Training path

ACPA’s Training Program

ACPA is unique in the breadth and depth of its performance training program which covers dance, music and theatre from Certificate IV to Advanced Diploma level and includes a significant public performance program as an integral part of the training activities.

ACPA’s educational philosophy is based on individualised personal professional development aimed at nurturing each student’s potential to be an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander future industry leader.  To achieve this goal, each student’s performance training is supported by targeted arts administration, business training and personal health and well-being programs.

The establishment and effective monitoring of these individualised programs is underpinned by an excellence framework developed by ACPA.

The most significant recent developments have been:

  • The growth in student enrolments from January 2009 to January  2014 - a 210% increase
  • The expansion of student support services including accommodation for students from regional and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentors, specialised Language, Literacy and Numeracy tutoring
  • An excellent 80% completion rate of courses in 2013
  • A retention rate of 80% in 2013
  • An increase in professionalism and dynamism in the performance program that has been rewarded by critical praise in the mainstream media and growing audiences
  • A  steady growth in formal partnerships with major creative industries companies and tertiary institutions
  • A recruitment strategy that has targeted regional areas of Queensland ensuring more access for students from these areas

The development of a regional performing arts training hub in Cairns and Weipa with a new Certificate II in Performing creative industries in high schools with high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. This gives an alternative training and employment pathway for talented students.

Transition to Employment

ACPA is strongly committed to assisting its students in transitioning to employment and has
established a range of programs and strategic partnerships with key organisations in the industry to support students in this area. These include:

Expressions Dance Company

Expressions Dance Company is Queensland’s leading contemporary dance company. A formal agreement includes student traineeships, participation in company classes and creative collaborations into the future.

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bangarra Dance Theatre (Bangarra) is Australia’s peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company.  ACPA has established a relationship with Bangarra where the most promising ACPA students have been offered employment, auditions, secondments and invited to attend workshops at the Sydney studios to be exposed to their professional dancers and choreography. 

Griffith University – Queensland Conservatorium

ACPA and the Queensland Conservatorium have established a formal ongoing relationship to improve the skills, and therefore the employment prospects, of ACPA’s Diploma Music students.

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)

Queensland Performing Arts Centre  is Queensland’s premiere performing venue.  ACPA and QPAC have entered into a partnership that aims to strengthen the employment prospects of ACPA students by co-producing an annual mainstage performance season as well as exposure to, and involvement in, a wide range of professional performance practice areas. 

Ausdance Queensland

Ausdance Queensland is the dance service organisation funded by Arts Queensland to support dance throughout the State. ACPA has a vital creative interchange including student involvement in new works and enhanced skills  training opportunities.

Opera Queensland

Opera Queensland has provided master classes for our music students in a vital program that promotes confidence and skills development.

Circus Oz

Australia’s premiere circus touring nationally and internationally has auditioned students leading to employment outcomes.

Queensland Ballet Company

Queensland Ballet Company is Queensland’s leading classical dance company. A formal agreement is in place that provides students with access to high quality performance, dance and teacher professional development workshops, and creative collaborations into the future.

Sydney Dance Company

Sydney Dance Company is an iconic Australian contemporary dance company performing regularly on the international stage.  ACPA has established a relationship with Sydney Dance Company where the most promising ACPA students have been able to attend workshops at the Sydney studios to be exposed to their professional dancers and choreography, and when in Brisbane the company has generously offered tickets and master classes to students. 

National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

ACPA and NIDA have established an ongoing relationship to improve the skills, and therefore the employment prospects, of ACPA’s students. Each year NIDA directing, design and script writing students collaborate with ACPA students to create original work. 

Queensland Theatre Company (QTC)

A formal Memorandum of Understanding is in place which gives students access to employment, performances, production resources and opportunities to partner with QTC in the development of new collaborative works.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra

A project partnership has resulted in our dance majors creating new works to perform in front of the full orchestra at QPAC.

Artslink (formerly Queensland Arts Council)

Students have been offered auditions leading to strong employment outcomes in regional touring.

Leigh Warren Dance Company

Students have been offered auditions leading to strong employment outcomes in national and international touring.

As a result of these initiatives and the strength and quality of ACPA’s training, industry demand for
ACPA graduates is strong.  There are regular requests for ACPA students from agents, film producers, television programs, festivals, conferences, outdoor and corporate events.