Fifty Creatives puts spotlight on Flinders’ vibrant arts scene

Kerry Heysen Scott Hicks
South Australia-based Kerry Heysen and Scott Hicks at the Toronto Film Festival.

Whether on stage, on screen or behind the scenes, Flinders University has emerged as a wellspring of talent for Australian and international creative industries.

Two of Flinders’ high-profile graduate film-makers – director and producer duo Scott Hicks and Kerry Heysen – outlined the depth of this vast pool of Flinders talent at the launch of the Flinders Fifty Creatives exhibition at the Adelaide Festival Theatre this week.

Since meeting at University in the 1970s, Ms Heysen and husband-collaborator Mr Hicks shot to world acclaim with the award-winning film Shine and have gone on to make feature films such as Snow Falling on Cedars, Hearts in Atlantis, The Boys are Back, No Reservations, The Lucky One and this year’s Fallen, with their films featuring Hollywood actors including Anthony Hopkins, Sam Shepard, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Zac Efron and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Ms Heysen says Flinders University provided a solid grounding for an enduring career with many highlights.

“We’re delighted to acknowledge the important place Flinders had in launching our creative careers, and would like to introduce just some of the talent home-grown at South Australia’s leading arts University.

“Flinders helped to make me what I am today. It set me on the path to success.

“It gave me my husband and it gave me my career,” she said at the official launch.

Ms Heysen heads the Kino Film Group of Companies Australia, based in South Australia, and is a member of the Producers’ Guild of America. Scott Hicks is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, together with the Australian Academy.

As part of Flinders University’s 50th Anniversary in 2016, the exhibition features 50 examples of the University’s diverse, influential and successful creative and performing arts graduates in a special display of photographs on show at the Adelaide Festival Theatre foyer from 16 March until 17 April.

From well-known actors Noni Hazlehurst, Nicholas Hope and Xavier Samuel to acclaimed directors Gale Edwards, Catherine Fitzgerald and Geordie Brookman, the glittering list of Flinders alumni also includes writers such as Mem Fox and Hannah Kent, musicians, comedians, sound technicians and others in the film and theatre-making business – both here and abroad.

Flinders Drama Centre graduate Adelaide Festival Centre artistic director and Douglas Gautier is one of the leading arts administrators featured in the Flinders Fifty Creatives.

“The exhibition is a celebration of Flinders University’s sustained commitment to Adelaide as a creative hub,” Mr Gautier says.

“Flinders University was one of the first Australian universities to be actively involved in the creative sector.

“The results are the large number of Flinders graduates who are influential in creative industries here and around the world.”

Flinders Professor of Creative Arts Julian Meyrick says Flinders offers a “balanced, rigorous and proven approach to creative arts training that is one of the best in the country”.

He says Flinders has been able to successfully blend conservatorium-style training and University-style broader education and this shows in the quality of our graduates.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says Flinders courses in drama, screen, digital media and creative writing have been instrumental in “providing the intellectual backing for performers, directors, film-makers and writers, as well as equipping them with the practical skills of their craft.”

“Flinders is enormously proud of its role in helping to shape and develop the extraordinary talent of those who have passed through our creative and performing arts courses in recent decades,” Professor Stirling says.

Flinders Fifty Creatives is a Flinders University 50th Anniversary exhibition. It highlights the ways in which a selection of Flinders graduates have made their mark in theatre, film, television, communication, publishing, digital media and other creative industries. Learn more about the careers of award-winning artists in the fields of drama, screen, creative writing, digital media, dance, fashion and visual arts.

Those featured in the exhibition include Scott Hicks, Kerry Heysen, Mario Andreacchio, Mem Fox, Noni Hazlehurst, Xavier Samuel, Douglas Gautier, Geordie Brookman, Phillip Kavanagh, Nescha Jelk, Alex Frayne, Annie Fox, Hannah Kent, Catherine Fitzgerald, John Schumann, Gale Edwards, Greig Pickhaver (HG Nelson), Melanie Vallejo, and many more. They came from a list of hundreds more who we couldn’t be included in the ‘50’.


Adelaide Festival Theatre Foyer


16 March – 17 April 2016

9am-5pm Monday to Friday, during performance times

Free admission


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