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About Us

Who are Women's Circus?

Women’s Circus is unique. We are a not for profit intersectional feminist arts organisation based in the Drill Hall in Footscray, offering a year round program of social circus, creative projects and thought provoking performances. We create impact that is memorable and enduring, whether from a momentary encounter as an audience member or a lifetime of commitment through membership.

Our Story

Women’s Circus began as a project at Footscray Community Arts Centre, and became know for creating original circus shows advocating justice and equity for women and their communities. From our early days of providing a safe space for survivors of violence, we’ve grown into an inclusive community that welcomes all people of marginalised genders with an interest in physicality, circus and performance.

Today, Women’s Circus is an internationally recognised leader in the field of social circus. Our innovative programs offer individuals and communities the opportunity to develop skills, confidence and creativity while fostering a sense of belonging and connection. We have a small team of core staff, working alongside dedicated and experienced trainers, and supported by a volunteer board.

What is Social Circus?

Women’s Circus uses circus as a tool for social transformation (termed social circus). Circus has unique advantages when it comes to fostering positive change within communities. Embodied knowledge, trust, risk, playfulness and creativity are intrinsic to social circus. It has the potential to transform boundaries and hierarchies, transcend language barriers, and strengthen communities against erasure and exclusion.

At Women’s Circus our emphasis is on the potential of the human body. It’s not just about achieving high goals, it’s also about the attempt and support. It’s about building self-confidence and reclaiming your body. It’s about bringing people together, accessing creativity and physicality within a safe space.

Our Purpose

Women’s Circus works to empower people of marginalised genders to shape community and culture through circus.

Our Values

We CARE for community and for ourselves.

We take PRIDE in who we are, the work we do and the impact we have. 

We actively pursue JUSTICE & EQUITY, and this is embedded in everything we do. 

Our organisation is underpinned by intersectional feminist principles including personal agency, active listening, and compassion.

History & Achievements

A group of people, dressed in a black and white striped outfits while holding canes.

Since 1991, Women’s Circus has made over 35 shows, performed to over 50,000 people, partnered on over 300 community projects, delivered 1000’s of circus workshops, employed 100’s of artists and trained 1000’s in circus and performance using our model of feminism and community cultural development practice.


Women’s Circus is an influential feminist arts organisation and is considered a pioneer of social circus both nationally and internationally. We have made a significant contribution to the development of both the national and state circus sector and to the articulation of an Australian cultural identity.

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  • 2022 Momentum nominated for Green Room Awards Contemporary & Experimental Performance Outstanding Work and Performance by an Ensemble or Performer
  • 2020 nominated for Green Room Award Contemporary & Experimental Performance – Circus. 
  • Outstanding Fringe Production – Nominated five times by the Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • 2013 Arts Victoria ‘Great Partnership’ Award for The Perfect Moment, Extended Schools Residency project
  • 2010 Innovation Award, Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • 2005 Melbourne Award for Community Development
  • 2003 Most Innovative Theatre Work nomination in the Green Room Awards
  • 2001 Green Room Award for Outstanding Contribution for Melbourne Fringe
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International Work


  • Learning the Ropes – a creative exchange with Circus Kathmandu, 2017-2018
  • Out of the Box – a tour of work and workshops throughout regional France, 2012
  • Toured to Beijing, China as part of the UN’s Conference on Women, 1995
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Publications & Docos


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Festivals & Conferences

Women’s Circus has featured in numerous festivals including Melbourne Fringe, Due West Arts, Midsumma, Moomba, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe.

Women’s Circus has spoken about our work at various forums, conferences and events such as Feminist Futures Conference, Reconnexion’s Annual National Anxiety and Depression Conference, Kensington Women’s Group International Women’s Day Celebration, Preventing Violence Against Women community conference, UNESCO conference, International Women’s Day.

Our Newsletter

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