Biennial NYPA Summit

National Youth Performing Arts Summit – July 2022

See you at the next one, in ’24!


The July 18-20 2022 summit for national youth performing arts leaders and stakeholders was developed through sector conversations, and facilitated by arts advocate, philanthropist and experienced executive coach, Este Darin-Cooper.

Our aim was to connect, share and advocate, at a time when many are weathering ongoing impacts of low or reduced financial support and/or pandemic stressors. 

The event featured conversations with artists, arts workers and managers, along with peak bodies, governance and research partners including Ros Abercrombie of Regional Arts Australia, Gillian Calvert AO of Life Without Barriers, Christina Chiam of Creative Partnerships Australia, Adrian Collette AM of the Australia Council, Katherine Conner of PAC, Dr Alexia Derbas of Diversity Arts Australia, The Hon Benjamin Franklin MLC – NSW Arts Minister, Andrew Johnson of Thrive International, Kathryn Mandla of yourtown, Luke Rycken of Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Antonia Seymour of Arts on Tour, Kim Tran of Live Performing Arts Australia, Dr Bryoni Tresize of UNSW and Tandi Palmer Williams of Patternmakers.

(To see the full list of everyone involved, please see our Program below).

The Summit was hosted by ATYP at Pier 2/3, located at 13 Hickson Road, Dawes Point, NSW 2000.

This event was proudly supported by The Ian Potter Foundation, Create NSW, Australia Council for the Arts & Sofitel.

Photos: Clare Hawley ©



For the summit, 13-26 year olds were asked to contribute their perspectives in a Young Creative Australia online survey and focus group.

The video and quotes were shared at the summit. The Video can be viewed here. 


During the summit, Caitlin Baker and Jack Walton led discussions with participants in The GENerator Room, a studio led by 26-and-unders exploring arts engagement, capacity building, and ideas and themes for professional development for young and youth arts leaders. 

To see the full interviews check out the GENroom playlist.

“I am really optimistic about government engagement and a full reset around communication between organisations and government.”

The Hon Ben Franklin MLC - NSW Arts Minister - Summit speaker

“The world has changed and we’re trying to be responsive to that.”

Annette Madden - Head of Theatre Australian Council of the Arts

“Sometimes we forget that we belong to each other. We may be in different groups, but ultimately, we’re all in this together.”

Adam Drake - Summit Speaker

“Allowing young people to speak for themselves is the first step to empowering them to using their voices in all aspects of their lives. Youth Arts has a radical power often overlooked. It is about the process of engaging with young people, rather than the product produced.”

Lily - Shopfront & ATYP (Young Creative Australia Participant)

“We have to work on redefining what success is, and how that looks for leadership… We shouldn’t have to redefine ourselves to be a ‘leader’.”

Caitlin Baker - Summit Speaker

“Our creative work with, for and/or by young Australians has become more important than ever before…Because, if the broad church that is the arts share one common feature, it’s bringing people together.”

FUSE Summit 2022 Introduction

“Our product is our network of relationships.”

Robert Kronk - Summit speaker

“Being a smaller and less populated city means that Darwin has less opportunities in the arts department than other places. I always try to work hard, yet sometimes it feels that I am always to be more disadvantaged than others because of the place that I call home.”

Alice - Corrugated Iron Youth Arts (Young Creative Australia Participant)

“When adults act like adults, it allows kids to act like kids. When adults start acting like kids, it forces kids to have to act like adults.”

Adam Drake - Summit Speaker

“What you all do is so important, this world in which you live, work, create and thrive has become a home for me. This space has become a place where I can be at ease. It has nurtured me into who I am today. Without it there is no me and that goes for so many of my peers as well.”

Masego Pitso - Summit Speaker

“[If I were Prime Minister] I would change the framing of the Arts in Australia to, a) reflect the power of the Arts in transforming other social areas (education, social work, community engagement), b) celebrate how the Arts positively impacts all Australians, and c) champion an artistic career as a real career, with significant financial investment in Arts programs, schools, pathways and salaries.”

Lotte - ATYP (Young Creative Australia Participant)


“Summit in three words: re/connection, activation, inspiration.”

- Summit participant

“A great opportunity to connect with peers across the sector, and reaffirm the value of what we all do.”

- Summit participant

“It lifted me up when I needed it most.”

- Summit participant

“There is hope to elevate Youth Performing Arts at a Government level in recognising the need, value and important effect it has on young people’s lives.”

- Summit participant

“…The commitment of colleagues in the room was palpable.”

- Summit participant

“It was a fantastic turnout and the critical mass meant we could have impactful discussions and outcomes. The session topics and speakers were so well chosen and provided an incredible amount of value to new people and veterans alike.”

- Summit participant

“Youth Arts needs to stop working in silos and instead work together. We need to truly centre the voices of the young people and artists we work with/for/on behalf of.” 

- Summit participant