Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University
Share Your Story

Danielle Harvey - Class of 2002

Danielle Harvey has tripped the light fantastic since graduating in 2002 in Communications, her life has turned into a work of art.

Shortly after leaving University Danielle Harvey’s first role was Assistant Director on a theatre show called Woomera.  “It was intense, but I felt really lucky to be working in my field immediately after uni.” 

“I always wanted to be a director and producer of theatre and chose Theatre/Media as a course to help achieve my career path.” 

 “I think the extracurricular activities I undertook in Bathurst, like starting BATS (the Bathurst Association of Theatrical Students) and the hands on Theatre/Media course helped me get my first directing job. The first assistant directing job led on to another and then another and then another...” 

“My path has continued very much in the creation of cultural works through my own production company, Dancing Giant Productions, (which works with a number of alumni) and as a programmer and producer.”  For five years until June 2010 Danielle was the Executive Producer of Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival , where she had the opportunity to program a massive internationally infamous festival. “I also continued my directing, with some amazing one off shows with people like Cyndi Lauper, George Michael and Olivia Newton-John!” 

“Thus far my career highlight was the Spencer Tunick mass nude installation at the Sydney Opera House which I programmed and produced, with over 5000 naked bodies on that landmark, it was a pretty amazing moment in Sydney’s art history and I was very proud to have made it happen!” 

Danielle was attracted to her current role because of “Three words – Sydney Opera House!” “Now as a Producer at this iconic landmark I am in the thick of the performing arts and culture in Australia.  I am also still juggling Dancing Giant Productions.”

Danielle credits her drive and commitment to key people in her education. “I was lucky, I had fantastic inspirational teachers at Narrabundah College and then at CSU.  I was encouraged at 16 to direct my first show and then at uni, the lecturers and tutors were quick to work out I learn best by doing rather than theory and helped source projects and opportunities where I could thrive.  This sparked in me, my ambition to work in the creation and presentation of new works.” 

“I was always heavily influenced by video clips, magazines, seeing live theatre and events.  I had the gift of a very culture-filled childhood as my parents travelled a lot, we lived with artists and I leant French from age four.” 

“Now my husband Nathan Luff, whom I met at uni, same course, same year (though it took a little longer post our uni days to get together!), is a huge influence.  He very much keeps me focussed. I am still influenced by seeing a lot of film, theatre and live events and am currently buying far too much art.  I follow contemporary culture voraciously and my family is still a major influence, they are very clever and creative, all of them and I find much of our discourse a huge influence.” 

Danielle has this advice for young graduates just starting out:

“Be positive, research before you start helping on a project or a job and take every opportunity to network! Oh and see a film or theatre or live gig at least once a week!”