Inclusion in the Arts Program

Auslan Symbol jpgwhlchr-symbol pjgOctapod presents a series of FREE guest presentations and panel discussions at Maitland Regional Art Gallery with Hunter region arts practitioners who are leading the way and inspiring change through inclusion.


Social Media and Marketing – What Works for Who?
Panel Discussion

Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Friday 25 May
10am – 12pm

Facilitator Alexandra Morris will be joined by panellists Wanda Sadowski, Dom Freestone and Riona Tindal to discuss social media, marketing and how we project images or ourselves and our artwork into the world! Discussion followed by a Q & A.

Wanda Sadowski, the Marketing and Communications Manager at Accessible Arts, will speak about people with disability sharing their stories, and documenting their stories using text, photography, voice and video.

Dom Freestone, a Graduate of The University of Newcastle’s Visual Communication Design, works to empower people and brands by seeing past what is, to envisage what could be. He has previously co-facilitated the Newcastle Artist Run Initiative, appeared on the ABC iViews Creatability series and contributed to numerous exhibitions around the Hunter and Central Coast.

Arts and culture being made accessible is what drives Riona Tindal to strive in her varied roles as an arts mentor, deaf arts officer and an illustrator.  Having the lived experience as an artist who sees ability rather than disability, she seeks to show and offer pathways where the arts and culture can include all, with equity and inclusion.

With journalism, blogging and social media, Alex Morris creates and curates content for a variety of clients, ranging from international businesses like Skyscanner to local institutions like the Newcastle Museum. She uses her communication skills to make information interesting, accessible and engaging.

The event is free, Auslan interpreted and wheelchair accessible. All welcome!

RSVP and for other queries and access requirements please contact Justine Cogan at Octapod on or 4021 1605.



‘Resilience and Creative Practice’

Guest Presentation by Dr Riona Tindal

Friday 23 February

10am – 12pm

Riona Tindal, a creative and passionate conservationist and artist completed her PhD in Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle in 2016. Riona recently expanded her career to become the Deaf Arts Officer with Accessible Arts and Co-facilitator of the Artist Run Initiative Inside Out in Maitland. Sharing her time between Sydney and the Hunter region, she is a passionate advocate for inclusive and accessible arts and culture for all.

Riona, born Deaf, grew up surrounded by nature and takes inspiration from the environment in her creative practice. Being Deaf, with its own unique isolation, discrimination, different communication methods and attitudes, Riona sees humour in her life and each day draws from an inbuilt resilience and passion for creativity. Deafness is not a main identifying part of her, nor is it a defining disability for Riona, but rather an aspect of a multifaceted part of her being.

A unique insight into Dr Tindal’s story and perspectives on applying for grants, arts residencies, curating and hanging artworks. Presentation followed by a Q and A.


‘Arts and Community – Inclusive Practice’

Panel Discussion

Friday 23 March

10am – 12pm

Panelists share their experiences of inclusive arts practice; challenges and insights.

RSVP: By 21 March via or call 4021 1605.

‘Creative Balance’

Guest Presentation by Denise Duffy

Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize 2017 Winner – Works on Paper

Friday 27 April

10am – 12pm

Denise Duffy, visual artist from Port Stephens connects her lifelong love of the sea with her creative practice to explore the boundaries between human and nature. The local environment provides inspiration for her recent works with paper, with the sea as her creative collaborator.