How Theatre Network Australia Started

The organisation was founded as Theatre Network Victoria in 2009 by nine Victorian companies in response to an urgent need for sector development, as evidenced by a 2007 Deloitte report showing the fragile nature of the small to medium sector. The success of the 18-month project resulted in annual funding from (then) Arts Victoria.

We recognised that the theatre sector across Australia was also in need of an organisation to represent them and support their work. Following the 2009 Australian Theatre Forum (ATF), we successfully proposed to the Australia Council to take stewardship of the ATF, producing the subsequent biennial forums. We also received Australia Council project funding to help establish and support theatre network organisations around Australia.

In 2016 we started trading as Theatre Network Australia (TNA), in recognition of the national scope of our work, and also took on the representation of Young People and the Arts Australia’s (YPAA) constituency.

We have since increased our representation of the performing arts sector nationally to include hybrid and interdisciplinary work, dance, physical theatre and circus, and we currently host the ASSITEJ Australia ‘office’. We continue to run a dedicated Victorian program, funded by Creative Victoria, and we have a tiered financial membership model, with Full membership for Victorian metropolitan artists and companies, and Associate membership for interstate and regional members.