Thomas Weatherall announced as the 2021 Balnaves Fellow

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Date Published:
13 Dec 2021

Belvoir is pleased to announce Kamilaroi man Thomas Weatherall as the 2021 Balnaves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellow.

Thomas is a 21-year old Kamilaroi man, based in Brisbane. He is an actor, writer and dancer, best known for his work in Channel 7’s RFDS and ABC’s All My Friends Are Racist. In 2020 Thomas was named as one of Casting Guild Australia’s “Rising Stars” and since then has continued to solidify his standing in the industry across stage and screen, making his theatre debut this year with ATYP’s Follow Me Home at the SBW Stables Theatre, and the recent announcement that he will be starring in Netflix’s Heartbreak High in 2022. Thomas is currently developing a number of works, branching out into other creative fields and exploring more personal stories.

His new play Blue (working title) is a delicate and personal work, intimate in delivery but epic in its visual and linguistic virtuosity. Blue follows Mark, a 20-year-old man, in and out of memories and the present as he works through personal and familial grief.

Examining the damaging and segregating ways youthful masculinity can push us away from facing the taboo topics like mental health, loss and falling in love, Mark grows and begins to find a more hopeful and honest way forward. With the ocean a constant backdrop, turbulent and inevitable, both literal and metaphorical, Blue’s inherent poetry demands an exhilarating theatrical inventiveness.

Kodie Bedford, Belvoir Artistic Associate and 2018 Balnaves Fellow said, “I’m beyond thrilled that Thomas has been awarded the Balnaves Fellowship. Not only is he multi-talented as a dancer and actor, but also an incredible emerging talent as a writer. His pitch literally took my breath away and I cannot wait until he shares it with the rest of the world. Welcome to the Belvoir family, Thomas!”

Hamish Balnaves, CEO of The Balnaves Foundation said, “We believe that supporting the next generation of artists and funding new Australian work at the creative development stage is extremely important. Philanthropy provides the opportunity to bring new Indigenous works to new audiences; engaging, challenging and educating them. These stories play a vital role in truth telling, treaty and reconciliation. We are excited to congratulate Thomas on the award and are excited to see how he will use the fellowship to further develop his writing and directorial talent”.

The Balnaves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship is supported by The Balnaves Foundation.