Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) and Sibelco Australia have taken out the 2015 Premier’s Reconciliation Award at a ceremony last night in Brisbane, for an all-company Indigenous Program led from the stage by the powerful, critically-acclaimed and ground-breaking production, Black Diggers.

Guided by the three pillars of Respect, Recognition and Reconciliation, the Awards are a major win for QTC’s Indigenous program which was established in 2011, aimed at developing and producing Indigenous work and building audiences for Indigenous stories.

The success and profile of the company’s Indigenous Program attracted the attention of Sibelco, who partnered with QTC to present the landmark production which premiered in 2014 and has recently completed a national tour.

Black Diggers is the culmination of painstaking research into the lives and deaths of the thousand or so Indigenous soldiers who fought for the British Commonwealth in World War I. Grand in scale and scope, it draws from in-depth interviews with the families of black Diggers who heard the call to arms from all over Australia, as well as conversations with veterans, historians and academics.

It has become one of QTC’s most successful productions and promotes cross-cultural understanding by telling the story of Indigenous diggers in a way that is accessible to all audiences. It recently won the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting in the 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

QTC Executive Director Sue Donnelly said the entire company was thrilled to take the top title at the awards. “Theatre is about collaborations and partnerships and QTC is extremely proud of our strong relationship with Sibelco which has resulted in 50,000 people around Australia seeing our critically acclaimed production, which at its heart is all about reconciliation.”

Queensland Theatre Company and Sibelco Australia entered the Partnerships Category of the Queensland Reconciliation Awards, however are celebrating today having taken out the top award – the overall Premier’s Reconciliation Award. This follows on from QTC’s win in 2013 with the Community Award at the 2013 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

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