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Community Partnerships

Community is at the centre of everything we do.

Our goal is to build and sustain strong and meaningful relationships with individuals, groups and organisations across our local community, to meet our aims for inclusivity, diversity, access and opportunity.

Peoplecare

Peoplecare is a national, not-for-profit health insurer that exists to benefit its members.

With Peoplecare’s support, Merrigong is able to provide subsidised tickets for local schools in disadvantaged socioeconomic areas so that they can attend the education program performances in our mainstage season program.

Peoplecare’s support also allows us to offer opportunities for young people to participate in our Creativity Camps.

The Smith Family

The Smith Family is Australia’s largest national education-oriented children’s charity, helping disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education, giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of disadvantage.

Providing learning support and mentoring programs, The Smith Family helps children and young people to fit in at school, keep up with their peers, and build aspirations for a better future.

Merrigong is proud to partner with The Smith Family to provide scholarships for children in their programs to attend our Creativity Camp.

Beyond Empathy

Beyond Empathy is a team of artists, mentors, community workers, local practitioners and leaders who form creative relationships with communities and individuals in need.

Guided by their vision, Beyond Empathy strives for a compassionate and resilient society in which creativity is at the forefront of driving change.

Merrigong Theatre and Beyond Empathy partnered to present the Blue Rose installation, a project created with people of diverse abilities and their families, highlighting the experience of those who do not use verbal language as their primary way to communicate.

The result was an immersive installation which enabled visitors to play with shadow and light and create visual echoes as they walked through interactive projections. People of all ages and abilities enjoyed making music through movement, travelling in a virtual cockpit, and relaxing in a sensory cocoon. This installation challenged prejudice and highlight issues of access and concerns regarding service delivery.

The Disability Trust

The Disability Trust has its roots firmly in the community, having been established in 1974 to help children with disabilities and their families in the Illawarra.

The Disability Trust is committed to providing highly professional care and support to people with disabilities and their families.

Merrigong and The Disability Trust have been proud community partners in the Altogether Drama community theatre program since 2006. This program provides people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a program of activities working with professional theatre artists and reduced ticketing to relevant shows.

In 2014 Merrigong produced the first triennial mainstage production in association with The Disability Trust with The Strangeways Ensemble, a permanent company of professional actors perceived to have intellectual disability, and Wollongong’s only professional theatre ensemble.

The Strangeways Ensemble has gone on to perform three original works including Trash Talk in February 2020.

To find out more visit The Disability Trust Program page here:

 

Vision Australia

Vision Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low vision support services in Australia.

Merrigong has partnered with Vision Australia to provide access services including Audio Descriptions of performances and on-stage Tactile Tours available to patrons for selected shows.

Highly-trained audio describers volunteer their time to prepare a script and resources, before presenting the audio description and tour.

During these performances, audio describers bring transitions, movements, gestures, props, settings, costumes and scenery vividly and succinctly to life during pauses in on-stage dialogue. This allows people with low or no vision the opportunity to experience every part of the arts and entertainment world.

Visit our Access Services page to find out more.

SCARF Refugee Support

SCARF is a not-for-profit organisation helping refugee entrants to build a sense of belonging and navigate the practical and personal challenges of starting a new life in Australia.

Merrigong has partnered with SCARF to support their social Inclusion and Befriending programs which match local volunteers with individuals and families from refugee backgrounds.

The program includes tickets to mainstage season shows that generate opportunities for social, recreational and educational activities.

The Befriending program helps to combat loneliness and to provide individualised support and mutual learning.

The Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra

The Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra is a peak not-for-profit organisation that supports people and communities from culturally and linguistically (CALD) diverse backgrounds.

Merrigong Theatre is proud to partner with MCCI to support Links to Learning – a multicultural youth program, working with a group students throughout a full year. The program extends on the students exisiting skills and abilities and builds confidence for them to become leaders and role models in their communities.

Woolyungah Indigenous Centre

Woolyungah Indigenous Centre (WIC) is committed to increasing the participation and engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the University of Wollongong. They provide programs, services and facilities that encourage and support Indigenous Australians from entry to University, through to successful completion.

Merrigong Theatre works with Woolyungah Indigenous Centre to host interns from the University of Wollongong to improve student opportunities for career development and employment in the arts.

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