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Winners!

3 Amazing members of our Tropical Arts family flew down to Brisbane in March to receive the Queensland Disability Award for Arts and Education.  This honour was awarded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services because of our inclusive theatre model.

Velvet Eldred, Warren Clements and Matty Rundle collect the Award in Brisbane

When the communications officer from the Department called me to organise who might be attending to collect the award, I was so surprised because I hadn’t realised that anyone had put in a nomination!  We are usually so busy trying to get the production up or apply for grants or coordinate lots and lots of people, that singing our own praises slips past too easily.  But bless the wonderful being of Douglas Robins for making sure that quietly, our Tropical Arts magic was in the running…. and you’ve got to be in it, to win it!

I was quite sad when I realised I was unable to take time off the Sentinel Chickens production I was  directing at JUTE.  However this gave way to a great thrill of asking some very special people to go down and represent us:

Warren Clements:  has been in all 6 of the Tropical Arts productions as a professional actor, mentor and tower of strength.

Velvet Eldred:  the 2012 Cairns Woman of the Year who first asked the question “Does inclusive mean that EVERYBODY can be included?” back in 2010 when she was the connector between ARC Disability Services and Tropical Arts

Matthew Rundle: the amazing first trailblazer – the first ARC trained performer to lead the way into our community theatre.  Now each year the ARC Ensemble represent 30% of our cast.

Congratulations Tropical Arts

This award recognises the beautiful human spirit of creativity in community.

That’s every one of us shining on stage or helping to make it happen.

[blog by Avril Duck]