Since 2013 Mary Porter AM has awarded her Professional Development Scholarship. Along with John Wood, Toni Lamond, Michael Edgley and Simon Gallaher, Mary is a Patron of the CAT Awards and she is keen to provide financial support for a young person to further develop their theatrical skills.

To be eligible for the scholarship, the applicant must be enrolled in a course/school/program, which the judges agree will benefit the development of the artist in the pursuit of their professional career in the theatre.

The scholarship is open to anyone living within the CAT Awards judging area and applies to acting, singing, music, design and all technical and backstage occupations and provides $2,500 to the recipient.

Applications for the 2018 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship are open. Application form:
Word version
PDF version
Applications close 31 January 2018.

Recipient of 2017 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship

Kaitlin Nihill (Canberra)

Recipient of 2016 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship

Kyle Nozza (Wollongong)

Recipient of 2015 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship

Two scholarhsips awarded this year:

Olivia Fisher (Bathurst)
James Court (Canberra)

Recipient of 2014 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship

The recipient of the 2014 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship for 2014 is Thomas Walsh from Batemans Bay.

Thomas is well known to the CAT Family having been nominated for a number of CAT awards over the last seven years including Best Newcomer in a School or youth musical, Best lighting Design for a Play and best Youth Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.

Thomas has been performing since he was six and involved in technical production since he was fourteen.

During that time he has been nurtured by the long standing CAT member company, the Bay Theatre Players, and with their help and support, has been accepted by NIDA to study production.

In introducing the award, Mary said:

Since I became involved in the CAT Awards more than a decade ago, I have always been inspired to see the many young people who got their start in professional theatre by winning a CAT award, and as you know, many of them say that winning that award is what gave them the confidence to seek pursue a career in the professional theatre.

There would be few, if any, more difficult careers to choose, and I am full of admiration for those young people who do make the decision to follow their dream.

In order to help to assist a young person who has chosen to follow this path, last year I established the Mary porter Professional Development Scholarship and the inaugural recipient was Pete Richardo, himself the winner of a number of CAT Awards. Pete is currently studying at an academy in Melbourne and I can report is doing particularly well and developing many new skills which will hopefully lead to a successful theatrical career.

This year we received almost twenty nominations and the decision about who to select was a most difficult one and I want to thank both Coralie and Stephen who assisted me in the process.

I have great pleasure in announcing that the recipient of this year’s Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship is Thomas Walsh.
Congratulations to Thomas from all of us at the CAT Awards on winning the scholarship and we wish him all the best for his career in theatre.

23 February 2014