Support Us

The Empire Theatres Foundation supports young people to achieve their goals in the performing arts, from the beginning of their learning to nurturing professional practice. Workshops, projects, bursaries and other opportunities are provided to allow the region’s best to excel.

Your kind donation assists us to provide these opportunities and allow young people of all ages to engage with the arts and benefit from creative expression. Donate today to put dreams on stage.

The Empire Theatres are proud to be associated with our Patron, acclaimed actor Geoffrey Rush and Fellows, Gina Jeffreys, Judy Morris and Shane Withington.


Download our 'Support Us' document here.

Make a donation here.

For more details contact the Foundation Officer on 4698 9938 or


Brian Boak Bursary

The Brian Boak Outstanding Performer Bursary is offered biennially and is worth up to $20,000. This bursary has been made possible through the generosity of the late Brian Boak, a staunch supporter of the performing arts on the Darling Downs.

The Brian Boak Bursary is designed to provide support to a person wishing to pursue a program of study or professional development at a recognised university, specialist post-secondary institution or other centre of excellence in the areas of acting, dancing, singing or instrumental performance.

Applications are invited from artists who are Australian citizens, aged 18-35. Where several suitably qualified persons are identified, preference may be given to applicants residing in or originating from the Darling Downs region. The Trustees reserve the right not to award a bursary in a particular year if, in their opinion, there is no suitably qualified applicant.

The 2022 Brian Boak Busary recipient has been awarded. 

Recipient Announced 

The 2022 Brian Boak Outstanding Performer Bursary recipient is British/Australian Operatic Soprano singer, Morgan Carter whose bursary will help fund an intense one year Master of Music in Opera Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and assist with their growth as a performer. To read more about Morgan Carter, click here. 

Previous Brian Boak Bursary recipients include:

  • 2022 Outstanding Performer: Morgan Carter (Operatic Soprano)
  • 2020 Outstanding Performer: Thomas Larkin (actor) 
  • 2018 Outstanding Performer: Michael Petruccelli (tenor) 
  • 2016 Outstanding Performer: Sam Nester (trumpet player and conductor) 
  • 2014 Outstanding Performer: Angela Davis (saxophonist)
  • 2014 Outstanding Performer: Steven Rooke (actor)
  • 2013 Developing Performer: David Hatch (clarinettist)
  • 2013 Developing Performer: Paul Tabone (lyric tenor)
  • 2012 Outstanding Performer: Lucas Stibbard (theatre maker)
  • 2011 Developing Performer: Sam Nester (trumpet player and conductor)
  • 2010 Outstanding Performer: Martin Smith (cellist)
  • 2009 Developing Performer: Emily Goddard (actor)
  • 2009 Developing Performer: Dane Lam (conductor)
  • 2008 Outstanding Performer: Bonnie Brown (pianist)
  • 2008 Developing Performer: Nicola Hayden (flautist)

Youth Bursaries

2022 Youth Bursary Program

Applications for the 2022 Youth Bursary round are now closed.

The Empire Theatres Foundation exists to further the cultural experiences and professional development of young people in our region and nationally. The Youth Bursaries offer the opportunity for creative people ages 12-25 to undertake short courses at leading Australian performing arts educational institutions. Study areas have included dance, drama, music, film, technical production, arts administration and more!  

The Empire Theatres Foundation offers Youth Bursaries to provide opportunities for multiple young people per year to develop their performing arts skills (including instrumental music, singing, dance and acting) at leading Australian performing arts educational institutions. Organisations include National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Victorian College of Arts, Queensland Theatre Company's Theatre Residency Week and Expressions Dance Company.

The program aims to assist young individuals who demonstrate current involvement and achievement in a performing arts discipline to further their cultural experiences and professional development.

For more details contact the Foundation Officer on 4698 9938 or