The winners have also been published on the 2019 winners page.


Read CEO Coralie Wood’s refections on the 25 years of the CAT Awards

And watch the Australian Voice Collective perform The Sound of Silence.

And browse photos of some of the great productions we saw in 2019, Plus some from over the 25 years of the CAT Awards.

A word from our CEO, Coralie Wood OAM

Coralie Wood, CEO

Twenty-five years ago, Kate Petes and I had dream, that dream being that all amateur theatre actors, directors, orchestras, dancers, back stage personnel, and every theatre lover would gain recognition through the Canberra Area Theatre Awards (now officially just CAT Awards Ltd).

Everyone said “It won’t last.” but they were wrong!

From the early beginnings of six local companies to now more than 50 schools and companies from Wollongong to Orange and the Blue Mountains,  to Bega to Batemans Bay, and many in between in smaller towns like Molong, Yass, and Cooma, and of course Canberra, our dedicated judges travel many kilometres and love the fulfilment of seeing so many shows.

Looking back over the years, we have seen so many different casts in Oklahoma, Kinky Boots, Cats, Mamma Mia, Sound of Music, Hair, Jesus Christ Super Star and many more old and new musicals, whilst making many friends along the way. Dramas and comedy have played a big part in the life of the Cat Awards – from The Diary of Anne Frank, to Art, to The Woman in the Window and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and we have enjoyed every production. Large and small companies, schools and junior theatre companies have all been involved.

And so many of the actors and crew have now gone onto a career in professional theatre. When we saw a young and very shy Lorina Gore in a musical at Daramalan College we knew she would become a star, and she certainly has. We are so proud of her rise in the opera world, both internationally and with Opera Australian.

Damien Bermingham was also shy and being the youngest of a large musical family, we knew he had a wonderful presence and voice. He moved to Sydney and became a star in musical comedy theatre whilst his sister Lucy Bermingham found her niche as a musical director and lead pianist in professional theatre orchestras.

Billy Bourchier, at 11 years old, was noticed by the CATs team and after graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium’s Musical Theatre Bachelor program he was cast as Frederic in Harvest Rain’s Pirates of Penzance under the direction of Simon Gallaher. He has never looked back and has been touring constantly with Pirates of Penzance, then Les Miserables and until recently The Book of Mormon.

These are only three of many from our region who have made it into producing, directing, ballet, and backstage. We are so proud of our judges’ intuition and recognising these young people who have gone on to become stars. It makes us proud to think that by recognising and acknowledging their achievements we may have contributed in some small way to their success.


The dreaded COVID-19 has caused much angst and we are so sad it has changed our plans for the 25th gala celebrations. Our companies, our behind the scenes personnel, judges, office workers, audience members, our very special sponsors,  and all people connected with the CAT Awards are very conscious that the show must go on, so we have moved to an online gala awards “ceremony”!

What happens in the rest of 2020 is still a bit uncertain and we will just have to wait and see. We hope we will be able to eventually continue seeing shows, and have a belated 25th gala next year…

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy watching the announcement of the 25th CAT Awards winners. Thanks to all judges and the Board who have shown such commitment in getting this together. Without you, and the companies there would be no CAT Awards.  See you next year!

Australian Voice Collective performs Sound of Silence

One of the many performances we would have seen at our Gala night, and very appropriate in these strange times