Artistic Director and co-CEO Sue Giles appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Polyglot Theatre is thrilled to announce that its Artistic Director and co-CEO Sue Giles has been appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List.

Sue has been recognised with this national honour for her significant service to the performing arts as an artistic director, and to theatre for children.

“On behalf of the Board of Polyglot Theatre, I’d like to congratulate our artistic leader, Sue Giles, on her award. Sue’s ground-breaking work benefits children across Australia and internationally; her tenacity and passion, wit and commitment are inspirational. Sue directs her energy, heart and time to children and young people of all cultures, languages and abilities. Her genius is that she places children at the centre of all that she does, and in doing so, helps them to build skills and confidence for a united future – and ensures they always have heaps of fun along the way. Congratulations Sue!” Sarah Hunt, Polyglot Theatre Chair

Sue has been the Artistic Director of Polyglot Theatre since 2000, leading the company into new territory with interactive works, community processes and the inclusion of play in the company’s theatrical offerings for children. Sue’s distinct child-centred creative experiences have been the subject of masterclasses, theses, forums and discussions nationally and internationally, including key industry events in Sweden, London, Melbourne, Singapore, Macau, Sao Paulo and Norway.

Sue’s works have been performed in 15 countries on five continents in five different languages. They have been presented by Australia’s major festivals and the world’s leading arts centres. Her productions have won numerous awards, including the 2015 Green Room Award for Innovation in Contemporary Performance for Young People, and have been nominated for The Age Critics, Green Room and Helpmann Awards multiple times.

In 2018, Sue received the Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the Australian arts industry, and authored a Platform Paper for Currency Press titled Young People and the Arts: An agenda for change.

In addition to her role at Polyglot Theatre, Sue is a tireless advocate for Theatre for Young Audiences in Australia, working through a partnership with Theatre Network Australia to galvanise the national sector, and internationally as Vice President of ASSITEJ International, the global association of theatre for young audiences.

“I am honoured to be recognised among so many extraordinary colleagues in the performing arts, specifically in the sector of theatre for children and young people. The people who work in this sector are collegiate, supportive, generous and incredibly hard working, and have made a massive impact around the nation and internationally. They are people who understand their audiences deeply and pour their heart and soul into the creation of transformative works for and with young people. The complexities and sensitivity of engagement with children, above and beyond our visible public output, makes our sector vital in the landscape and we will all keep working for the rights of the child to a valued place in our society.

It is also an honour to be recognised among hundreds of others who work in service to their communities and for the collective strength of our country and all its potential. However, this honour is overshadowed for me by the fact that the First Nations people of Australia are still denied their rightful place at the centre of the celebration of our future and identity. Let’s change the date so we can all celebrate.” Sue Giles

Under Sue’s leadership, Polyglot Theatre celebrated its 40th Birthday in 2018, capping a massive four decades of touring and creative activity for the critically acclaimed company. Since 1978, Polyglot Theatre has grown from a tiny puppet company to an internationally touring organisation housing twelve permanent staff and working with a dedicated core of artists. Polyglot Theatre is acclaimed for touring large-scale Play Space works, theatre, inter-cultural collaborations and child-driven community projects, and also for advocating for the role of the arts in children’s development. Renowned for its dedication to exploring the breathtaking possibilities of contemporary children’s theatre, Polyglot Theatre is today highly sought-after across the globe for its distinctive blend of interactive and participatory arts experiences for children and families that boldly re-position children’s theatre at the forefront of contemporary art.   

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