About

Natalie is a creative instigator and writer whose passion for the arts is contagious. Her practice combines her diverse skill set in arts administration and entrepreneurship with her curiosity for social enterprises, creative activation of alternative spaces and post-suburbanisation. She has experience working with local government, not-for-profit and commercial entities to drive social impact through the arts.

In 2012 she founded Wadwell Initiatives to independently develop arts programs, including Stepping Up Macarthur (2013-2015) and Illuminate (2014) in the Macarthur Region. She is an active voice in promoting a more diverse arts conversation, including her honours paper ‘Cultural Activation in West and South West Sydney’ and as a co-instigator of State of the Arts, a digital culture guide for arts activity beyond metropolitan Sydney.

Her contribution to the arts has been recognised locally and more broadly for demonstrating youth leadership. Natalie is a sought out voice for panels and articles on topics pertaining to the arts in Western Sydney, youth arts and arts-based entrepreneurship. Notably, in 2013 she was a guest speaker at TedxYouth@Sydney where she presented Engaging Communities Through Art‘.

with roy jackson's blocking out west2
With Roy Jackson’s ‘Blocking out west’ 1975

Education

Associate Fellow, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Citi Youth Launchpad (2016)
Bachelor Art Theory/History (First Class Honours), UNSW Art and Design (2012-2015)
Cert II Live Production, TAFE NSW (2014)

Short courses

Leading Deliberative Democracy, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures (March 2021)
Accessible Marketing and Communications, Vision Australia (July 2020)
Introduction to Human Centred Design, Acuman Academy (June 2020)
UX/UI Copyrighting, Australian Writers’ Centre (May 2020)
Certificate in Engagement, IAP2 Australasia (February 2020)
Copywriting Essentials, Australian Writers’ Centre (2016)

Guest speaker/Panel appearances

Catalyst West 2019, Western Sydney University
Surviving as a creative entrepreneur, Fairfield City Council (September 2018)
Socially Engaged Art, Facilitator, Pine Street Arts Precinct (April 2018)
Agents for Change, NSW Youth Council Conference (September 2017)
Re-imagining Equity, Panellist, National Association for Visual Artists (June 2017)
DIY: Create Your Own Future, Facilitator, Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, National Youth Week, (April 2017)
Western Sydney Jam, Panel Facilitator, National Association for Visual Artists,(November 2016)
Creative Pros: Entrepreneurs in the Arts, Pine Street Arts Precinct (November 2015)
The Future of Queen Street, Campbelltown (August 2015)
Little Orange, Campbelltown Arts Centre (May 2015)
Creative Pros Speed Networking, Pine Street Arts Precinct (April 2014)
TedxYouth@Sydney, ‘Engaging Communities Through Art’ (Nov. 2014)

Recognitions

2021: Young Women of the West, Western Sydney University
2019: participated in the International Visitors Leadership program ‘Multiculturalism and building inclusive communities’, sponsored by the US State Department
2018: named Outstanding Young Women of the Year, Western Sydney Women
2016: named Young Social Pioneer by Foundation for Young Australians
2016: recipient Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Scholarship, Women in Leadership
2014: Macarthur/SSW Student Volunteer of the Year Award (nominated category) and Overall Macarthur/SSW Volunteer of the Year
2014: Youth Leadership Finalist, Zest Award, Western Sydney Community Forum

Natalie accepts the Young Women of the West Award from Dianne McGrath. They are both beaming with big smiles.
Photo by Peter Secheny (March 2021)
badge winner western sydney young woman