Skip to main content

BNT President becomes Citizen of the Year

29 January 2023

This week BNT President Liana Emmerson was named the Ballarat Citizen of the Year 2023 for her wide range of community work over the years, including for her work with Ballarat National Theatre. 

Some of Liana's volunteer work with us has included the establishment of Monologue Karaoke through our friends at Volta, which has made regular theatre accessible and given a space for the BNT community to connect outside of a theatre show. She has also led several internal administrative projects that have enabled us to digitise company processes such as our membership management system which has gone from being a paper form to an online portal. This was a challenging process that required lots of consideration for the varying needs of our membership, many of whom are not technology literate, and as part of the research into this change, Liana enabled us to discuss the process in depth with Bendigo Theatre Company.

She has championed digital archiving of our many years of photography, last year using those archives to create a calendar fundraiser.

Further fundraising efforts have seen us raise some funds with the Jane Austen High Tea last year and successfully applying for a $1000 grant for community groups from Metricon.

During the pandemic she directed our now internationally known Pride and Prejudice Podcast working with co-creator and BAF Alumna Olivia French and a collective of local, regional actors and theatre makers. The project was shortlisted as an honouree in the Webby Awards and the following it established has enabled BNT to create opportunities for further accessible audio productions.

During the production of the P&P Podcast, she researched and established us an online merchandise store that provides a small passive income stream for us, which was essential during periods of lockdown to contribute to the payment of the ongoing overhead costs for running the company.

BNT is one of several community groups/projects she was recognised for contributing to with the honour of becoming Ballarat Citizen of the Year. This year will see the continuation of several of her projects with us, including productions under the stage name Liana Emmerson, and we look forward to sharing these with our community.