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Tommy and Jasmin smiling at the camera holding a photo of a cat with a cat mural behind them

Tommy and his Queen Nala mural at Brisbane Street Art Festival

Tommy and his Queen Nala mural at Brisbane Street Art Festival

Tommy, from Mix the Arts Studio, as part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival 2023, creating his live mural: Queen Nala.
Tommy and Jasmin smiling at the camera holding a photo of a cat with a cat mural behind them

We were so proud and excited when Tommy told us that he had been selected to be part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival 2023! He’s been a part of Access Arts for over 5 years, showing his artwork in a lot of our exhibitions, and bringing his fun and vibrant energy to our BOA workshops. 


The festival is an exciting celebration of urban creativity that takes place every year in Brisbane. The festival showcases the diverse talents of local and international street artists, transforming the city’s walls and public spaces into captivating works of art. Throughout the festival, visitors can explore various neighborhoods to discover an array of murals, graffiti, and installations that reflect a wide range of artistic styles.


This year Tommy was one of the talented artists chosen to showcase his work through a live mural on Queen Street Mall. 


Check out our video below! Tommy tells us all about his journey to the Brisbane Street Art Festival, and his feline inspiration behind this artwork. 

We love working with Tommy, and getting the chance to show off his artistic brilliance. 

Keep up to date with everything he’s up to here on his website.

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Lights, Curtain, Action! – Celebrating 40 years of Access Arts at Unite

SAT 3 JUNE 2023

Lights, Curtain, Action! performing at
The text "Unite" is bold and has part of a blue watercolour image in the fill of the text.

Celebrating 40 years of Access Arts on Queensland Day 

With Access Arts’ 40th year celebrations right around the corner, term two performing arts participants have been hard at work developing a performance to premiere at the event. The output of their efforts, a performance which at its heart is an invitation to embrace difference and celebrate diversity.

The ensemble is working closely with guest artist and workshop faciliator Zoe Houghton. Zoe brings a wealth of experience to the ensemble. From training at NIDA, to touring with the renowned Shakespearean company, Grin & Tonic, her eclectic career has equipped her with the knowledge and expertise to guide participants in exploring theatre and dance production.  


Each week the Ensemble participants are presented with new and exciting challenges, while working closely with guest artists to uncover new ways of connecting with themselves and others through artistic exploration. They are delving into alternative sensory approaches through guided meditation, improvisational sensory game exercises, and creative exercises in mask making, face painting, and symbolic shapes of nature using body parts.


Access Arts’ Arts Manager Tim Brown, says a major theme developing within the workshops is the exploration of alternative social ecosystems, which mirror the issues and vulnerabilities faced by all. 

The show invites audience members to suspend their preconceived notions of what a traditional performance should be. The participants aim to redefine traditional performance by creating an immersive experience that cultivates accessible practice and shares it with the audience, with the hope of inspiring more accessible processes in future productions.

Through the performance, guest artist Zoe says audience members will enter a world of vibrant colours, sounds and movement that incorporates elements of live music, dance and interactive offers to the audience to create a multi-sensory experience. “We invite audience members to be present in the moment and engage with their senses to enjoy the Ensemble’s use of shaping imagery, sounds and movement.” Zoe said.  


Access Arts’ participants, like Rebecca Dostal who has been part of the program since its inception in 2015, are enjoying the style of the skill-sharing workshops, and are excited to continue working with Zoe and share their upcoming performance:


I love working with new guest artists, it broadens my artistic networks and pushes the boundaries of what we think of as traditional theatre and dance-making." Rebecca said.

Access Arts is dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to develop their skills, pursue their artistic practice, and showcase their work. Collaborating with esteemed professionals in the arts industry, such as Zoe, emphasises the importance of workshops like Lights, Curtain, Action! in creating an inclusive arts ecology that enriches our society. 


Unite – Celebrating 40 years of Access Arts on Queensland Day is part of the 2023 Queensland Government’s Queensland Day celebrations.

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, and Brisbane City Council, The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust and MinterEllison.

Tommy and his Queen Nala mural at Brisbane Street Art Festival

Lights, Curtain, Action! – Celebrating 40 years of Access Arts at Unite

Congratulations to the 2022 Matilda Award Winners!

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Congratulations to the 2022 Matilda Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2022 Matilda Award Winners!

We wanted to say a huge congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of the 2022 Matilda awards! So many fantastic performers went to the awards ceremony last night, and they found some incredibly talented and deserving winners.

Billie Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist Winner

Oliver Hetherington-Page

We’re super excited to share that Oliver Hetherington-Page won the Billie Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist (tied with Perry Mooney) for his show The No Bang Theory.

As you all know, we have loved Oliver’s work for a long time. He was the winner of our 2022 Access Arts Achievement Award, and since then he has grown even more. The Matilda Awards truly found a fantastic and deserving winner with him. 

Oliver Hetherington-Page has dazzled audiences with his musical-cabaret form, and his unique voice and insights. He beautifully blends elements of comedy, social commentary, musical theatre and stunning dinner jackets, to create an engaging and highly entertaining performance.

Oliver’s work embeds important elements of didacticism and social activism alongside a witty, charming and deceptively complex narrative.

The No Bang Theory is a fantastic performance, and we highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet! Keep up to date with this show here.

Find out more about Oliver and his Access Arts Achievement Award here. And stay tuned for more information about the award in the second half of 2023!

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National Creative Partnerships Australia

National Creative Partnerships Australia (CPA) Plus1 Program

Access Arts and Undercover Artist funding recipients for the Plus1 Program.
Access Arts CEO Pat Swell says how excited the whole team are to be able to use this funding to support the Undercover Artist Festival.

Access Arts have received financial support through Creative Partnerships Australia Plus1 Program.


Plus1 is a program which has been set up to support not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations. It’s a dollar-for-dollar funding match program to allow not-for-profit art organisations to maximise their fundraising efforts.


This support will go a long way to supporting us at Access Arts, and the Undercover Artist Festival, which we are funding again in 2023! 

Access Arts Chief Executive Officer Pat Swell said, “We are incredibly excited to receive funding to support Undercover Artist Festival, which has grown to become Australia’s premier performing arts and disability festival, produced/performed by artists with disability.

“This unique festival nurtures individual artistry, culturally educates and presents experiences to community that move beyond stigmas associated with disability, creating career pathways and recognising excellence,” Ms Swell said.

“We are looking forward to using this support to springboard further engagement with the many individuals and organisations who share our aspirations for the Festival.”

Learn more about Undercover Artist Festival here.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward – Access Arts’ 10th Anniversary

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Artwork: Birds of a Feather (Detail) by Brisbane Outsider Artists

An exhibition by Access Arts celebrating the
10-year anniversary of KPMG’s sponsorship of its artists.

24 October — 9 December 2022

Art exhibition

KPMG Brisbane, Riparian Plaza

Access Arts is proud to present Looking Back, Looking Forward – an exhibition which shines a light on talented Queensland artists and starts a conversation about the need for greater recognition of artists with disability.


Created by artists from Access Arts’ Brisbane Outsider Artists’ studio, Looking Back, Looking Forward is kindly supported by KPMG Brisbane, the Lord Mayor’s Community Fund, Lord Mayor Cr Adrian Schrinner and Cr Vicki Howard - Central Ward, and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.


This exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of KPMG’s sponsorship of Access Arts artists with disability. The theme, Looking Back, Looking Forward was chosen by the artists to highlight their creative evolution over the past decade and symbolises the development of their creative practice throughout this time. 

Exhibiting artist Kerry Beazleigh said the opportunity to speak about her work publicity at the private viewing last year allowed her to overcome her anxiety.


“The KPMG exhibition gave me a feeling as an artist of being very supported and valued,” Kerry said.


Her piece this year, Reflecting on Life’s Journey, encourages the audience to delve into their own reflection of life.


“In this painting, the symbolism of the mountains hides the uncertainty of what is coming next, while the river represents the twists and turns that life take,” Kerry said.


Fellow artist Lisa Blake said she reflects on this year’s theme in her painting The Stars are Aligning, which focuses on coming from the past and heading towards the future.


“I have used the rainbow pathway in an older artwork and more recently I’ve been painting stars, so it is looking at my older and newer styles of painting,” Lisa said.


The exhibition has provided an opportunity for both artists to explore their futures, reflect on their past and see how far they have come.


“The KPMG partnership has been a good opportunity for me to exhibit and sell work in different mediums and meet the person or organisation who has bought my work” said Lisa. 

Looking Back, Looking Forward will be exhibiting at KPMG Brisbane, Riparian Plaza from Monday 24 October until Friday 9 December and will feature a catalogue of Access Arts and KPMG Brisbane exhibition history, collaborative components and artworks created specifically for Looking Back, Looking Forward. The exhibition features 23 new artworks by 18 artists. 


All artworks are created by Access Arts’ Brisbane Outsider Artists and are available to view and
for sale online via

Access Arts

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A woman with short brown hair is standing in front of a white background looking at the camera smiling. On the top right hand corner is a watercolour graphic in pinks and yellows.

2022 Achievement Award Applications Open

All avenues to submit your application for the Access Arts Achievement Award have now been closed. Thank you to all who have applied.

A woman with short brown hair is standing in front of a white background looking at the camera smiling. On the top right hand corner is a watercolour graphic in pinks and yellows.

2022 Access Arts Achievement Award applications - now open!

Apply now for the Access Arts Achievement Award

19 September – 7 November 2022  

Supporting all forms of art, the Access Arts Achievement Award provides up to $10,000 funding for Queensland artists to create, develop, present, produce, exhibit, and tour their work. The award is a fantastic opportunity to extend the life of an existing piece or create a new one!

Read about last year’s award winner, Karen Lee Roberts.


Karen Lee Roberts

Accomplished Brisbane-based cabaret artist Karen Lee Roberts was awarded the Access Arts Achievement Award for 2021. Karen used the $10,000 grant to produce a collaborative work; Sex and Other philosophies

Lady in a green dress under a brick bridge
Important Dates

Applications open for submission:

Applications close for submission:

Award winner advised:

Projects may take place between:

Monday 19 September 2022

Monday 7 November 2022

December 2022

1 January – 31 December 2023

Applications will be assessed by a professional panel who will be looking out for innovative, viable project’s with artistic and/or cultural merit, which will provide opportunity for professional development.

The Access Arts Achievement Award is proudly sponsored by CPL – Choice, Passion, Life.

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A woman smiling. She has her hair pulled back in a ponytail and is wearing a tan jacket.

Apply now: Disability Leadership Scholarship Program 2022

A woman smiling. She has her hair pulled back in a ponytail and is wearing a tan jacket.

Apply now: Disability Leadership Scholarship Program 2022

Applications close Sunday 24 July 2022 11:59 pm | Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), in partnership with the Australian Network on Disability

Inclusion, diversity and equity require leaders with disability to be part of decision making across organisations.


Without Board and Executive representation, businesses are not making informed decisions with true market representation.


The Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Network on Disability are partnering to support leaders with disability by providing an opportunity to uplift their governance knowledge. In the first round of the national Disability Leadership Program (DLP), 85 full-fee scholarships are being funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.


The application process will be managed by the Australian Scholarships Foundation as the facilitating partner.


Scholarship recipients will undertake the Company Directors Course or the Foundations of Directorship course at AICD. Successful applicants will be provided with a number of course dates between November 2022 and June 2023 from which to choose.


In addition to the course, scholarship holders will receive a complimentary one-year:

  • > AICD Membership
  • > Directorship Opportunities subscription, Australia’s foremost listing platform which provides the widest choices for directorship positions


To help maximise board career opportunities, the program will also work with existing directors to build disability confidence through Leader-to-Leader Conversations facilitated by Australian Network on Disability.

More info

For further information on the scholarship contact Australian Scholarships Foundation via or call 1300 248 675.


For further information on AICD courses and membership please contact 1300 739 119, visit the AICD website or email the AICD Scholarships and Grants Team on


For further information on the services the Australian Network on Disability provide, please visit the Australian Network on Disability website.


Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Go to for more information.


Applications for the 2022 Disability Leadership Program scholarship close at 11.59pm AEST on Sunday 24 July 2022.

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A welcome return to St Andrew’s for Access Arts

St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital | Dancing Colours Exhibition

15 June – 16 September 2022 | Art Exhibition | St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, 457 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill Qld | Turrbal and Jagera Country

Created by artists with disability from Access Arts’ Brisbane Outsider Artists workshops 

It was a wonderful night at the official launch of the Dancing Colours Exhibition at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital on Tuesday 14 June 2022.

The theme, Dancing Colours, has been chosen by the artists as a pathway to explore uplifting and playful imagery with a vibrant colour palette. Artists have drawn on a broad range of subject matter and experiences such as exotic sea creatures, dancing under a disco ball with family, enjoying a festival of flowers and bushwalking in Toohey Forest surrounded by bird life.   


Dancing Colours will exhibit at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital from 14 June – 16 September 2022.

All artworks are available for sale, created by artists who attend Access Arts‘ Brisbane Outsider Artists’ Studio and Digital Media workshops.


Visit to view and purchase artworks.


Artwork credit: Ghostly Buildings Protruding, by Dion Halse


About Access Arts

Access Arts is Queensland’s acknowledged leader for arts and disability. We create career pathways to paid work, and advocate at every opportunity for our artists to chase their artistic dream. Through art, Access Arts transforms lives.

5 logos in a row

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Free First Nations Art Workshop this July

Heartlands logo and coloured spots and lines

Free First Nations Art Workshop this July

23 July – 10 September 2022 | First Nations Art Workshop | Fortitude Valley, Turrbal and Jagera Country

A new First Nations only Visual Arts Workshop program, supported by Access Arts, will be running for eight weeks from Saturday 23 July.


Led by Goreng Kiba man Uncle Gerard Bargo, facilitator of the Green Square Amazing Arts Group, the workshop will guide you through First Nations art and cultural  traditions to create two new artworks. The artworks will be exhibited at the Heartlands of Brisbane Exhibition and Art Market in November during Social Inclusion Week 2022.


Paints, brushes and canvases will be supplied, but organisers recommend that you bring a sketch pad and drawing material to develop designs.


There is no cost to attend these workshops for First Nations people, but all participants must be over 18 years of age.


The expression of interest closes Sunday 3 July, applicants will be notified in the following week.

Green Square Community Arts Group – First Nations Art Workshops
Workshop dates: 23 July – 10 September (8 weeks)
Time: Saturdays 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Venue: 1/5 Green Square Close, Fortitude Valley
Group size: 10 people per workshop
Facilitator: Gerard Bargo (First Nations Artist)
Assistant: Jana Daniels (Graphic designer)
Cost: FREE
Questions or media enquiries? Contact:

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Access Arts & CPL Group rolling out Traditional Place Names

Chad Briggs Past Present Future @50%

Access Arts & CPL Group rolling out Traditional Place Names

National Reconciliation Week 2022

National Reconciliation Week kicks off today, running from 27 May to 3 June, and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to reconciliation in Australia. 


Last year we announced our Reconciliation Action Plan, with some key deliverables that CPL Group aims to implement across the business. 


The second bora in our Reconciliation artwork represents the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the CPL Group’s geographies. Each smaller bora is the chosen colour of these local communities, which span from Ballina in Northern New South Wales up to the Cape in North Queensland. 

As part of our commitment to promoting reconciliation and increase understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights, we’re rolling out the inclusion of Traditional Place Names to all our service locations, starting with our digital platforms.  


For example, our Yeronga Art Studio is located on Jagera Country 


The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians— individuals, families, communities, organisations and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

We’re looking forward to sharing more of our reconciliation work with you when we reach our 12 month milestone during NAIDOC week later this year! 


‘Want to learn more about acknowledging country? Visit: 

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