He’s held high positions in arts education but lecturer at the University of South Australia’s School of Education Jeff Meiners has also been in the thick of it since his early days as a generalist primary class teacher in London who was given responsibilities for music, drama and dance. From there Jeff has worked and studied in Geneva, London again, Birmingham and Sydney before Adelaide.Leaving behind him the work he did as a member of the reference group for the Arts in the national curriculum in 2009-2010 and Discipline Contributor for Dance in 2010 for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA), Jeff now takes his energies to Taipei.
In July this year Dance and the Child International (daCi) and the World Dance Alliance (WDA) host a 2012 joint summit at the Taipei National University of the Arts called “Dance, Young People and Change.” Jeff is an executive committee member planning that.
He is no stranger to committees, as his work for ACARA attests. Jeff Meiners was a community representative for the Dance Board at the Australia Council for the Arts from 2002-2008 and has served as a member of National Advocates for Arts Education and Ausdance.
When he came to Australia Jeff jumped right in, working with artists, teachers and community workers to bring dance to the young and people with disabilities in the city, the country and remote regions as manager of Ausdance New South Wales Outreach Projects.
Outside of his academic and policy work, Jeff remains involved in dance performance as judge for the Adelaide Fringe Festival, a selection panel member for the Australian Dance Awards and board member for Tasdance. Jeff is also an advisory panel member for Australian Dance Theatre and Restless Dance Theatre and chairs Arts SA’s Independent Makers and Presenters panel.
Jeff Meiners’ contribution to dance education is not limited to Australia but here it has been enormous and expanding. The citation to his Australian Dance Award in 2009 for services to dance education opens with the sentence: Jeff is an inspired advocate, mentor and teacher. It may fall short as a summary of his achievements and contributions but in a few words it describes the man.