SPEAKER: Mahony Maia Kiely

Mahony has worked in Australia and around the world over the past 25 years in various roles including: artistic and event director, choreographer, creative producer, performer and facilitator of community process. She specialises in working with communities who wish to use performance to express or celebrate, and devises content in collaboration with artists and community members.

Mahony was a key driver and facilitator for the Into the Light Festival following the 2009 Victorian bushfires; a creative art-making, ritual and lantern event, exhibition and workshop program that ran over many years and used multiple art forms to connect people from bushfire affected communities. This event changed every year to reflect the community's journey from the time of the fires into a life beyond.

As a creative facilitator, Mahony works with the belief that a total commitment to the creative process without forecasting an outcome is the most successful approach to working with a community in trauma. She sees the community's role as supplying raw material for an experienced artist to fashion into a sensitive outcome appropriate for that community.

Currently, Mahony is the Art & Engagement Coordinator, Community Cultural Development for the City of Whittlesea.