Inara Svalbe OBE


Inara trained in Brisbane with Charles Lisner OBE, the founder of the Queensland Ballet and then with Phyllis Danaher MBE. At age 15Inara  was the youngest student accepted into the inaugural year of The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. An acclaimed performer, Inara  performed with Borovansky Ballet, J.C. Williamson in musicals, and The Australian Ballet with Fonteyn and Nureyev. Shehas also performed soloist roles with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and principal roles with the Ballet Theatre of Queensland under Phyllis Danaher MBE. Her contemporary performances include with the Queensland Modern and Contemporary Dance Co.  

As an accomplished dancer, choreographer and costume designer, Inara began teaching dance. She was appointed Assistant Artistic Director of BTQ and the Artistic Director of QMCD while continuing choreography with The Royal Queensland Theatre Company, Peter Moselle Revues and the Frank Mesh Living Room Revues. 

In 1978, Inara founded The Australian Youth Ballet with the late Ken McCaffrey, touring Australia and Great Britain. In 1980, the late Don Taylor recognised Inara as one of Queensland’s leading women in a photographic exhibition. She was further recognised in 1982 by receiving the inaugural “Woman of Achievement” Award by the Zonta Club of Brisbane. 

In 1985, Inara was awarded the Queen’s Medal, Order of the British Empire (OBE). In 2001 the Queensland Performing Arts Museum honoured her work with an exhibition “Dancing by Design” where her costumes are now held as part of the history of dance in Queensland.  

Inara retired from teaching in 2013 but remains active behind the scenes at the Academy.