Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program

Australia’s most respected professional development programs for emerging writers.

Our celebrated Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program for emerging writers runs annually from April–December in selected states across Australia. The initiative has been running for 15 years in varying forms and engages industry professionals to mentor our young writers. To date, the program has supported 135 writers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In 2023 there will be four emerging writers for performance (aged 18-26) from each participating state. Throughout the year they will produce two short works for the stage as well as attend regular meetings with their mentor to hone their skills and build their writing community.

Our program in Cairns is co-presented with JUTE Theatre Company (QLD), our program in Hobart is co-presented with Archipelago Productions (TAS) and our program in Perth is co-presented with Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA. We warmly acknowledge the Jibb Foundation for their generous support of ATYP’s Fresh Ink program since 2019.


2023 Places & Mentors

Cairns, QLD

co-presented with JUTE THEATRE COMPANY


Hobart, TAS



Perth, WA



Sydney, NSW


2023 Program

Throughout the program participants:

  • Attend a pre-arranged workshop session at least once a month with their mentor for 6 hours (or equivalent)
  • Work with professional directors and guests to widen networks and build skills
  • Deliver a 15-minute play in July that will be rehearsed and performed by professional actors for an invited audience.
  • Deliver a 30-minute play in November that will be rehearsed and performed by professional actors for an invited audience.

Participants Receive:

  • Mentoring across 8 months by an industry professional
  • The opportunity to work with professional actors and directors
  • Opportunities to showcase their work to invited audiences.

To be eligible participants will need to:

  • Be aged 18-26
  • Have some experience in the past with writing for performance (may include work for stage and/or screen, poetry, audio work, devised work, etc.)
  • Be available to meet the time commitments (briefly outlined above) between April and December 2023.
  • Please note that thanks to the generosity of Black Swan State Theatre Company, all Perth participants will have their participation fee of $400 paid for.  Thanks to support from the Jibb Foundation, every person successfully selected for Fresh Ink receives a scholarship subsidy of $2,600 from the full cost of the program.
    • Payment plans and scholarships can be negotiated for successful applicants who could not otherwise participate. Please contact ATYP at [email protected] to discuss prior to submitting your application.

Participant & Mentor biographies from past years


  • Lena Bwami

    headshot of Lena Bwami

    My name is Lena Bwami. I am highly creative and a multi talented woman with a passion for the arts. I was born and raised in Kenya but of Congolese Background, my love for storytelling and performance was nurtured from an early age. My diverse cultural background and experiences have played a significant role in shaping my unique artistic vision. I am an actor, and filmmaker, who has made a name for myself in the creative industry. My work has been featured in numerous festivals and theatre productions. My academic background has further honed my craft and provided me with a deeper understanding of storytelling and the creative process. My passion for social justice and human rights also informs my work, with many of my projects exploring issues such as racism, gender inequality, and the impact of colonisation. When I am not working on my latest project, I enjoy exploring new cultures and cuisines, as well as spending time in nature. Overall, my commitment to artistic expression and social justice has made me a formidable force in the creative industry, and one to watch in the years to come.

  • Adria Cunningham

    Adria Cunningham headshotHey, I’m Adria Cunningham! I am an aspiring actor, creator, and artistic ‘expressor’ in training. As a 2022 highschool graduate from rural Far North Queensland, my experience in the creative arts reaches not far further than senior drama assessments. However, my location has not prevented me from pursuing my passion. This year, I’ve begun developing a professional career in acting by joining forces with JUTE Theatre Company, in their JAS Professional Pathway programme. Since 2022, I’ve attended acting workshops with renowned universities such as NIDA and Griffith University to gain knowledge, skills and experience from amazing professionals and teachers. I’m moving towards broadening my skill set in both the acting and writing field, as it is my dream to see my creations and performances on screen. As part of my next big step into the industry, ATYP’s 2023 Fresh Ink programme is the most exciting opportunity to collaborate and connect with fellow inspiring young writers.
  • Amber Grossmann

    Amber Grossmann headshotAmber Grossmann is a teaching artist and theatre maker from the Cairns Region. She is the artistic director of youth theatre company Overall Arts, working predominantly in playwriting, theatrical direction, youth engagement and facilitation. She has worked with some of Australia’s leading theatre companies including NIDA, Queensland Theatre, JUTE Theatre Company and Performing Lines. Amber is passionate about facilitating projects that nurture the creative spirit and strengthen the Cairns community, through truthful and thought-provoking storytelling.
  • Grace Wilson

    headshot of Grace WilsonGrace Wilson (she/her) is an 18-year-old emerging playwright living on Yidinji land in Far North Queensland. She performed with The Young Company Theatre in Cairns for multiple years training in acting and musical theatre before beginning to write for stage in late 2020. Her works have been recognised by many different theatre companies across Australia including by Queensland Theatre (Young Playwrights’ Award Winner 2022/Shortlist 2021), JUTE Theatre Company, Matriark Theatre Company, Vena Cava Productions, and many others. In 2023, three of Grace’s works will receive their first public performances in Cairns and Brisbane respectively.


  • Delia Bartle

    Delia Bartle is a multi-disciplinary creative based in nipaluna/Hobart, with experience ranging from music journalism through to live sound performance and keyboard programming for musical theatre. She graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature, where she was awarded the Sir Philip Fysh Prize and the James McAuley Memorial Prize for greatest proficiency in second and third year English units. Delia was the 2015 Symphony Services International and Sydney Symphony Music Presentation Fellow, during which she produced digital and broadcast content for ABC Radio National, ABC Classic, Limelight Magazine and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She is new to writing for the stage, and is delighted to have the opportunity to develop her playwriting skills as part of Fresh Ink in 2023.
  • Nicola Ingram

    Nicola Ingram (she/her) is a proud palawa and Wiradjuri woman based in nipaluna (Hobart). She is a recent graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting). Being passionate about live theatre, she has appeared in roles such as Joni in Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill (Dir. John Kachoyan) and J in promiscuous/cities (Dir. Alyson Campbell). In 2021 Nicola received the Emerging Tasmanian Aboriginal Writers Award and has continued to develop original works as part of Theatre Works First Stories program, ILBIJERRI’s 10 in 10 emerging artists festival and Melbourne Theatre Company’s emerging writers’ program First Stage. She is currently looking forward to being a part of the Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program for 2023 where she can further develop her writing practice alongside other emerging writers. 


  • Adrian Reddish

    Adrian Reddish’s love of theatre began from a young age, taking acting classes with O’Grady Drama Academy between 2009 and 2019. Recent acting credits include the childrens’ pantomimes Snow White (2018), Something Fishy (2019) and The Tale of the Nutcracker (2020) with Hobart Repertory Theatre, Salome (2020) and The Rise (2022) with PLoT, and Maybe Today with Lost Theatre Company (2023), and is currently rehearsing for Hobart Repertory Theatre’s production of The Winslow Boy. Adrian recently graduated from UTAS with a Bachelor of Media majoring in Screen, and has experience writing screenplays and producing short films. Adrian is excited to develop his skills in writing for a live audience.
  • Bella Young

    Bella Young is a 26yr old early career artist based in nipaluna [Hobart] passionate about performance as a theatre-maker, puppeteer and director. She is Youth Advisory Officer on the board of RANT Arts and works as a puppeteer with Terrapin Puppet Theatre, and theatre-maker with Second Echo Ensemble (SEE). Bella is currently completing an international diploma in puppet therapy and touring a therapeutic creative aged care program with Terrapin – exploring the positive impact of puppetry with elderly people. Bella’s practice centres around ensemble-based theatre and creating applied theatre projects that engage communities in cross-discipline performance experiences. In 2020-22, she co-created/facilitated Youth Compendium – a collaborative professional development program that paid 50 young people mentored by 9 professional artists to publish 750 zines statewide. Recently, she independently directed a youth work for Circus Studio Kingston and co-directed/choreographed DRILL youth dance companies’ performance for TasDance Illuminate Festival. Bella has also produced regional playwriting workshops for Blue Cow Theatre and underwent an internship with Performing Lines Tas to assistant produce ‘takara nipaluna’, a First Nations walking tour.


  • Melody Chen

    Headshot of Melody ChenMelody Chen is a Chinese-Australian writer/director based in Sydney. Her work combines offbeat humour with vulnerability to tell stories about queer identity, family, girlhood and the Chinese diaspora. Melody’s short film, Posthumous Forgiveness, screened at the Short + Sweet Illawarra Film Festival in 2021 and caught the attention of award-winning filmmakers worldwide. In 2022, she was one of 12 screenwriters in NSW selected by the Australian Writer’s Guild for their inaugural First Break program. She has since worked as a notetaker on a diverse slate of projects for Goalpost Pictures, See-Saw Films, Aquarius Films and Screen Australia. Melody has also cut her teeth on shows in production with SBS, ABC Me and Stan Originals, set for release in late 2023. Melody strives to tell stories with heart and humour across all mediums. She is very excited to be part of Fresh Ink 2023 and continue honing her skills writing for the screen and stage.
  • Michele Gould

    Michele Gould headshotMichele Gould is a Thai Australian writer, composer and performer who creates art inspired by the diverse heroes of today. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science and has trained in Musical Theatre at WAAPA and Principal Academy of Dance. She professionally debuted as a Swing in We Will Rock You at the Crown Theatre with Platinum Entertainment in her final year of study. Michele debuted her first original musical Passing at Fringe World Perth 2021 which premiered to sold out shows and rave reviews. Michele has since developed their next musical 107 with Antipodes Theatre Company as part of their 2021 Winter Lab. In 2022 they were part of ATYP’s National Studio and will be a published playwright as part of the Intersection Festival. She also attended the first ever APRA AMCOS Musical Theatre SongHubs 2022 as well as mounting 107 at The Blue Room Theatre for their Summer Nights program and subsequent Main Season; another production with sold out shows and critical acclaim. Michele was recently a creative associate on TLGHs D*ck Pics and a swing for ATYPs The Resistance. When not busy trying to take on the world, Michele is happiest playing Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Lachlan Parry

    Lachlan Parry HeadshotLachlan Parry is an emerging writer who is interested in authentic and inclusive queer storytelling with an MFA in Writing for Performance from the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Lachlan also studied scripted television at Regent’s University in London. While in London he wrote and co-directed a new work titled Three Sisters, which played at the Marylebone Theatre. His second play, How to Win a Plebiscite (and Tennis) featured at the end of 2022 in NIDA’s Festival of Emerging Artists. Lachlan has written two short films, notably Tonight’s the Night and Coffee, which have both featured in local and international film festivals. Lachlan was recently shortlisted for the Born Writers Award for his short film script This House is Mine Now which wrapped production in early 2023. He was a member of ATYP’s 2022 National Studio and looks forward to being part of the Intersection Festival in 2023 with his piece, Violet. He was also a featured writer for the 2019 anthology Infinite Threads. Lachlan pays his respects to the Gadigal people as the traditional owners and storytellers of the land on which he lives and works.
  • Bokkie Robertson

    Bokkie RobertsonBokkie “Too Poor For a Pro Headshot” Robertson is a stage and screen writer-director living and working on unceded Gadigal land. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Screen Production from AFTRS, a Certificate III in Live Production, Theatre and Events, and a Doctorate of How Not to Hate Yourself While Writing Your Bio in Third Person. She’s directed a bunch of cool theatre (immersive Much Ado About Nothing, high school dramedy The Other End of the Afternoon, so on and so forth), and won the Silver Gull Play Award in 2021 for The Other End of the Afternoon, which she also wrote (and whose godawfully lengthy title she is in a constant state of regretting). She’s worked on some cool Aussie films (Long Story Short, June Again, Ellie and Abbie and Ellie’s Dead Aunt) and made a couple of shorts, which she refuses to name because they’re not very good and she doesn’t want you going and watching them. She’s run out of space to talk about her web series, music videos, involvement in ATYP’s 2021 National Studio, or the really silly feature film she’s writing, so it looks like we’ll just have to take her word for it that she’s more or less completely spectacular, and cross our fingers that she doesn’t let us down.




Theatre Royal Hobart company logo with Black and White text that reads Theatre Royal.