CuriousWorks is in a time of growth and change. Anchored by our long-term staff and management, we are undertaking an ambitious transition. One which allows our Founding Director to fly in pursuit of his own major projects and set up a new division of the company. A transition which passes the CuriousWorks leadership baton to new and emerging voices from Western Sydney, giving them an opportunity to shape the future vision and artistic output of the company.

CuriousWorks has always worked to subtly reshape the systems of cultural production in Australia, for the benefit of all Australians. Over the past fifteen years, we’ve identified two distinct – and equally important – ways this must be done.

First, to work from the bottom up – using the power of storytelling to unleash the cultural, social and economic capacity of underrepresented individuals and communities. Our model of working is well-renowned for its long-term, holistic, grassroots approach.


Second, to develop and share the stories of “Another Australia” with larger and broader audiences. Here we work with individual storytellers and partner with key cultural institutions to create high profile artistic product for our stages and screens.

These two areas of need, despite emerging from the same broad vision, require distinctly different programs of activity. They operate through different business models. The company has now grown to the point that each program of activity needs its own time and space to blossom further.

CuriousWorks is thrilled to announce today the launch of a new division called Co-Curious. Co-Curious will support writers from under-represented backgrounds towards high profile outcomes for our stages and screens. Its model of story development brings a deep understanding of working respectfully with community. The unique position of Co-Curious is that it will support writers to bring their stories to life with their own sense of authenticity, and at the same time attract mainstream theatre and film industry partners. Our launch partners include Belvoir St Theatre, ABC TV and Emerald Productions, with support from major screen, arts and philanthropy funding bodies.

Shakthidharan, CuriousWorks Founder, will transition from his role as Artistic and Executive Director of CuriousWorks to CEO of Co-Curious. He will also, for the first time in his career, begin pursuing projects as a part-time independent artist. Annabel Davis, current CuriousWorks Partnerships Manager, will become Screen Program Manager at Co-Curious.

S. Shakthidharan, CEO of Co-Curious


Annabel Davis – Co-Curious Screen Program Manager

Says Shakthi, “Fifteen years ago I founded CuriousWorks because there was nowhere I could go to tell the stories I wanted to tell. The stories of Another Australia – the Australia I was living in, and my friends were living in – was rarely if ever found on our stages and screens. Since its founding, CuriousWorks has broken new ground through its long-term commitment to growing cultural leaders – from Curtis Taylor and Guido Gonzalez to the new Curious Creators now emerging to shape CuriousWorks’ future artistic vision. It’s time for me to step aside and let these new voices grab a hold of this incredible leadership opportunity. I can’t wait to break new ground in the stage and screen industries through Co-Curious, and I’m also quite excited (and nervous!) to embrace the freedom of being an independent artist for the first time in my career.”

In equally exciting news, CuriousWorks will now focus all of its intention on a holistic community arts program that unleashes cultural, social and economic impact in Western Sydney. It will continue working at the grassroots to identify, nurture and build the next generation of storytellers, artists and media makers from the region.

Vanessa Hyde – CuriousWorks’ new CEO 

Vanessa Hyde, General Manager at CuriousWorks for the past six years, will become CEO of CuriousWorks. She will support a new group of Artistic Associates – young, predominantly female storytellers that have come up through CuriousWorks’ community programs – to shape the future vision and deliver the future artworks of the company.

Says Vanessa, “Some exciting times lay ahead as Shakthi, our founder and Artistic Director, officially passes the baton to the next generation of emerging artists coming up and through CuriousWorks’ community programs. I look forward to supporting the professional pathways of our talented new Associate Artists and Curious Creators and am optimistic that the leadership and creative opportunities offered within the company going forward will result in a blossoming of new diverse voices and distinctive artworks from Western Sydney.”

Miranda Aguilar (left) and co. on set of ‘Las Rosas’

“I wouldn’t have a career in the arts if it wasn’t for the community-based opportunities given through Curious Works; I’m excited to continue working with them so I can offer those same opportunities to other unheard story-tellers in my community.” shares Curious Creator and Las Rosas writer Miranda Aguilar.

Both CuriousWorks and Co-Curious will retain the same Board of Directors, and we wish to offer our Board a heartfelt thanks for their steady guidance and support through this time of change.

As part of the celebration, we’re also launching new logos and websites for both companies! The logos were made by the wonderful designer Bo Tam, and the websites built by our talented new Communications Officer Huy Nguyen.


For further information:

Visit the new Co-Curious Website:


Visit the new CuriousWorks website:


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