VAPAC Equity Action Plan (EAP)

Image credit: Photography by Alex Sibbison & Shaun McKenna. Puppet from Planet Bird Colourful Jelly Sparkle created by Sanctum Studio & Fusion Theatre.
Image description: A large plant puppet with an eye is looking directly at the camera with people crowded around it. 

VAPAC Equity Action Plan (EAP)

VAPAC is committed to creating an industry that is fair, inclusive, and provides meaningful opportunities for all people to participate in arts and culture. We will contribute to this work by ensuring our policies and processes centre equity and inclusion, elevating voices that have been historically marginalised. VAPAC is committed to building a culturally safer ecology for its members, artists, and arts workers who experience barriers to access.

The VAPAC Equity Action Plan 2024-2027 provides clear, measurable, and meaningful actions and outcomes that will drive our work over the coming years. In adopting this plan, the organisation and membership is committing to change in our sector. This document sets out a range of short and long-term goals, combining significant structural change and immediate practical solutions that aim to build trust and productive relationships.

Process and Context

Strategic Priorities

Focus Communities

Monitoring and Feedback

Goals & Actions

Process and Context

This plan was developed throughout 2023 as VAPAC took part in Diversity Arts Australia’s Fair Play initiative. This program provided VAPAC staff with the opportunity to undertake training on arts-specific equity and inclusion practices, delivered by leading organisations and experts from across the country. All VAPAC staff participated in this training, and the work undertaken has been supported by the VAPAC Executive Committee.

The goals and actions set out in this document have been developed in response to the outcomes of an organisational audit completed as part of the Fair Play initiative, with mentorship and expert review being provided by Diversity Arts Australia.

This plan sits alongside and informs VAPAC’s current multi-year strategic plan, and will exist as a living document to be updated and reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the four-year period. The plan will be used by VAPAC’s Executive Committee, sub-committees, and staff to inform our work at all levels.

Given VAPAC’s position as an industry peak body and membership organisation, we are uniquely placed to influence and lead our members and the wider sector in promoting improved practices regarding equity and inclusion. The ambition of this plan is to guide both our own work; and create positive influence in the wider industry.

Strategic Priorities

The VAPAC EAP 2024-27 is guided by three broad strategic priorities:

Focus Communities

VAPAC acknowledges that a number of historically marginalised communities have faced barriers to participation in the performing arts, and this plan has been developed with the needs of these communities in mind, and guided by expert advice from people with lived experience of this exclusion. We also recognise than the experience of many people intersects across multiple communities, and that our work together must be responsive and flexible.

With this in mind, we have identified the following Focus Communities to collaborate with on delivering this plan:

Monitoring and Feedback

Monitoring of the goals and actions outlined in this plan will be undertaken by the VAPAC Executive Committee and any relevant sub-committees, in collaboration with the Executive Director. Feedback on the effectiveness of the plan will be sought from our Focus Communities, and external evaluation from consultants or organisations with lived experience and expertise will be sought as appropriate.

Feedback on this plan can be provided at any time by contacting the VAPAC Executive Director or Executive Committee, and all feedback will be formally assessed and taken into consideration as part of formal reviews of the plan.

Goals & Actions 

Training

ACTIONS

  • Develop VAPAC training policy ensuring all VAPAC staff and Executive Committee undertake regular training on equity and inclusion practices.
  • Embed equity and inclusion content in VAPAC delivered training and conferences for members as part of annual programming.

ACTIONS

  • Continued delivery of VAPAC training and professional development for our staff, board, and members.

Policy Development

ACTIONS

  • Establish a Policy Sub-Committee of the VAPAC Executive Committee to focus on the development and review of policy areas emanating from the EAP.
  • Establish a procedure to ensure that the Policy Sub-Committee is consulting with people with lived experience.

ACTIONS

  • Development and implementation of new policies focussed on First Nations reconciliation, disability, cultural diversity, gender equity, and LGBTIQA+ safety and inclusion. 
  • Where appropriate, employ expert external consultants with lived experience to undertake project work to implement policy objectives.

Leadership

ACTIONS

  • Amend VAPAC constitution to remove barriers to nominate for the VAPAC Executive Committee.
  • Embed EAP update as a standing item for each VAPAC Executive Committee meeting.

ACTIONS

  • Include budget lines that support the access, development, and retention of Focus Communities on the VAPAC Executive Committee
  • Implement quota of 50% representation from our Focus Communities on VAPAC Executive Committee.

Employment

ACTIONS

  • Undertake research and benchmarking in recruitment practices.
  • Create recruitment policy that links to the Equity Action Plan to inform any future recruitment. 
  • Create a recruitment procedure that includes a targeted approach to the promotion to and engagement of applicants from Focus Communities.

ACTIONS

  • Implement new recruitment policies to increase number of VAPAC staff from Focus Communities.
  • Once recruitment has commenced, with all staff review and co-design policies and procedures to ensure their lived experience can inform future practices. This may include professional development, mentoring and buddy systems to support and retain staff.
  • Establish check-ins with staff to understand their experiences and improve cultural safety.
  • Work with our members to promote best-practice recruitment processes for the sector, led by advisors with lived experience.

Community Engagement

ACTIONS

  • Develop through co-design a formal Programming Policy to embed our commitment to platforming diverse voices.
  • Explore methods to better assess submissions and select programming that imbeds equity and inclusion into all facets of the work.
  • Continue programming presenters, panellists etc from our Focus Communities.
  • Ensure there are diverse perspectives on all assessment panels for events such as Showcase Victoria.

ACTIONS

  • Establish consultation procedures to ensure we understand the needs of attendees from our Focus Communities.  
  • Develop a clear procedure and checklist for all events to ensure appropriate supports are in place.
  • Embed feedback processes that specifically address equity and inclusion of Focus Communities to ensure learning post-event.
  • Embed a buddy system for new attendees at VAPAC events to ensure support and cultural safety.
  • Introduce new ticketing structure for VAPAC events to ensure equitable access for NFP members without access to large PD budgets.
  • Introduce new ticketing structure for individuals outside of membership from Focus Communities to attend events.

ACTIONS

  • Support skills and confidence through member meetings, programs, and resources on website.
  • Utilise Showcase Victoria as an opportunity to educate the sector on good practice through targeted PD led by people with lived experience.
  • Partner with organisations to assist in training and educating artists on how to tour.  
  • Advocate for increased funding support for presenters and artists to offset the financial risk and/or access requirements of presenting diverse work.

Programming

ACTIONS

  • Contact member organisations and their networks/artists for potential participation in Showcase Victoria.
  • Research on barriers for Deaf and Disabled artists
  • Training/presentations for member organisations on how to engage Deaf and Disabled creatives.
  • Explore longer touring models to more deeply engage with Focus Communities.

ACTIONS

  • Develop co-designed programs/projects to support First Nations artists and arts workers.
  • Ensure VAPAC consistently attends, supports and promotes work by First Nations artists.
  • Continue the evolution of the First Nations program at Showcase Victoria, ensuring it is led by FN creatives and central to the event.

ACTIONS

  • Support the upskilling of members through professional development events in-person and online.
  • Advocate for further funding for member venues to develop their own EAPs.
  • Support longer touring projects (see above) and evaluate the model for future delivery.

Marketing

ACTIONS

  • Benchmark VAPAC against WCAG 2.0. 
  • Check in with stakeholders about their needs and where our delivery isn’t working for them.
  • Embed accessibility in VAPAC’s Marketing and Communications Strategy

ACTIONS

  • Further develop the number of contractors VAPAC engages with a focus on creatives from our Focus Communities.
  • Prioritise and provide opportunities to showcase successes in relation to the Equity Action Plan.
Since 1985

What our members say

Login
Create an account

A link to set a new password will be sent to your email address.

Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Password Recovery

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

TOP

SHOPPING BAG 0