MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (09:40:28): I rise today to share a recent experience in which I felt privileged to gain an insight into what it means to live with a disability. I attended the opening in Geelong of Back to Back Theatre’s production The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes. It was incredibly powerful, cleverly acted by five cast members. In a staged public meeting led by activists with intellectual disabilities, the cast confronted the audience with the challenge of how to react to their disabilities and deal with the concept of otherness. The themes included artificial intelligence; the ideas of democracy, identity, disability and human rights; and the serious issues surrounding disability advocacy. The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes was created by the cast through a series of workshops and improvisations over a period of two and a half years. After premiering in Sydney and playing in Geelong, the production moved to Melbourne as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Early next year it will tour the USA, playing in Boston, at Stanford University in California and in Ohio. I congratulate Back to Back Theatre not only for this production but for their fine award-winning history that spans 30 years of, in their words—and I quote—questioning not only: … what is possible in theatre, but also the assumptions that we hold about ourselves and others. Bruce Gladwin has been Back to Back’s artistic director for 20 years, driving the theatre’s goals to promote social inclusion and form a career path for actors with disabilities. Congratulations to all.
Tags: Members Statement