Gold Coast Area Theatre Awards
Platinum Palm Award 2016
Ms. Julanne Shearer
Awarded for outstanding service to the Gold Coast theatrical community
– for support, passion and philanthropy to many cultural causes and developing individuals
For this year’s Platinum Palm Award winner, Julanne Shearer, theatre provides a very important service to a community in that it gives individual people an opportunity to experience a creative process….as such it is a magnificently transforming activity.
The Platinum Palm award is awarded for outstanding service to the theatrical community that are celebrated in these awards. Past Individual winners have included Jock and Beverley McIIwain, Joel Beskin, Marie Nicholson and Kim Reynolds, Ballina Players and Phoenix Ensemble, Esther Esler and Marie Caldwell. Ms. Julanne Shearer now stands alongside these in being acknowledged for her outstanding, passionate, strategic and long term contribution to the local theatre community.
Julanne started her association with theatre in a small regional community in Far North Queensland. For a 17 year old Julanne theatre was an escape from the predictability of country life and conservative family expectations. In these isolated communities, making theatre initially was a matter of finding book on how to direct, how to act, how to design and how to stage manage and then getting on with it.
Work and marriage saw Julanne moving from one regional community to another and continuing to engage in theatrical activity. Theatre experiences in places like Cunnamulla, when actors like Australian stage great Gloria Dawn would tour through with A Taste of Honey, energised Julanne’s involvement and commitment to a local theatre. She was proactive in promoting theatre in whatever community became her ‘local’ community “if there was not a local theatre group to join, I called a public meeting and started one!"
This determined and entreprenurial approach has characterised her career as a director and producer of vast experience and achievement. For over 50 years Julanne has been involved in amateur and professional theatre as a director, producer, board member and performer. She has produced and directed all manner of theatre productions ranging from dramas to musicals. Julanne has championed new works as well as generating popular and engaging productions of familiar musicals and plays. Of note and ongoing benefit to the companies she has been involved with, is her ability to produce hit shows and generate good ‘box office’ when company coffers needed a recharge. A further critical contribution to the capacity of the local theatre on the Gold Coast was her feat in convincing the Queensland Government to provide, for the first time, the public funds to build a new theatre for GCLT in 1986.
Julanne is not only a significant player in local theatre, she has been active on the state and national level during her time as a member of the Board of the Queensland Theatre Company for ten years during the 1980s. As many of you will know, Julanne is also a lawyer and has provided free legal advice and support to GCLT and a range of other companies in this region.
Congratulations and thank you, Julanne Shearer.
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