Queensland Theatre Reception
Queensland Theatre Board Chair, Ms Elizabeth Jameson AM; Deputy Chair, Mr Dean Gibson; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people here this afternoon.
Welcome, all, to Government House.
Graeme and I relish any opportunity to sing the praises of Queensland Theatre, and on this occasion we are especially pleased to be publicly recognising your youth drama education program.
We are great advocates of the arts in all its forms, and it doesn’t seem too long ago that we were part of the opening night audience enjoying the performance of ‘Don’t Ask What the Bird Look Like’.
We know just how powerful an instrument the theatre can be in the hands of those who become involved, whatever role they assume, be it writer, artist, technician, teacher or student.
And it is incredible to think that Queensland Theatre has been around for 50 years now – what an amazing achievement for your organisation.
Congratulations to all of you who have been a part of its story to date. I applaud your dedication and commitment to bringing the performing arts to the people of Queensland.
But more than that – and this is something that sets you apart – you have always sought to make theatre accessible to up-and-coming generations.
As Alan Edwards, the inaugural Artistic Director, proclaimed at the start: “You must get people young”.
And it seems that you are, indeed, doing so.
I have seen firsthand just how excited young Queenslanders are to be involved in the theatre – whether as performers or patrons – and what they have to offer to the ongoing development of the performing arts in this State.
Providing opportunities for young people to get involved is of crucial importance, and so it was particularly pleasing to see your 2024 season launch reveal several educational drama programs designed for Queensland children.
This is certainly welcome news, as we already know that the performing arts not only enrich children’s lives but also provide a platform for young voices to be heard.
This evening, we shine a much-deserved light on Queensland Theatre’s youth drama education program, and the many people involved in its success, from the artists and teachers to the support staff and sponsors who contribute so much to this organisation.
May Queensland Theatre enjoy another 50 years of entertaining and illuminating Queenslanders young and old.
It now gives me great pleasure to present this patronage certificate to the Chair of the Queensland Theatre Board, Ms Elizabeth Jameson AM.