Sarah Austin has created work for babies and their carers, worked with children aged between 5-12 years to create new performance work for adults, created original contemporary performance work by teenagers and for teenage audiences and facilitated and supported the ideas of emerging artists in a range of festivals and events. Sarah’s work incorporates work in schools across Australia and the UK, work in remote and regional communities, work created for major organisations and festivals and work created with youth arts companies.
Her practice takes a rights-based approach to working with children and young people, focusing on their strength and capacities and fostering cultural agency and artistic decision-making and resists the dominant idea of children as vulnerable and in need of protection. Sarah is a PhD candidate in her final year at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne where she also works as a sessional lecturer and teacher and is involved with a number of national research projects investigating contemporary performance practices.
Sarah founded her company Sarah Austin and Co in 2016, as a collective of artists dedicated to creating extraordinary performance experiences for very young audiences. Sarah Austin and Co believes that the first three years of life sees an astonishing amount of brain development occur. This is when neural pathways are set, determining how a child responds, engages and interacts with the world.