ARBN 633105736

The Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation

Hanny Exiner

Hanny dancingJohanna (Hanny) Exiner was one of the great influences in the development of dance movement therapy in Australia. Many of those who worked in the field in Australia learnt from Hanny not only many valuable skills and insights about dance as therapy but also, most essentially, about the nature of dance itself. In 1997, when she opened the Dance Therapy Conference, she spoke of her implicit beliefs in the aesthetic experience of dance itself as a powerful and healing tool.

More about Hanny is available here.

Hanny’s life and work were honoured in a special edition of Moving On, the DTAA’s journal, in September 2008. The National Library of Australia’s Australia Dance Collection has more information about Hanny Exiner here.

Formation and Purposes of the Foundation

The Hanny Exiner Fund was established in 2001. Its existence is due to the vision of Hanny’s late husband, Bob, and the generosity and interest of their sons, Ron and Jess Exiner. The Fund is now a Foundation whose major purpose is to provide financial assistance for people undertaking research in the field of dance movement Therapy. It also aims to encourage a broader range of research and to increase understanding of dance movement therapy methodology and its effects. HEMF operates under the auspices of the DTAA.

HEMF Research Grants

The Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation grants are awarded annually for research studies and projects conducted in Australasia which contribute to the knowledge base of dance movement therapy (DMT) and
advance understandings of dance as a healing art.

The next round of grant applications will open mid-November, 2022 and close mid-January, 2023. A 4-week review period will follow, with grant notifications being sent mid-February, 2023.

Eligible HEMF Grant applicants include individuals living in Australia, NZ and PNG, plus professional members in nearby countries with research projects that are beneficial to the wider community.

These may be studies/projects in dance movement therapy, therapeutic dance, or dance for wellbeing.

HEMF Research Resources

The HEMF Research Resources page has been set up in response to the growing interest in and need for our community to conduct research into our dance movement therapy practice. This wish was strongly expressed at the Dance Movement Therapy Conference, “Broadening the Spectrum”, in 2015. At that time, the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation undertook to establish an online research resources site for the Australasian dance movement therapy community. We have chosen to start with two key areas:

  • The basics of putting together a research submission (for HEMF or other organisations)
  • Listing and description of Australasian dance movement therapy research studies.

HEMF Professional Development Grants for Dance Movement Therapy

The Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation offers Professional Development Grants to promote access to professional development for individuals with a significant interest in increasing their expertise in dance movement therapy. These grants will be for those individuals who might not otherwise be able to avail themselves of an opportunity to participate in professional development activities such as workshops, seminars and conferences. Details of future grants will be posted when available.

HEMF Annual Achievement Award

The Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation presents an annual award, the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation Achievement Award, to recognise a new, significant piece of writing or other contribution that advances the field of dance movement therapy or exceptional service to the profession. The award is decided by the HEMF Committee on the basis of an annual review of contributions to the DTAA journal Moving On and/or in consideration of recommendations from members of the dance movement therapy community. The award comprises a gift and citation and is presented at the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia’s Annual General Meeting.


2020: Naomi Aitchson
2019: Anaia Treefoot and Kim Dunphy
2018: Suzie Graham Kuzmanovski in memoriam
2017: Jennifer Helmich
2016: Sally Denning
2014: Naomi Audette (Mirabai Light) in memoriam
2013: Tony Norquay
2012: Anna Ganz
2011: Mary Builth
2010: Jenny Czulak Reilly
2009: Denis Kelynack
2008: Elizabeth Loughlin
2007: Sandra Kay Lauffenburger
2006: Michelle Royal
2005: Heather Hill

HEMF Memorial Address

The Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation sponsors a keynote address at DTAA conferences, with a leading DM therapist from Australasia invited to make a presentation to the delegates.

At the Weaving the Threads conference in 2007, the HEMF Address was delivered by Dr Heather Hill. Heather’s presentation was later published in the DTAA’s Dance Therapy Collections 3.

At the Broadening the Spectrum conference in 2015, the address was delivered by Elizabeth Loughlin. Elizabeth’s presentation was later published as a chapter in DTAA’s Dance Therapy Collections 4.


The Foundation invites donations to support research and dissemination of research findings. Donations should be addressed to The Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation and sent to:
P.O. Box 641, Carlton South,
Victoria 3053

HEMF Managing Committee

Convener: Mandy Agnew
Treasurer: Ron Exiner
Research C0-Ordinator: Heather Hill
Secretary: Teri McNeil & Jane Guthrie (Assistant Secretary)
General Committee: Beatrice Lucas

Mandy Agnew: 0437 348 808

Grant Criteria-Research in DMT

Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation in DMT
Criteria for selection of recipients for research of Dance Movement Therapy-Development Grants
Deadline for 2022 Grant Application is Friday 29 April 2022