Dr Liza-Mare Syron

Dr Liza-Mare Syron

Associate Dean
  • Doctor of Arts (University of Sydney)
  • Master of Creative Arts Research (University of Wollongong)
  • Master of Adult Education (UNiversity of Technology)
  • Diploma of Dramatic Arts (Victorian College of the Arts)
Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA)

Liza-Mare has family ties to the Birrbay people from the Mid North Coast of NSW. A theatre maker and academic, she is a founding member of Moogahlin Performing Arts, and as a key member of the company’s Co-Artistic Directorate for over ten years has recently been appointed Senior Artistic Associate. Liza-Mare is currently a Co-Associate Dean Indigenous in the Faculty of Arts Design and Architecture and an Indigenous Scientia Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Media at UNSW. She is widely published in the field of Indigenous performing arts and has recently published a book on the Rehearsal Practices of Indigenous Women Theatre Makers: Australia, Aotearoa, and Turtle Island (Palgrave Macmillan 2021). Liza-Mare  lectures on First Peoples theatre practices at UNSW TPS and at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts NIDA. 

Her work history includes, Indigenous Research Lead (Macquarie University), Indigenous Research Fellow (Macquarie University) Senior Aboriginal Arts and Culture Officer (Arts NSW), and Head of Theatre (Eora College of Aboriginal Studies). Liza-Mare has sat on many boards and committees including, Australian Plays Transforms (2021), Australian Plays, The City of Sydney Aboriginal Advisory Committee (2013-2017), Performing Lines (2014-2018), and the Platform Papers Editorial Board (2018-2019). 

Her qualifications include Doctor of Arts (University of Sydney), Master of Creative Arts Research (University of Wollongong), Master of Adult Education (UTS), and Diploma of Dramatic Art (Victorian College of Arts). Liza-Mare has received the following academic awards from the Australasian Theatre and Performance Studies Association, the 2005 Phillip Parsons Prize for Performance as Research, the 2010 Marlis Thiersch Prize for research excellence in an English-language article, and a 2015 Rob Jordon award citation for a book chapter.

Liza-Mare’s creative outputs include: directorial roles, The Fox and the Freedom Fighters (Performance Space 2014), Broken Glass (Blacktown Arts/Sydney Festival/Moogahlin 2018), The Weekend (Sydney Festival/Moogahlin 2019), Rainbows End (Darlinghurst Theatre /Moogahlin), and Gods Country (NIDA). In the role of producer Liza-Mare has presented Koori Gras a celebration of Black queer performance (Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras/Moogahlin 2017-2020), The Visitors (Sydney Festival/Moogahlin 2020), and manuwi jam ya muron (MCA/Moogahlin 2017). Liza-Mare also works as a dramaturge on various independent projects across the country.


  • Books | 2021
    Syron LM, 2021, Rehearsal practices of indigenous women theatre makers: Australia, Aotearoa, and Turtle Island, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82375-7
    Books | 2007
    Casey M; Syron L-M, 2007, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guidelines for drama/theatre education, Drama Australia
  • Book Chapters | 2012
    Syron L-M, 2012, 'Contemporary indigenous theatre and performance practice in Australia: cultural integrity and historical significance', in Casey M (ed.), Telling stories, Australian Scholarly, pp. 134 - 152
    Book Chapters | 2010
    Syron L-M, 2010, 'Interculturality as performance practice', in Conroy R; Brine D (ed.), Translab dialogue, Performance Space, pp. 4 - 5
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Bednarek M; Syron LM, 2023, 'Functions of dialogue in (television) drama: A case study of Indigenous-authored television narratives', Language and Literature, 32, pp. 3 - 27, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/09639470221096601
    Journal articles | 2022
    Journal articles | 2022
    Bollen J; Campbell A; Syron LM, 2022, 'EDITORIAL: QUEER PERFORMANCE', Australasian Drama Studies, 2022, pp. 1 - 10
    Journal articles | 2022
    Syron L-M, 2022, 'Koori Gras: A radical celebration of sparkling defiance', Australasian Drama Studies, pp. 11 - 11, https://www.adsa.edu.au/adsjournal
    Journal articles | 2022
    Bollen J; Syron L-M; Campbell A, 2022, 'Editorial: Queer Performance', Australasian Drama Studies, pp. 1 - 1, https://www.adsa.edu.au/adsjournal
    Journal articles | 2021
    Syron L-M, 2021, 'Performing Indigenous Identities on the Contemporary Australian Stage. By Susanne Julia Thurow. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2020. Pp. 206. AU$201.00 Hb; AU$181.00 eBook.', Theatre Research International, 46, pp. 102 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0307883320000681
    Journal articles | 2014
    Syron L-M, 2014, 'Scrapbooks, snapshots and memorabilia: hidden archives of performance', Performance paradigm, 10, pp. 119 - 121
    Journal articles | 2014
    Syron L-M, 2014, '’Catching Australian Theatre in the 2000s’ and ’Coranderrk: we will show country’', Journal of Australian Studies, 38, pp. 515 - 517, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2014.957754
    Journal articles | 2009
    Dwyer P; Syron L-M, 2009, 'Protocols of engagement: ’community cultural development’ encounters an urban Aboriginal experience', About performance, playing politics, pp. 169 - 191
    Journal articles | 2008
    Syron L-M, 2008, '’The Bennelong complex’: critical perspectives on Contemporary Indigenous Theatre and performance practice and the cross-cultural experience in Australia', Australasian Drama Studies, 53, pp. 74 - 83
    Journal articles | 2005
    Casey M; Syron L-M, 2005, 'The Challenges of benevolence: the role of indigenous actors', Journal of Australian Studies, 29, pp. 97 - 111, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14443050509388019
    Journal articles |
    Hyland N; Syron L-M; Casey M, 'Tūrangawaewae: a place to stand in contemporary Indigenous performance in Australasia and beyond', Australasian Drama Studies, 73, pp. 1 - 16
    Journal articles |
    Syron L-M, 'Transnational connections: First Nations conversations through making performance', Australasian Drama Studies, pp. 108 - 129
    Journal articles |
    Syron LM; Milne G, 'Indigenous performing arts training in Australia', Australasian Drama Studies, 57, pp. 148 - 162
    Journal articles |
    Syron LM, 'Jane Harrison, Indig-Curious: Who cam play aboriginal roles? Platform paper no. 30 [Sydney: Corrency house, 2012]', Australasian Drama Studies, 61, pp. 190 - 193
    Journal articles |
    Syron LM, 'Training Indigenous actors in Australia', Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 5, pp. 211 - 215, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2014.910541
    Journal articles |
    Syron LM, '’Addressing a Great Silence’: Black Diggers and the Aboriginal experience of war', New Theatre Quarterly, 31, pp. 223 - 231, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X15000457
    Journal articles |
    Wilson D; Palmer Williams T; Brown K; Syron L-M, 'Engaging with local First Nations communities through the performing arts', Australasian Drama Studies, 73, pp. 69 - 100
  • Other | 2022
    Bollen J; Syron L-M; Campbell A, 2022, Editorial: Queer Performance, Australasian Drama Studies, , https://www.adsa.edu.au/adsjournal
    Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance) | 2018
    Syron L-M, 2018, Publication: Broken glass, 2018, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
    Creative Written Works | 2017
    Syron L-M, 2017, Letter Box Gate, Growing Up Aboriginal, Black Inc Press
    Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance) | 2014
    Syron L-M, 2014, Publication: The Fox and the Freedom Fighters, Carriageworks, 2014, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)
    Creative Written Works | 2012
    Syron L-M, 2012, Show me in the culture, Open City
    Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance) |
    Syron L-M, Publication: The Weekend, Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)

Academic Awards

Rob Jordon Prize (Award citation) 2014Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA). For a book that contributes to a significant study in theatre, drama or performance studies. This award went to Maryrose Casey for Telling Stories: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performance (2013), which investigates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander historical practices for performances and entertainment. My contributing chapter, ‘Afterword: Contemporary Indigenous theatre and performance practice in Australia: cultural integrity and historical significance’ received the citation. http://www.adsa.edu.au/prizes/rob-jordan-prize/

Marlis Thiersch Prize (ADSA) 2010. For research excellence in an English-language article published anywhere in the world in the broad field of theatre  and performance studies. This prize is for a co-authored article, ‘Protocols of Engagement: ‘Community Cultural DevelopmentEncounters an Urban Aboriginal Experience’ in About Performance, Playing Politics: Performance, Community and Social Change. No9. 2009. 169-191. This article examines the complex politics and protocols of cultural exchange in a community-based performance Gathering Ground project in Redfern Sydney Australia. http://www.adsa.edu.au/prizes/marlis-thiersch-prize/

Phillip Parsons Prize for Performance as Research (ADSA) 2005.This award was for the production of Ephemera:The Reconciliation  Monologues, an investigation into Aboriginality in Performance. Created and  presented at the Eora Centre for Visual and Performing Arts Sydney Australia in 2004, and at the NIDA Studio in 2005. http://www.adsa.edu.au/prizes/philip-parsons-prize/

NSW Department of Education and Training. Award for Excellent Service to Public Education and Training 2005.


TAFE NSW Sydney Institute Staff Achievement Award. (Mentor category). This award was for the delivery of a mentoring project for the Aboriginal community of Toomalah in North West New South Wales. 2004

Australia Day Award. (Community Event of the Year). South Sydney Council. The Mary’s Place Project. This project was a community art project in response to a sexual assault of a local woman in Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia.  1998