Leadership programs

Since 2019, ILBIJERRI has been delivering on-the-job professional development programs, providing mentorship and leadership to prepare mid-career First Nations arts practitioners for leadership positions within ILBIJERRI and in the performing arts sector more broadly. These programs aim to become a successful model for increasing diversity in leadership for the entire sector, whilst also ensuring our growth as a First Nations-controlled organisation with strong governance and world-leading First Peoples artistic outcomes.


ILBIJERRI’s Associate Producer Program allows First Nations creatives to get what is often their first taste of what it takes to produce and tour theatre. With mentoring and hands on experience with real-life projects provided by ILBIJERRI’s professional team of creative, marketing, development and administration staff, these candidates are fully salaried staff members who see the full gamut of what it takes to put on a show. 

As part of this program, ILBIJERRI generally employs three Associate Producers. In 2020, there were Mayella Koroi (Sector Development - APAM), Lauren Sheree (Social Impact program), and Caleb Thaiday (Artist Development program).

In 2021, both Lauren Sheree and Caleb Thaiday were promoted to Producers in recognition of their outstanding contribution and ability to work autonomously over the very difficult Covid environment.


This project is a mentorship and leadership development program to prepare mid-career Indigenous arts practitioners for leadership positions within Ilbijerri and in the performing arts sector more broadly. This program aims to become a successful model for increasing diversity in leadership for the entire sector, whilst also ensuring our growth as an Indigenous-controlled organisation with strong governance and world leading Indigenous artistic outcomes.

In 2022 Amy Sole was appointed as Creative Associate. They are the last to be supported through the executive Leadership program (2022 - 2024) funded by the Ian Potter Foundation.

This project was initiated by the ILBIJERRI Executive Producer, Lydia Fairhall in 2018. Lydia is a Worimi/British/Punjabi/Swiss woman and brought a strong First Nations leadership to this project before leaving the company and relinquishing her role in this project. Sarah Greentree replaced Lydia as transitional Executive Producer while the company sought a First Nation executive to fill this position. Angela Flynn is now ILBIJERRI’s current Executive Director and co-CEO.

Emily Butcher, Kamarra Bell-Wykes and Daniel Riley, were the first to be selected to participate in the Executive Leadership program.

Daniel is a gifted choreographer and stated, at the outset, his ambition to undertake ILBIJERRI's executive leadership training with a view to running his own organisation. He received that opportunity and has since left the program, and is currently the Artistic Director of the Australian Dance Theatre, a dynamic organisation well fitted to his skills and expertise.

Emily left the Executive Leadership program following the death of her cousin in custody. She returned to Alice Springs and is currently studying a degree in law. She is the legal liaison and family representative while trying to address this tragedy.

Kamarra remains involved in aspects of ILBIJERRI’s work but is pursuing further work in a freelance capacity.

All selected participants continue to have a rich relationship with ILBIJERRI.

ILBIJERRI is coproducing Daniel Riley's production of TRACKER, developed during his period within the Executive Leadership program. Emily is a central collaborator on BIG NAME, NO BLANKETS, exploring the story of the Warrumpi Band (and Emily's family members). Emily is co-writing/co-directing the work.

Kamara continues to work with ILBIJERRI productions including VIRAL, SCAR TREES, THE SCORE, BlackWrights, and Malthouse's production Because the Night.

Laila Thaker filled Anyupa's position within the Executive Program for a short period before returning to creative pursuits.

Detailed discussions of how to take this essential leadership work forward for ILBIJERRI and the First Nations sector continues to take place, in collaboration with our colleagues across the country.  

Image by Heidrun Lohr, Beautiful One Day 2019

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