Groupwork Centre Blog

Meet our Community – Kate Sulan

I graduated from the Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation in 2018.

I work as a performance maker, director, teacher and facilitator. I am the founding artistic director of Rawcus and have led the theatre company for 22 years. Rawcus is an award-winning ensemble of 14 performers with diverse bodies, minds and imaginations.

Together we create performance works once described as “a moving assertion of humanity… with a wicked sense of humour.” Rawcus is all about inclusion, diversity, connection, collaboration and making beautiful art.

I am interested in fostering dialogue and exchange between the arts and other sectors. I have been a lead artist on the Refuge project run by Arts House. Refuge is a multiyear project that explores the role of artists and cultural institutions in times of climate catastrophe.

Refuge brings together emergency management, artists, the community and local, regional and international partners. I’m currently one of the facilitation team helping to run Exercise Torrent, an emergency management exercise run by the City of Melbourne.

My work seeks to create moments that connect people, celebrate our shared humanity, and expand imaginings about what is possible. I create performance and meaningful gatherings in order to fuel dreams, accumulate questions, embrace complexity, slow down time and invite reflection.

The Groupwork course has equipped me with so many skills that help me to facilitate groups with care and compassion. It has helped me to hold complex and difficult conversations with nuance, safety, bravery and creativity.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the arts sector. It decimated the arts, creating pressure and fatigue. Deep systemic problems that were present in the arts sector and more broadly for a long time came clearly to the surface. Big, difficult conversations needed to happen. I have been asked to help facilitate or participate in many of these conversations. The knowledge gained in the Groupwork course has been an anchor for me in this work.  So many of the principles and microskills I learnt have guided me in the more challenging moments.

Groupwork has given me the confidence to notice, name and normalise all the feelings. It has helped me to look for and embrace the outliers and what they can bring to a group. I continue to work hard on developing and creating inclusive spaces and processes and working with complex power dynamics in the room.

The other thing the Groupwork course gave me was new and precious friendships and collaborators. It has sparked an interest in developing and deepening my understanding of the craft of facilitation. I loved what I learnt, the people I learnt from and with and what I am continuing to explore and discover about group processes.

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