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Queensland designer in international leadership program

Queensland designer Francoise Lane has been named as one of six 2016 recipients for ACCELERATE, the British Council and Australia Council for the Arts’ annual leadership skills development program with support from Arts Queensland.

Torres Strait Islander woman Francoise, whose maternal family are from Hammond Island, is founder (along with her husband Andrew) of Indij Design, a 100% indigenous owned architectural and interior design practice established in 2011. Based in Gordonvale in Far North Queensland, Indij Design provides architectural, interior design and community engagement services for built environment projects in regional, rural and remote communities, with a focus on encouraging clients to take fresh look at their project needs.

Francoise develops textile designs drawing upon inspiration from her contemporary Urban Islander experience and from the tropical landscapes of North Queensland. As a designer Francoise has an ability to draw from people their ideas, plans and agendas. As a consultant interior designer some of Francoise projects include the CAAMA Visitor’s Centre Alice Springs NT and ARUP Engineers and Project Managers Cairns Office fitout.

Francoise joins fellow ACCELERATE recipients:

  • Jilda Andrews – a curator and singer from Australian Capital Territory
  • Kamarra Bell Wykes – an arts manager and playwright from Victoria
  • Travis De Vries – an arts manager and writer from New South Wales
  • Glenn Iseger-Pilkington – a museums and galleries curator from Western Australia
  • Jonathon Saunders – an illustrator and arts worker from Northern Territory

These six outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts professionals from across Australia will undergo leadership training in Australia and will also travel to the United Kingdom for professional placements and mentoring. The group travels to the UK for three weeks in November 2016 to develop their skills in consultation with high-profile individuals and organisations in their artistic fields.

The Australia Council for Arts is a founding partner of the initiative and continues its support in 2016, with the program now in its seventh successful year. ACCELERATE provides Indigenous Australians working within the creative industries with the skills and networks to generate, take up and excel in leadership positions. The programme is aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from across Australia who have at least five years’ experience in the creative industries and can demonstrate a bold vision for where they want to take their career and their community.

Arts Queensland supports ACCELERATE through its long-running Backing Indigenous Arts program to support sustainable career development for Queensland Indigenous artists.

British Council Director Helen O’Neil says, “By the end of this year, ACCELERATE will have been instrumental in shaping the careers of 35 incredibly talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander creative leaders. It has been successful in developing long-lasting links and opportunities between arts practitioners in Australia and the UK and in creating career pathways for future generations. We are extremely pleased to welcome this year’s participants to the ACCELERATE cohort and look forward to seeing how they use the experience to flourish as leaders in their creative disciplines.

Lydia Miller, Executive Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts at the Australia Council, says, “Keeping culture strong is one of the most universally important human endeavours. It requires recognition and support for the Indigenous cultural leadership and investment in the development of vibrant communities. The Australia Council is pleased to collaborate with the British Council on ACCELERATE as an important platform for First Nations arts leaders to develop their skills and engage in global dialogue.”

ACCELERATE 2016 is presented by the British Council and the Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with Arts NSW, Arts NT, Arts Queensland, Creative Victoria and Department of Culture and the Arts WA with additional support from SBS NITV. For further information, visit