Marilyn Miller


Marilyn Miller

My professional career in the arts and culture sector commenced in 1988 following the completion of a Diploma of Dance at the National Aboriginal and Skills Development Association (NAISDA) which I completed in four years instead of the requisite five years of attainment. I also have a Bachelor of Business (BBus) majoring in management with sub majors in public relations and event management (University of Technology Sydney 2002). In 2023, I completed a a Master of Fine Arts-Cultural Leadership at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) with the prestigious Luminis Foundation Fellowship, and the Roger Allen & Maggie Grey Fellowship. This included an international placement with the renowned Margo Kane in Toronto and the BANFF Centre in Canada. I also have a Diploma Counselling (2019) from Gallang Place (Brisbane).

Spanning 34 years, I have developed to a high-level of competency skills in the following creative areas- performer (Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre AIDT- the Company 1990-1993, Bangarra 1995-1997, Australian Ballet 1997, Queensland Ballet 1998, freelance artist on numerous productions 1988-2022); general manager (NAISDA 2003); dance director (Fresh Dance Company 2004-2005, Artistic Director (Kooemba Jdarra Performing Arts Company 2005-2007); creative producer (Welcome to Country for the Opening of the 2008 Australian Parliament, choreographer (Quinkan in 2004 with six performers and a performance at the 2008 Woodford Folk Festival; Pop Whistle Crack, being the first Indigenous choreographer to present a professional Independent full-length work at the previously known Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts in 2012 ); program and project coordinator encompassing dance curriculum, performance, and dance programs. I have also been an independent and freelance arts manager, lecturer (UTS, QUT), dance consultant, festival director (Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture, Solomon Islands 2012; Laura Festival 2013), Artistic Associate (CIAF 2015) and facilitator.

I have been appointed to advisory panels, committees and governing boards which include Ausdance National, Ausdance NSW, Ausdance Qld, Dance Board of NSW Ministry for the Arts, Umi Arts, Bulmba-Ja Cultural Advisory Panel and am currently the Deputy-Chair of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) Board.

I have also been actively supportive of young artist and creatives through mentoring and coaching and have actively pursued succession planning as a principle of intergenerational knowledge transfer. I have consistently assisted and empowered other artists, keeping abreast of opportunities and funding streams to further develop their creative practices, until recently when I decided to apply that same focus to my own Independent practice and hence have a collaborative project in development with two other professional female choreographers, Jasmin Sheppard and Katina Olsen also Queenslanders.

This collaborative project (Preparing Ground) entails returning to each of our Country’s and interacting with community. For this element we are bound by Cultural protocols specific to each of our three Country’s, as well as those of BlakDance - who lead the sector in the development and implementation of protocol considerations and ICIP material dealing with First Nations dance.

Having been an Arts Qld grant assessor (at least 5years) has provided insight and knowledge of Creative projects in development, but also insight into the gaps in regional areas, along with the potential of partnerships. 

As a participant on the Accelerate Leadership program with the British Council which involved UK placements in 2011, I know that there is great value in expanding the skills and competencies through international exposure. This has also been my experience in the Tri-Nations Performing Arts exchange (2019) with Canada (Ottawa), New Zealand and the US (New York) which entailed forums and networking and collaborations in those respective countries with First Nations arts companies, colleagues, and peers. I was recently invited to present at the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) conference in Calgary, Alberta Canada in 2022, being 1 of 3 Australians to do so.

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