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Ella Havelka, a Corps de Ballet member at The Australian Ballet, has been honoured with an InStyle Women of Style Award for her contribution to Arts and Culture. Established in 2009, the InStyle Women of Style Awards celebrate talented Australian women who have made a significant impact in both their careers and communities.
Havelka was chosen as the recipient of the award by a panel of notable Australia women, including filmmaker Gillian Armstrong, actress Nicole Kidman, entrepreneur Layne Beachley, fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, and Microsoft Australia CEO Pip Marlow. It was incredibly humbling to be nominated alongside such innovative and intelligent women," said Havelka. "To then win the award in the Arts and Culture Category is a major honour. It’s also testament to the best advice my mother ever gave me, which was to always persevere because slow and steady wins the race."
"We are extremely proud of Ella for her tenacity both on and off the stage," said Australian Ballet Artistic Director David McAllister. “Her contribution to dance and her passion for the arts, as well as her ability to engage the community is truly inspiring. The Australian Ballet proudly celebrates the diversity of its cultural make up and it is great to have InStyle reflect this is in their pages”.
Havelka became the first Indigenous dancer to join the company in its 50-year history, developing an interest in ballet when she first watched Swan Lake on VHS at the age of 13. She graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2007 after touring with The Dancers Company, where she went on to perform with Bangarra Dance Theatre. Her performance with Bangarra and The Australian Ballet in Warumuk – in the dark night caught the attention of David McAllister, who invited Ella to join the company. In 2016, Ella was the subject of a feature length documentary, which debuted at the Melbourne International Film Festival to wide acclaim.