The Matilda Awards began in 1987 by theatre reviewers Alison Cotes and Sue Gough, who felt there should be some form of recognition that celebrated and promoted the excellence of southeast Queensland’s theatre industry.
Artists of national and international stature feature among past winners:
Bille Brown, Robyn Nevin, Sally McKenzie, Russell Kiefel, Bill Haycock, Anthony Phelan, Jennifer Flowers, Sue Rider, Eugene Gilfedder, Robert Arthur, David Walters, Aubrey Mellor, Bryan Nason, David Brown, Jim Vile, David Clendinning, Dale Ferguson, David Bell, Andrew Buchanan, Brenna Lee-Cooney, John Batchelor, Greg Clarke, Hayden Spencer, Babette Stephens, Wesley Enoch, John Kotzas, Michael Gow.
The 2012 awards debuted a signature design for its statuettes, presenting gold trophies for the five major Matilda Awards. The Matildas also introduced ten silver trophies for the category commendations recognising the best achievements among mainstage and independent productions, new Australian work, direction, actors and actresses in leading and supporting roles, design and emerging artist.
While membership of the judging panel has changed over the years and is now made up of critics, commentators and other people with demonstrated expertise in and knowledge of the industry in Queensland, nominations and winners have always been determined solely by members of the committee.
Additionally, the committee has been successful in securing $30,000 funding from the Brisbane City Council spanning 2014-2016.
The funding received from Arts Queensland goes towards the costs of the trophies designed by a Queensland visual artist, MCs, entertainers, printing, website updates and production costs.
The public ceremony to award outstanding work over the previous year is held annually in February or March at Gardens Theatre in the CBD, and is free for all to attend. Bookings however are required and can be made on our website after the nominations are announced.