Bursaries help talented youth pursue their dreams

Published: 08 Feb 2023

Sophie Novosel dreams of the bright lights of a career in musical theatre.

And the St Patrick’s College graduate is on the right track.

Sophie was struck by the performing bug at the age of eight and has since starred in an impressive number of productions as well as receiving awards for performing in school and at eisteddfods.

Sophie has been accepted to study a two-year Diploma of Musical Theatre at the exclusive Brent Street Studio in Sydney where she hopes to access the intensive professional training that will open a pathway for her to be a triple-threat performer.

Sophie was named today (Wednesday, February 8) as the recipient of the MECC’s $1000 Jack Sturgeon Bursary for 2023.

It was one of three bursaries presented by Mayor Greg Williamson.

Mayor Williamson said the achievements of all recipients were inspiring.

“We have seen Sophie star in lead roles in the Mackay Musical Comedy Players performances of Chicago, Shrek and We Will Rock You,” Mayor Williamson said.

“She is certainly a star on the rise, and we can all look forward to seeing where this opportunity will take her,” he said.

Artspace Mackay’s $1000 Rick Wood Bursary for 2023 was awarded to Anna Gavan.

Anna is a recent graduate of Mackay North State High School who is making the move to Brisbane to begin a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Visual Arts and Creative Writing at the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

“Anna’s art has driven all of her achievements and success and it is her dream to pass that passion on to a new generation of students,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Anna aspires to undertake a Master of Education (Secondary) following her bachelor’s degree to be a high school visual arts and creative writing teacher so she can inspire young people to see the true beauty and essentiality of art,” he said.

The $3000 Artspace Mackay Foundation Bursary recipient for 2023 is animation and visual arts student Alana McAnulty.

Alana completed a Bachelor of Digital Media (majoring in animation and graphic design) at Central Queensland University and is currently completing a Master’s in Creative Industries through the SAE Institute.

Alana is a queer identifying creator who is passionate about creating works that both broaden and normalise queer experiences.

“Alana plans to use this bursary fund to create a short, animated film as part of her current Master’s degree. She plans to engage voice actors and a colourist to take her animated film to the next level. We wish her well,” Mayor Williamson said.

Bursary winners

Image: Artspace Mackay Director Tracey Heathwood, 2023 Rick Wood Bursary recipient Anna Gavan, Artspace Foundation Bursary recipient Alana McAnulty and Mayor Greg Williamson at the presentation morning tea. Jack Sturgeon Bursary recipient Sofie Novosel was in Sydney but spoke via mobile phone.