President’s Award


We are excited to announce Colleen Roche as the 2023 Drama Australia President’s Award recipient!

Colleen Roche has had a long and distinguished career as a teacher of drama and has contributed service to the Drama Education community at the state, national and international level. She has been a long-time member of Drama NSW (joining when it was still known as EDA). She was an active committee member including holding the role of President of Drama NSW (2008-2013) and was recently made a Life Member of Drama NSW. At a national level, she has held multiple roles on the Drama Australia Board, including as Drama Australia President (2013 – 2016).  She is currently Director of Communications for IDEA – the International Drama and Theatre in Education Association.

Colleen has taught and inspired generations of drama students and mentored many drama educators over her long career. Although she has recently tried to retire, she has been lured back to teaching, and continues to serve Drama Education at an international level representing Australia on the IDEA executive committee.

We thank Colleen for or her service and immense contribution to our Drama Australia community.

This is our most prestigious award with only 18 previous recipients.

The recipient of a Drama Australia President’s Award demonstrates:

  • Significant, long-term service and commitment to Drama Australia (formerly NADIE) and drama/theatre education in Australia.
  • Significant service and commitment within a state/territory member association (including service on state/territory association management committees/boards and/or sub-committees).
  • A contribution to drama/theatre education at an international level.

Year Recipient

2001 Associate Professor Kate Donelan (Drama Victoria)

2002 Dr Christine Comans (Drama Queensland)

2003 Professor John O’Toole (Drama Queensland)

2004 Dr Jennifer Simons (Drama NSW)

2005 Professor Heather Smigiel (Drama Tasmania)

2006 Professor John Carroll (Drama NSW)

2008 Ms Wendy Danforth (SAADIE -Posthumous)

2009 Associate Professor Angela O’Brien (Drama Victoria)

2011 Mr Robin Pascoe (Drama West)

2012 Professor Brad Haseman (Drama Queensland)

2013 Ms Beth Parsons (Drama Tasmania)

2015 Associate Professor Mary Mooney (Drama NSW)

2016 Mr Graham Cox (Drama South Australia)

2017 Dr Val Johnson (Drama West)

2018 Dr Jo Raphael (Drama Victoria)

2019 Dr Richard Sallis (Drama Victoria)

2020 Professor Judith McLean (Drama Queensland)

2021 Professor Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Queensland)