Strong Women

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The Strong Women Program

Circus Oz celebrates what women are capable of – incredible strength and stamina, extraordinary grace, rebellious spirit and ability to laugh in the face of danger.

This program provides a dedicated training pathway for the development and celebration of women within the contemporary circus industry, nurturing emerging talent through dedicated training, masterclasses, mentoring and work opportunities.

Why is this program needed?

While there was a giant step forward for gender equality in the 1970s (when Circus Oz was born), we believe there is still a long way to go towards true gender equality.

The aims of this program are twofold:

  • To empower female, female-identifying and non-binary circus artists to develop and refine their circus and performance skills
  • To show the broader community, especially young girls and boys, that women are strong and capable, and refute the notion that women have to behave or look a certain way

This program is only one aspect of the work Circus Oz does to champion the potential and actual achievements of women. Both on and off the stage, Circus Oz strives to promote role models and to challenge pre-conceived ideas and stereotypes.

Program Highlights

In previous years our strong women participants have had many opportunities to perform and learn from inspiring directors.

Highlights include:

  • Performing as part of Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music at the Melbourne Festival
  • Working with director Maude Davey across a range of performance genres including burlesque, cabaret and circus, to challenge conventions and ideas about what women are capable of
  • Learning from Anna Yen, a movement trainer and director who helped to unlock and nurture participants’ inherent physicality
  • Working with Master Circus Trainer, Rudi Mineur, to advance their duo and group acrobatics skills
  • Mentoring of Emerging Director Carly Sheppard by Maude Davey, with the opportunity to direct participants and explore her own approach to the creation of new work
"[This project was an] opportunity to create, develop and exist outside the archetypes imagined in the hearts and minds of men." - Tarah Carey, Strong Women 2016 participant


With your help, we can continue to create these opportunities for women, ensuring the next generation of ‘Strong Women’ emerges from within our circus ranks. Find out more about our Strong Women Giving Circle here.