Member highlights: Penny Stevenson New Crew scholarship recipient 

Join our Circus Solidarity Club today and support women like Penny to connect, create and discover the joy of circus.


Penny, training member and New Crew scholarship recipient middle row on the end at the left in a human pyramid.

Training member, and New Crew Scholarship recipient Penny: end of the middle row on the left. 


We love hearing from our members about the positive impact Women’s Circus has on their lives. Penny came to the training program through a New Crew (formerly New Women*) scholarship specifically for people with disabilities in 2018 (Penny identifies as being vision impaired). She has continued on her circus journey being part of many short course and Term programs in 2019. Here’s what Penny has to say about her Circus Journey:


” I was an amazingly grateful recipient of one of the 2018 New Women scholarships. I have a number of friends who have been involved in the women*s circus over the years but I really thought that my vision impairment would preclude me from taking part. I have always struggled with taking part in activities at school because I went to a mainstream school where very few accommodations were made in regards to my vision impairment. I was always last in every race because I couldn’t see where I was going, I was always ‘it’ in games because I often couldn’t even tell who I was playing with! I was hopeless at gym class because I have huge issues with my balance.

My friend invited me along to one of the taster classes in the holidays a few years ago. I had lots of fun! I juggled two balls (well mostly) and I found that I wasn’t completely hopeless at getting up on a trapeze. But did I say I had lots of fun? My friend went on to complete a New Women*s course but I wasn’t able to at that time. I worked full time and live in Seaford and transport was a huge issue. Last year I found an all abilities class in Frankston, Cirque Sur Roues run by a great teacher called Isi Lumbroso. She gave me confidence that there were other circus things that I could do and I wanted more. That was when I found and applied for the scholarship for New Women*s.

There were some other factors in my favour too, I started my own business last year so I had more

flexibility around work that allowed me to spend time travelling to Footscray. Towards the end of the year I also received NDIS funding that meant that I could catch a taxi home from the Drill Hall instead of spending hours on public transport. New Women*s was the perfect fit for me. I got to try lots of different skills, I was in a group of people who all had different abilities. We supported each other, laughed at ourselves and kept having fun. There’s lots of things that I’m no good at, some because of my vision and some because I just lack confidence, skills or muscles!! But there are far more things that I’m good at or I can see how I can work to improve myself.

I’ve had to overcome a lot of my own personal demons – particularly when it came to skipping rope! Sal and Franca have just been such wonderful mentors – and so patient! I am just so lucky to have been given this opportunity. My balance has improved and I feel strong. I am more able to take risks. Overall I just feel more confident. I also have made some great new friends and found a new community. Over the holidays I tried another circus school but it left me feeling incompetent. I came back to Women*s circus and felt like I was home. I can be myself with no judgement. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to find my space. Now if only I could transport it towards the peninsula!”


We want to create an inclusive circus community for all women! Our Circus Solidarity Club directly provides women facing social and financial barriers pathways into our community, training and performance programs. We have until May 31st to reach our $15,000 target in order to get matched funding – doubling our impact and ability to deliver our Circus For Life workshops and scholarships to those who would benefit most. Join today, double your impact, and help women like Penny to connect, create and discover the joy of circus.






Have questions? Feel free to be in touch – we are here to help! E: | Ph: (03) 9687 3665



* Women’s Circus welcomes anyone to our training program who identifies as, or has lived as a woman, or identifies as non-binary.