Page 923 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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Founded in 1994, the awards have gone from strength to strength and are surely one of the key events on the city’s social calendar. In 2008, entries came from Batemans Bay, Bega, Bowral, Cowra, Merimbula, Orange, Parkes, Queanbeyan, Wagga Wagga, Wellington, Yass and, of course, Canberra.

To produce an event such as the CAT awards takes an enormous amount of effort by many people. I would like to thank the members of the board, the sponsors and the judges who contribute so much. I would like to make special mention of the sponsorship provided by Telstra Country Wide. They have provided sponsorship for several years and it is very much appreciated. Often, financial sponsorship by companies in areas that are not core business does not return the best financial return in investment, but it is that decision to still go ahead with that financial sponsorship which really does show the character of the companies and their commitment to the community.

The theatrical community is not a small community. Theatre is a great and inclusive activity that brings people together from all walks of life. I would like to thank the thousands of people from across the region who contributed to dozens of plays and musicals that we enjoyed in 2008.

In recognising the CAT awards, I must personally thank and honour Coralie Wood OAM for her fantastic leadership over many years. Coralie would be known to many in this Assembly, if not everyone. She is a leading Canberra identity who has contributed much to the life of our city.

In conclusion, I pay tribute to Dennis Martin, Coralie Wood and the rest of the team for their fantastic work in making the CAT awards the success they are. I look forward to next year’s show.

Canberra area theatre awards

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (6.02): I also wish to add my thoughts on the CAT awards. A fair bit has already been spoken about the commitment and the contribution of many people from our community. Simply, I would like to make a little postscript to some of the things that have been said.

Apart from the wider community from Canberra and the broader region, the CAT awards include a lot of the schools in Canberra that take part in it. There is a tremendous contribution from both the students and all the teachers who are involved, most of the time in a voluntary capacity, in assisting in the development of our youth with their theatrical ambitions. The activities of Coralie Wood—Ms Porter has also played a considerable part—have contributed to that.

But I refer to all of the activities that are related to the CAT awards. Much has been said by Mr Coe and Mrs Dunne. The activities have very much made a contribution to theatrical life in Canberra and have been a great launching pad for some of the youth of our area for further ambitions in their chosen career in the theatre; a lot of them have gone on to greater things.

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