So 2022 has had time to settle in and is starting to take a pretty exciting shape. A few announcements:
The first is that I’m joining the team at VITALSTATISTIX as Artist in Residence for 2022. I’ll be writing, thinking and doing some advocacy/activism on the issues of art/writing and precarious labour, participating in the Bodies of Work multi-year initiative, and contributing to the amazing work Vitalstatistix does through programming, documentation, and imagination. This is a symbiotic collaboration and an experiment in itself; the residency is a salaried position, made possible by recent Arts Recovery funding from the SA government. Direct employment of artists is very rare, so it’s great to be able to test the model and see what works. (For more on why this matters, I recommend this excellent piece by Lauren Carroll Harris). Keep an eye out for more – I’ll be updating regularly here and at the Vitals website throughout the year.
As a member of the National Freelance Committee at my union, MEAA, I am very happy that this afternoon we will be launching and voting to endorse the Freelance Charter. This is a big step in organising freelancers and campaigning for our rights at work! A group of us have been working on this behind the scenes for a few years, so it’s very exciting to see change happening. Freelancers are now better represented at MEAA than ever, including being recently elected to all levels of leadership. It’s a huge shift and the Freelance Charter will be a game changer for those of us in precarious work in media and the arts.
If you’re any kind of freelancer I hope to see you at the meeting – voting to officially endorse the charter is restricted to MEAA members but the meeting is open to all freelancers. If you can’t make it, you can still get involved and of course, join.
Meanwhile, festival season is about to wash over us here on Kaurna yerta. I am looking forward to being a part of Adelaide Writers Week, along with a fantastic lineup. My main session, discussing The Airways with Sophie Cunningham, will be on Saturday 5th March at 9:30am (just after the beloved Skywhales grace the air nearby). I am also chairing sessions with Joelle Taylor and Yves Rees – incredible humans and writers that you won’t want to miss. Come along!
AND if you’re writing a book yourself, and craving some structure/feedback/support/community, do sign up for First Draft, a Writers SA course that I will be facilitating over eight fortnightly sessions, starting on March 9th. Due to Covid concerns we have moved this course online, which means that you can access it from anywhere in Australia or indeed the world – places are limited though, so sign up via the Writers SA website before you miss out. It’s a great opportunity to learn, share skills and build a community of writers around you.
In the spaces between, work on a new book of my own is taking place and taking shape – very much strengthened and nourished by all of the above…