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The G.O at Corro: Meet Zoe!

LEADING ONE OF Australia’s premier youth arts organisations is a huge undertaking, but luckily Corrugated Iron Youth Arts (CIYA) has found the perfect person. Introducing new Executive Producer, Zoe Scrogings. Corro’s Johanna Hayes got the scoop for us!

You’re already pretty well known in arts and business circles around Darwin, but how did you get to be the multi-talented arts legend you are today?
In a previous life before I moved to Darwin, in a failed attempt of leaving the arts, I was lucky enough to work in some of the most amazing places as a community engaged artist – from the slums of Kolkata, the hills of Thailand and Myanmar, Islamic schools in Jakarta to the streets of Dili and Cambodia, and now Darwin where I hope to stay for a very long time.

I’ve always been motivated by social justice and providing opportunities for young people to have their voices heard. I really loved my time working in youth arts in Queensland as Executive Director of Backbone and Artistic Director/CEO of Contact Inc, where I produced hip hop theatre projects. I also found out that I was really good at fundraising!

Since moving to the Top End, I’ve had the best jobs ever and have been working in Business Development for the Yothu Yindi Foundation and Garma Festival and Darwin Festival. I’ve also been on the Corrugated Iron board for the last four years – so that should help too!

You forgot to mention your adventures in a punk band…
Ah yes, of course, Crankshaft. We had some major Courtney Love vibes going on. It was the year grunge broke!

So what do a youth arts organisation and a punk band have in common?
Both come from a desire to be independent, DIY, avant-garde, and to embrace community where individuality is valued and you can try new things without judgement. The punk ethos is essentially about identity and belonging.

Darwin has this spirit in bucket loads – it’s Australia’s best-kept secret! It’s this tropical paradise that’s made up of so many generous and interesting people from really diverse backgrounds. We are so lucky to live in a place that has such a rich First Nations’ history – there are so many vitally important stories to be told up here.

What does a typical Darwin weekend look like for you?
It would start with a visit to Parap Markets – chicken laksa for me and a Nutella crepe for my daughter, Alizé. Of course, you’ve got to wander around and look at all the stalls with a juice in hand… Can’t beat a classic lime, ginger and honey blend. I usually somehow end up taking home a bunch of tropical blooms and then relax by the pool with some friends. If I can, I’ll try to catch a show later.

Now that you’ve given us some inspiration for our weekend plans, what are your plans for CIYA in the future?
I’m blown away by the incredible reach that CIYA has across so many Top End communities, and hope to continue to provide transformative artistic experiences for children and young people in urban, regional and remote communities.

While I take my job very seriously, I also think it’s important to be serious about having fun. I’m a good listener, and I think it’s all about listening to what the community wants and seeing how we can ensure everyone has access to incredible arts opportunities.

So please feel free to drop in and say hi! Whether you have a question, the next big idea, or just want to catch up, my door is always open and I love to meet new faces.


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