Bursary helps performing arts students chase their dreams

Published: 24 Oct 2019

Studying the performing arts far from home is a huge step for a young person.

And while the distance from home is great, so too are the expenses, which is why funding opportunities, like the Jack Sturgeon Bursary, are so important.

Jack Sturgeon was co-founder of the Mackay Musical Comedy Players and a life-long supporter of the arts.

The bursary, named in his honour, has given a step-up to countless aspiring performing artists looking to further their careers.

The $1000 bursary, granted annually by the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC), is awarded to an applicant in Year 12 who demonstrates the same enthusiasm for the performing arts as Jack did.

A recipient of last year’s bursary, Kaitlyn Crocker, who is now studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, said the Jack Sturgeon Bursary was a fantastic opportunity for performing arts students in a regional area.

“Now that I am studying Technical Theatre, I am exposed to lots of opportunities, but it’s so great to have something like this offered at home to give you a helping hand when you need it the most,” Ms Crocker said.

“I was able to use my bursary to ease the burden of moving to Sydney and assist me in buying the tools I need for my degree,” she said.

“In my degree you need all the usual ‘uni’ equipment, like textbooks, as well as very specific tools like shifters, ropes, chinagraph pencils and that kind of thing.”

Cr Justin Englert said the bursary was one of the ways the MECC fostered young talent in our community.

“Mackay has so many talented and enthusiastic young performers and musicians,” Cr Englert said.

“However, taking the plunge to pursue a career and study performing arts or music is a big step and a $1000 grant can go a long way to making that transition easier,” he said.

Ms Crocker advised anyone looking to apply for the grant this year to take the time to fill out a detailed portfolio.

“In the past, most of my applications had been in the form of auditions, so it took me a fair while to put everything into a written application – but it was well worth the time it took,” she said.

To be eligible for the bursary, the applicant must be accepted into tertiary studies in performing arts or music.

Applications are now open and close on Saturday, November 30.

The winner will be announced in late December upon confirmation of university acceptance (applicant to supply to the MECC once received).

Written applications can be sent to: Jack Sturgeon Bursary Application, Mackay Regional Council, PO Box 41, Mackay, QLD, 4740.

For further information or assistance with applications, call Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre's manager Andrew Bobeldyk on 4961 9762.