2018 Neil Curnow Award

30 November 2018

The Helpmann Academy, in partnership with The Independent Arts Foundation, is delighted to announce Eliza Oliver as the recipient of the 2018 Neil Curnow Award.

Eliza is an emerging actor and playwright, who graduated from Flinders University in 2014. She will receive up to $10,000 towards a professional development program of her own design.

Established in 2005 and facilitated by the Helpmann Academy on behalf of the Independent Arts Foundation, the Neil Curnow Award is made possible through the generous bequest of the late Neil Curnow – a passionate actor, director and teacher in the Adelaide theatre scene.

Eliza will be using the award to travel to Finland to undergo a writer’s residency with For The Sake of Beings to work on the development of her new play Not All Women (a feminist post-dramatic, speculative drama). She will then travel to London to take acting classes at the Royal School of Speech and Drama. Upon her return to Adelaide, Eliza aims to pitch Not All Women to the State Theatre Company of South Australia for their mainstage season, along with her business partner Annabel Matheson under their theatre company, Ladylike Theatre Collective.

Eliza is excited to follow in the footsteps of previous Neil Curnow recipients.

“I am extremely grateful to be receiving the Neil Curnow Award. The Helpmann Academy does such amazing work to support emerging artists and it’s an honour to have them in my corner. Standing amongst the Neil Curnow alumni is also really, really exciting. So many South Australian artists I really respect and admire have started their practice with the aid of this initiative and I know the residency and training Helpmann have helped me curate will really lift my practice.” 

Jane MacFarlane, Helpmann Academy CEO said that Eliza is joining a long and prestigious list of alumni that helped define their career through the Neil Curnow Award.

“The Neil Curnow Award has been instrumental in helping past recipients to conceive and construct the career they want in the arts. We are excited to see how Eliza will use this opportunity to extend her skills and refine her voice in the South Australian (and national) theatre scene.”

Eliza Oliver was presented with the Neil Curnow Award at the Helpmann Academy’s 2018 Wrap Up Party at Ayers House on the 30th of November 2018.

Image: Jane MacFarlane, Eliza Oliver, and John Holmes, Chair of the Independent Arts Foundation. Photo by Georgia Matthews.

The Neil Curnow Award is presented in partnership with the Independent Arts Foundation.