Dean Gibson Appointed as First Aboriginal Chair of Queensland Theatre Board

Dean Gibson Appointed as First Aboriginal Chair of Queensland Theatre Board

Dean Gibson, an acclaimed Indigenous filmmaker from the Guugu Yimithirr people, has made history by becoming the first Aboriginal person to be appointed as chair of the Queensland Theatre Board. He takes over from Elizabeth Jameson AM, who served as chair for eleven years. The Logie-winning filmmaker expressed his gratitude and aspirations for his new role, emphasizing his commitment to storytelling and artistic opportunities, particularly for Queensland stories and artists. Dean Gibson Appointed as First Aboriginal Chair of Queensland Theatre Board

A New Era of Leadership

“As I step into this role following the outstanding service and oversight from Elizabeth Jameson, I am deeply grateful for her friendship, mentorship, and unwavering support,” Gibson said. “She has not only been a great friend but also a guiding light for Queensland Theatre.”

A Storied Career

With over 20 years of experience in filmmaking, Gibson’s extensive portfolio includes productions for ABC, NITV, and SBS, as well as content for national and international audiences across various mediums such as children’s television, documentary, and drama. In 2013, he founded Bacon Factory Films to amplify Indigenous voices and create lasting, impactful films for future generations.

One of Gibson’s most notable works is the feature documentary Incarceration Nation, which examines systemic racism within Australia’s justice system. This documentary earned him the 2021/22 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program. His other acclaimed projects include the Sesame Street film Five Kangaroos featuring Jessica Mauboy, co-directing the series Handball Heroes on ABC3, and the recent lullabies Tjitji Lullaby and Marringa Lullaby for ABC Kids.

The Power of Storytelling

“Story is everything. It’s the heart of who we are,” Gibson stated. “My career behind the camera has taught me that it all starts with a story and ends with a story. Story must be at the heart of this company—stories that challenge, stories that celebrate, and stories that bring truth to our past—they all have their place on our stages, across Queensland.”

Contributions and Future Vision

Gibson has been a member of the Queensland Theatre Board since May 2021, becoming deputy chair a year later. As chair of the company’s Indigenous Reference Group, he has influenced the artistic direction and programming of First Nations storytelling and supported pathways and opportunities for Indigenous artists and creatives.

“As we approach pivotal moments in our state, including truth-telling and the Brisbane Olympics 2032, I am confident that Queensland Theatre will play a pivotal role in amplifying our stories and people to the world through the magic and power of live theatre,” Gibson shared.

Endorsement and New Appointments

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch praised Gibson’s appointment, highlighting his potential to be a “champion of First Nations stories” in his new role. She believes his award-winning experience will help drive Queensland Theatre to new levels of diversity, innovation, and audience connection.

The Queensland Theatre Board also welcomed three new members, including Stephanie Parkin, a Quandamooka woman and co-founder of Parallax Legal. As an intellectual property lawyer, Parkin has been dedicated to promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and protocols within the arts and other industries.

Gibson’s appointment marks a significant milestone for Queensland Theatre, promising a future rich with diverse, powerful storytelling that honors and uplifts Indigenous voices and perspectives.

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