Are Queensland performers still losing out?

It's been a year since unions and communities began pressuring Queensland companies to hire more locals. Has anything changed?
Queensland performers on stage.

Queensland performers have a long history of feeling maligned by local producers and companies. Feelings of projected inferiority are common across Australia outside the “cultural hubs” of Melbourne and Sydney, made explicit in federal funding. In 2023, the issue became urgent enough for the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) to launch a ‘Hot Locals for Hire’ campaign. Queensland actors were repeatedly losing out on local roles to interstate counterparts. 

While the campaign targeted screen and stage, it’s clear that Brisbane’s theatre companies have gone through substantial upheaval in the last 12 months. Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre (QT) Lee Lewis suddenly resigned in March 2024, while Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) CEO John Kotzas will leave the position at the end of 2024 after more than 25 years.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more

David Burton is a writer from Meanjin, Brisbane. David also works as a playwright, director and author. He is the playwright of over 30 professionally produced plays. He holds a Doctorate in the Creative Industries.