New Platform Paper 5 – Morwenna Collett

Morwenna, a woman with long brown hair and glasses smiles at the camera. She is wearing a blue shirt with white flowers on it.

Issue number 5 of New Platform Papers focuses on diversity and inclusion in the Australian Arts. Currency House talks with author, Morwenna Collett about her paper More Risk, More Play: Creating an Inclusive Culture.

Audio Transcription

Morwenna Collett

Morwenna Collett is a senior arts consultant who works closely with organisations of all sizes to improve access, diversity, equity and inclusion. She began her career in music as a performer and was studying the flute as an undergraduate at the Queensland Conservatorium when she received a medical diagnosis that forced her to change direction. She channelled her lived experience as an artist with disability into working with organisations and individuals to make the arts more inclusive and accessible. 

In 2019 she was granted a Churchill Fellowship to investigate inclusive music programs, venues and festivals in America, the United Kingdom and Ireland and she formed her consultancy business on the back of this experience. Inclusivity, she says, means more than asking, ‘Do we have a ramp? Do we have a lift?’ She encourages the organisations she works with to engage with disabled people and their communities as part of a diverse Australian culture, most especially by supporting their artists. Some of the most exciting, ground-breaking, risk-taking, cutting-edge work is made by disabled artists, she argues. The Churchill Fellowship allowed her to see some of this work at the Glastonbury Festival, the Lincoln Center, the Barbican Centre and the Kennedy Center. Her clients in Australia include the National Gallery of Australia, MONA, the Sydney Opera House, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the National Library of Australia, Opera Queensland, the Australia Council, Sydney World Pride, Diversity Arts Australia, People With Disability Australia and Taronga Zoo.

She has held positions as the CEO of Accessible Arts, the Chair of the Sydney Arts Managers Advisory Group and various management roles in the Australia Council. She is currently the Chair of the Sydney Festival’s Access Committee and she helped establish committees for the Perth Festival, Sydney Fringe and Sydney World Pride. She is also a Director of Arts Capital in Canberra and a member of the Contemporary Music Board for Create NSW. 

She is currently working on a charter for positive, inclusive change in the music industry that includes a step-by-step plan. She believes there is a lot of goodwill in the arts ‘to do diversity and inclusion well’ but it is just a question of knowing where to start. ‘If you don’t have lived experience, how do you know what’s needed?’, she says. ‘That’s where I come in.’

She is an Affiliate of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA) and a member of the Inclusion Circle network. In 2022 she received the Griffith University Outstanding Young Alumni Award. 

A close up of a dark haired woman, Morwenna, playing the flute. The photo is in black and white.

You can read more of Morwenna’s work at: