes and the very best of luck as they pursue exciting career paths in dance, production, community, education and beyond,” said Mr Walker. “We are inspired knowing that our graduates continue to shape Australia’s performing arts landscape as they carry the NAISDA legacy forward and go on to form Australia’s next wave of Indigenous creative and cultural innovators and pioneers.”

“In such uncertain times we look to support each other, to find strength, confidence and resilience in our creative and cultural endeavours and practice for a future which will sustain our artistic and cultural communities, partners and landscape through this challenge and beyond.” said Mr Walker.

To view NAISDA Dance College’s Class of 2019 Graduation Ceremony, click here! For more information about NAISDA, visit: for details.

Image: Jarryd Dixon, Maddison Paluch, Hosken Macfarlane, Kiara Wilson, Edan Porter, Kiarn Doyle, Brianna Kemmerling and Chandler Connell – photo by Jamie James