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All Aboard the Woodward Express!

Rachael Woodward arrived in Bunbury captaining a little white hatchback brimming with creative making magic – not a moment too soon actually – for the first visiting artist workshop for Kick Start My Arts.

I won’t dwell – but it’s been a grind. Grants and arts projects require lots of necessary and important paperwork. I KNOW conservatives feel arts project management is a whimsical effortless existence where my days are filled with winged cherubs feeding me truffle infused grapes as I wave my hand motioning eager assistants to indulge my fantasies in a landslide of immoral expense. It’s not and they aren’t.

I don’t even get a work experience kid. My days are filled with artist agreements, budget tracking, creation of form for the intention of receiving a form, updates, emails, and looming requisitions.  Sometimes it’s difficult to see the creative light at the end of the petty cash balances. When I do need help it’s there at BREC, Sarah from Marketing, Veronica in Finance and Steph from Everything are the doors I knock on mostly and I’m heaps grateful for them.

Finally, though everything was ready – the day was here, the participants arrived, and we plunged – face first into the eternal question…

How much art will the Woodward spark?

When the Woodward doth spark art?

Plenty – it turns out. A tremendous amount. Part creative warrioress part bossy fairy Rachael pioneered and led the participants through the beginning of their creative journey at BREC, she sharpens minds through games, gets the blood racing with ‘mini creative challenges’ and paints a path to creative thinking that the young Kick-starters followed enthusiastically.  Give a kid a piece of paper and they will create a world – add some Woodward and they will give you a universe.

Lovingly Rachael had pre prepared journals for each of the participants scribblings and recordings and as each session ended the Kick Starters made filled their first pages with notes on storytelling, dramaturgy and imagination driven sketches and remembering’s.

One visiting artist down, so many more to go.

Thank You Rachael xo.

Love, Nathan Gardiner


Rachael is a theatre maker, performer, puppeteer and teaching artist who describes herself as neuro-diverse. Her work is often visually based, working with images to explore a story. She developed her own show Valentine which was presented at AWESOME Arts Festival 2018 and 2020. As well as creating her own work for ASSITEJ Next Generation Asia, Melbourne’s Festival of Puppetry, and ATYP’s Fresh Ink Program, Rachael has worked with companies such as The Last Great Hunt, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, and Sensorium Theatre. She has a Bachelor in Performance Making from WAAPA and has trained at Bont’s International Clown School.

Rachael is passionate about making work with and for young people, engaging communities through art, and making accessible art. As a teaching artist she has worked with young people in regional schools through AWESOME’s Creative Challenge Program, and taught through DADAA and Barking Gecko Theatre. Rachael aims to ignite an audience’s creativity, and imagination by empowering youthful curiosity and playfulness.


KickStart My Arts has been funded through the Creative Communities COVID-19 Recovery Program.

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