Natalie is a creative instigator and writer whose passion for engaged communities is contagious.

In 2012 she started Wadwell Initiatives to independently develop arts programs that empower communities to tell their own stories. She went on to co-found State of the Arts Media, a digital culture guide for arts activity beyond metropolitan Sydney and is a contributor to conversations about Western Sydney.

She combines a diverse skillset in the arts, community engagement and entrepreneurship with her curiosity about post suburbanisation, resilient communities and social justice.

She has experience working with local government, for purpose organisations and commercial entities to drive social change.

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)

Natalie’s sustained commitment and leadership has been recognised locally and internationally.

Notably, in 2013 she was a guest speaker at TedxYouth@Sydney where she presented Engaging Communities Through Art‘.

Awards include being named Outstanding Young Women of the Year, Western Sydney Women (2018) and the Young Woman of the West by Western Sydney University (2021).

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)


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

badge winner western sydney young woman