Courtesy of Alethea Beetson, Digi Youth Arts
Just think for a moment, of the place in which we stand, such beauty and such history, simply blessed to hold in-hand.
The Festival of Australian Student Theatre acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the lands upon which we gather. We extend this acknowledgement to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have moved here and made a significant contribution to the community.
We pay our respects to their past, present and emerging Elders and acknowledge the important role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art will always play within our communities.
The Festival of Australian Student Theatre looks to the future by providing a space for the next wave of contemporary theatre practitioners to create work, connect and grow. As students, recent graduates and theatre-lovers gather at this Festival to consume as much art as possible, take a moment to reflect on the very, very deep history of performance in Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders performance has been integral to these lands for thousands of years. Our art practice has survived and will continue to thrive because we value our artists. My community has shown me that artists are our historians, teachers and keepers of our knowledge systems. That's why, before the tall ships came, artists were given the same resources as anyone else.
So as you weave your way through the program, take time to connect with the past. This country's history is the key to a better future.
Always was. Always will be. Never ceded.
In keeping with the spirit of Reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands, the Yugara and Turrbul People, and recognise that these have always been places of teaching and learning. We pay respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the arts community