APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

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The 2021 APATA National Award Winners Are…

Posted by Team APATA | Apr 29, 2021

The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association Winners Announced!

After a challenging 12 months for the performing arts sector and changes we’ve all made to the way we practice, teach, learn, perform, and live our everyday lives, it has been wonderful to watch everyone return to the studio, classroom and the stage.

It’s been an amazing start to 2021 reading through incredible award applications, especially hearing from champions in the performing arts community supporting teachers, educators, and students. A common thread across everyone’s story has demonstrated how communities have come together for arts education and rallied behind each other to make a difference and adapt.

What has truly struck us about the 2021 award applications, is the adaptability, and the show must go on in some shape or form and giving it their all. We’ve loved the opportunity to serve our community and showcase your passion, expertise, remarkable generosity, and achievements.

We’re incredibly proud of our teachers, educators and and students continuing to practice and develop with their craft, the industry and community in the performing arts. Although the past year has been testing the results achieved working in uncertainty has been remarkable.

Congratulations to all who entered or were nominated by champions in the community for the Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association (APATA) 2021 National Awards Program. The high calibre of applications, dedication and passion for each and everyone’s vocation was heartfelt and exceptional. The judging committee have commented on several occasions the outstanding applications received this year has been truly inspiring.

Congratulations to our winners, their schools, and communities! We’re super proud to share your story!

Excellence In Performing Arts Education – Wakakirri

Wakakirri is a not-for-profit organization that uses storytelling, the oldest form of learning, as its focus for providing innovative educational programs to schools in a manner that resonates with contemporary youth culture. Founded in 1992, Wakakirri develops student engagement and wellbeing through the sharing of stories and participation in the performing arts. The Aboriginal word Wakakirri means ‘to dance a story’ according to Wangaaypuwan people of Cobar, NSW.

Wakakirri is Australia’s largest performing arts event for schools.

Congratulations Wakakirri!

Learn More About Wakakirri – HERE

Performing Arts School of the Year

John Paul College

APATA AWARDS Winner 2021 John Paul College

John Paul College delivers a contemporary co-educational curriculum grounded in traditional values from Early Learning to Year Twelve. Students are at the heart of all they do, and this is reflected in their purpose: To Educate, To Inspire, To Make a Difference.

John Paul College’s performing arts program is a far-reaching, established across multiple disciplines and delivers outstanding professionalism for their productions and performances, the success of their Alumni and the quality of Performing Arts specialist teachers supports students to nurture and achieve their artistic and performance goals.

Ensembles have contributed significantly to many national and international events over the past two decades. The biennial musical production are deeply respected across the performing arts community as well as family and friends of the school from showcasing outstanding performers through to working with students passionate to learn, participate and be engaged in the performing arts.

The schools performing arts program is wide ranging from orchestras, ensembles, rock bands, choirs, cheerleading, dance and drama, to nurture talents, introduce students to a variety of performing arts disciplines and create unforgettable experiences for every student.

Congratulations John Paul College! Learn More About John Paul College – HERE

Performing Arts Student of the Year

Jackson Hughesman

APATA AWARDS Winner 2021 Jackson Hughesman

Jackson is not only an extremely talented singer, actor, and composer, he also works extremely hard to improve these skills and mentor others. Recognised in his community theatre organisation, Jackson also prioritised his school choir, theatre and musical productions.

Other students have lifted and improved just from the opportunity to work with Jackson, and this has seen the whole music and theatre program of the school improve greatly. While he loves working on stage, he is equally satisfied working behind the scenes, including publicity, stage managing and even taking the role of assistant director in the schools latest musical.

Jackson has a big year ahead, preparing to play the lead role of Gomez in the school musical production of ‘The Adam’s Family’. Following Year 12 Jackson is aiming to study Musical Theatre at Griffith University.

Congratulations Jackson!

The judging committee deeply admired your passion and love of the performing arts and eagerly look forward to following your career and the road ahead as you continue to following your dreams and nurture your career in the years of come.

Credits from 2015- 2021


Prince Charming ‘Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Gomez ‘The Adam’s Family’ – St Patrick’s College Musical


Hunter ‘Underneath the tree’ an original musical by Jackson Hughesman – Brisbane Musical Theatre

Schroeder ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’ – Brisbane Musical Theatre


Doody ‘Grease the Musical’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Bundles ‘Annie Jr’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Doody ‘Grease the Musical’ – St Patrick’s College Musical


Jafar ‘Aladdin Jr’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Scar ‘Lion King Jr’ – St Patrick’s College

Archie ’13 the Musical’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Cowardly Lion ‘Wizard of Oz’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Grimsby ‘The Little Mermaid’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre


Narrator ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre

Ensemble ‘High School Musical’ – St Patrick’s College

Fredrich Vonn Trapp ‘Sound of Music’ – Brisbane Musical Theatre

Papa Bear ‘Shrek the Musical’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre


Marionette ‘My Son Pinocchio’ – Brisbane Junior Theatre


Oliver Twist ‘Oliver the Musical’ – JAFA


Gold Palm Theatre Awards Jock and Beverly McIlwain Special encouragement award 2020 – Prize money of $2000

Nominee – Gold Palm Theatre Awards – Best supporting actor for portrayal of ‘Schroeder’ in Brisbane Musical Theatre’s ‘You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, the Musical’.

Singer of the year – St Patrick’s College 2020

Creative Team

Writer of ‘Underneath the tree; an original musical’

Assistant director of ‘Aladdin Jr’ Show cancelled due to covid – 19

Stage Manager ‘Les Misérables’ Brisbane Musical theatre

Publicity for various Brisbane Junior Theatre and Brisbane Musical Theatre productions


Vocal training by Fiona Engwirda

Acting training by Jack Bradford and Jesse Bradford


Boys from the shore (An award-winning Auditioned Choir for St Patrick’s College)

Singers (An award-winning Choir for changed voices at St Patrick’s College)

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