Ballarat born and bred Bryce Ives has come full circle.
The 35-year-old who grew up in Wendouree is embracing his passion for regional Australia and belief in the power of communities, back at his home base in Ballarat.
The consultant and theatre professional returned to the city in 2016, after spending 15 years with a home base in Melbourne. It was there he set up youth media organisation SYN, worked at the ABC and made the ‘radical’ move to begin theatre ensemble Present Tense.
“A lot of my work happens interstate or overseas, but Ballarat for me is where I recharge,” Mr Ives said.
“My friends and family are here. I care about the place.”
Mr Ives work is varied, but what links his professional ventures is a vision to create opportunities and connect communities.
He has worked as the chief facilitator of the ABC’s Heywire Regional Youth Summit for 11 years, creating a framework for young people from remote and regional Australia to tell their stories and create change.
Another of his regular annual projects is leading the Horizon Scholarship program for AgriFutures to develop future leaders in agriculture.
Mr Ives also works to create a leadership experience for the Rural Women of the Year Award.
“My work depends on what day of the week it is,” Mr Ives said.
“I have realised I am interested in transformation and ideas that are going to lead to a shared future where we can all name success.”
Some of Mr Ives work takes a different note, as the artistic director of theatre ensemble Present Tense.
It was creative arts that brought him back to his home town, to take up a role as director of the Ballarat Arts Academy with Federation University.
The creation of a five minute video supporting marriage equality which was watched by half a million people is one of his proudest memories from 12 months at the university.
“In the space of one week we decided we were going to do something major that would have a national impact. We did an arrangement of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, invited local orchestra members to be involved, had a 150 voice student choir and a 50 piece orchestra to make a clip from Ballarat,” he said.
For me it was great to be back in the community and be able to say this is our community, this is what we look like and this is who we are.Bryce Ives
Mr Ives now proudly claims his working class values and Wendouree roots, which he attributes his sense of social justice driving his professional ventures.
He channels the realisation that communities need to be in charge of their own destinies.
“I am at a point where there are stories I would like to tell. I would love to make a film, television documentaries, and there is a musical I am beginning to write,” Mr Ives said.
“I can now call Ballarat home, see mum and dad regularly, drink good coffee, go for bushwalks and my work can be national and international.”
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