Kolyang Program

The Kolyang Program is many things.
It is artist led and artist responsive.
It offers space to think and explore.
It is emergent and evolving.
It is a space for experimenting with practice, process and models.
It weaves the collective industry together.
It’s about advocacy.
It’s about self-determination.
It’s about making us stronger for the future.


Kolyang is an innovative initiative consisting of the Kolyang Creative Hub and the Kolyang Artist Lab. These programs are developed and delivered by Performing Lines WA (PLWA) in collaboration with the independent performing arts sector in Western Australia. In response to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, PLWA reached out to independent artists and producers to understand their needs. The resounding request was for flexible, artist-led time and space to come together without the pressure of performance outcomes.

Successfully executed in 2020, 2021, and 2022, these programs have continuously adapted to address the evolving needs of the sector. A core principle of the Kolyang methodology is ensuring that all participants are paid salaries for their engagement.

In 2021, a name was sought for the Creative Hub that celebrated the diversity of experiences and knowledge brought to the table by participants, the connectedness that was created and honoured the land on which the events were held. With guidance from Clint and Kylie Bracknell (language revivalists and researchers) of Boomerang and Spear, Kolyang (pron: Kol-yong), the Noongar name for the Western Australian Golden Wattle, was selected.

The Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries, through the Arts Organisation Investment Program, confirmed their ongoing support of the new look Kolyang Program of Industry Development Initiatives from 2024-27. This is great recognition of the impact the program has had across its inaugural three-year cycle. Performing Lines WA will release future plans in early 2024, and will ensure delivery will continue to happen in close collaboration with the arts sector – maintaining relevance and servicing need.

Kolyang Creative Hub

The Kolyang Creative Hub is a three-week responsive program facilitating interdisciplinary artistic practice sharing, creative developments, panels and conversations.

The Kolyang Creative Hub aims to:

  • Bring artists and industry professionals together.
  • Provide dedicated time and space for reflection, questioning, learning, and sharing.
  • Create a future-focused platform that breaks down barriers and facilitates knowledge-sharing within the sector.
  • Foster critical thinking and the development of innovative new approaches to artistic work.

2020 Cohort

Frances Barbe
Steve Berrick
Laura Boynes
Rebecca Bradley
Melissa Cantwell
Jamie David
Alex Desebrock
Chris Donnelly
Matt Edgerton
Jay Emmanuel
Emma Fishwick
Andrea Gibbs
Tarryn Gill
Pavan Hari
Jessica Harlond-Kenny
Michelle Hovane
Afeif Ismail
Francis Italiano
Georgia King
Libby Klysz
Joe Paradise Lui
Jenna Mathie
Matthew McVeigh
Fionn Mulholland
Ben Nelson
Tristan Parr
Rachel Arianne OGLE
Will O’Mahony
Katt Osborne
Sally Richardson
Daisy Sanders
Poppy Van Oorde-Grainger
Mararo Wangai
Ian Wilkes
Bryan Woltjen

2021 Cohort

Adriano Cappelletta
Alex Desebrock
Alexa Taylor
Andrea Gibbs
Annika Moses
Arielle Gray
Bobbi Henry
Brooke Leeder
Bruce Denny
Bruno Booth
Bryan Woltjen
Chrissie Parrott
Christopher Isaacs
Clare Testoni
Daisy Sanders
Daley Rangi
Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson
Ella Hetherington
Ellis Pearson
Emma Fishwick
Georgia King
Grace Chow
Ian Wilkes
Jamie David
Janet Carter
Janine Oxenham
Jen Winley
Joe Paradise Lui
Josten Myburgh
Julia Hales
Kate Page
Levon Polinelli
Libby Klysz
Mararo Wangai
Margot Edwards
Mark Haslam
Matthew McVeigh
Mel Cantwell
Mitchell Harvey
Pavan Hari
Rachael Woodward
Rachel Arianne Ogle
Rita Bush
Russell Thorpe
Sam Nerida
Siobhan Maiden
Stephanie Nicholls
Steve Berrick
Susie Conte
Talya Rubin
Tomás Ford
Will O’Mahony

2022 Cohort

Steve Berrick (Boorloo | Perth)
Alex Desebrock (Walyalup | Fremantle)
Jay Emmanuel (Walyalup | Fremantle)
Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson (Boorloo | Perth)
Nathan Gardiner (Wardandi | Bunbury)
Bobbi-Jean Henry (Boorloo | Perth)
Libby Klysz (Boorloo | Perth)
Bernadette Lewis (Boorloo | Perth)
Nigel Luck (Boorloo | Perth)
Talitha Maslin (Goolamrup | Kelmscott)
Amy Mathews (Boorloo | Perth)
Scott McArdle (Boorloo | Perth)
Helah Milroy (Walyalup | Fremantle)
Julia Moody (Boorloo | Perth)
Jo Morris (Boorloo | Perth)
Tegan Mulvany (Boorloo | Perth)
Josten Myburgh (Boorloo | Perth)
Kuda Ndlovu (Boorloo | Perth)
Stephanie Nicholls (Boorloo | Perth)
Rachel Arianne Ogle (Boorloo | Perth)
Dawn Pascoe (Boorloo | Perth)
Rebecca Riggs-Bennett (Boorloo | Perth)
Sky River (Wooditchup | Margaret River)
Bobby Russell (Boorloo | Perth)
Nel Simpson (Boorloo | Perth)
Kiara Thomson (Boorloo | Perth)

Kolyang Artist Lab

Held in conjunction with the Kolyang Creative Hub, the Kolyang Artist lab offers a safe, creative environment for WA’s emerging and early-career artists to explore ideas, build new relationships and unpack performance-making processes.

In the initial years, the Labs focused on emerging artists from First Nations and culturally diverse backgrounds. In 2022, the Lab expanded its reach to include ten early-career disabled artists working in any genre or medium.

Participants in the Lab are supported to join the Kolyang Creative Hub cohort after completing the one-week Lab.

The Artist Lab aims to:

  • Bring together a cohort of emerging and early-career artists with diverse lived experiences.
  • Connect artists with mentors and allies in their respective artforms.
  • Provide dedicated time and space for exploring ideas, building relationships, and understanding performance-making processes.
  • Support the development of innovative approaches to artistic practice.

2020 Cohort

Carolina Duca
Daley Rangi
Dore Khan
Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson
Grace Chow
Leon Salam
Linnea Maria
Richard Maganga
Simone Detourbet
Tinashe Jakwa

2021 Cohort

Ariana Katscherian
Asha Kiani
Charlie Yong
Crystal Nguyen
Daniel Motearefi
Laura Liu
Lisa Watson
Lucy Wong
Manjula Radha Krishnan
Medina Dizdarevic
Michele Gould
Valerie Weyland

2022 Cohort


Adam Kelly
Crystal Nguyen
Ella Peeters
Grace King
Hugo Flavelle
Naomi Lake
Sam Ren
Sam Kerr
Sarah Pollard
Patrick Carter

Ally Artists

Geordie Crawley
Laura Boynes
Laura Hook
Sam Fox
Sam Nerida

Lead Mentor

Caroline Bowditch

Eligibility Criteria and Fees

Kolyang Creative Hub Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to mid-career and established artists from all artforms from Western Australia, including Perth metro and regional areas, with a specific project, skill or methodology they would like to explore;
  • Open to first-timers and previous participants;

Kolyang Artist Lab Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to emerging and early-career artists from Western Australia, including both the Perth metro and regional areas.


Creative Hub and Artist Lab participants are paid a stipend, which varies each year in accordance with the shape and duration of both programs.


Applications are currently closed for Kolyang. Expressions of interest for future iterations of Kolyang will be advertised on our website and social media and details will be hosted here.

Be sure to check our website for updates.

Artist Advisory

To ensure that the Creative Hub and Artist Lab remain artist-led, PLWA introduced an Artist Advisory Group in 2021, which continued with refreshed membership in 2022. Comprised of previous program participants, this group plays a crucial role in assessing expressions of interest, guiding programming decisions, and providing mentoring and support throughout the course of the Creative Hub. The members of the Advisory Group are re-assessed and selected by the PLWA team each year.


2021 Artist Advisory

Alex Desebrock
Daley Rangi
Grace Chow
Melissa Cantwell

2022 Artist Advisory

Melissa Cantwell
Bruno Booth
Janine Oxenham
Daisy Sanders

“Kolyang has radically transformed the ecology of the sector, accelerating the pace of changes that are needed.”
Participant 2020 and 2021.

“It was an inspiring, creative space that allowed me to connect with other makers and arts workers. As someone who is often working alone it was energising to be in the same space as other makers.”
Tarryn Gill, participant 2020.

“I think it has helped artists feel a sense of belonging and connection. I have no doubt this has had positive impact on our mental health and resilience.”
Alex Desebrock, participant 2020, 2021, 2022.

“[The programming was] … flexible on the ground, responsive to the organic nature of the collective, warm, personable and real. [It was] incredibly well curated, organised, delivered.”
Francis Italiano, participant 2020 and 2021.



PLWA concluded the first trilogy by engaging Tracker Development and Black Iris Consulting to create a comprehensive set of resources that assess and showcase the remarkable outcomes and impact of this ground-breaking program. Our resources consist of a 44-page evaluation and impact report, along with two highlight reels – one for the Creative Hub and one for the Artist Lab.

Public Program Podcast

Each year, the Kolyang Creative Hub features a thoughtfully curated public program of engaging events, including small-group discussions, long tables and panel conversations. These sessions are centered around topics put forward by the cohort, ensuring their relevance and significance. To provide wider access to these valuable conversations, selected sessions from both 2021 and 2022 were recorded and are now accessible through our public podcast channel. You can listen to them at

Sector Conversations

A key focus of Kolyang in 2021 was to strengthen the sector by engaging in sector-wide discussions and bold conversations, and collectively suggest actions to make our industry stronger and more cohesive. Dr. Shona Erskine compiled a comprehensive report that highlights the significant findings and recommendations derived from the Kolyang Sector Conversation. This report was presented to the wider sector in collaboration with the Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia, solidifying our commitment to fostering a thriving industry.

>> Read Kolyang Sector conversation report

More Info

PLWA recently received funding from the Department of Local Governement, Sports and Cultural Industries to extend the program in 2024-2027.

For more information, please contact Senior Producer, Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith Senior Producer

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

The first three editions of Kolyang (2020-2022) have been funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest’s COVID Relief Fund, CircuitWest, MyPlace and a cohort of wonderful partner organisations who subsidised places for participating artists. We also appreciate significant in-kind support from our venues the Arts and Culture Trust (Subiaco Arts Centre), Fremantle Arts Centre and The Blue Room Theatre.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.