Lilly has been passionate about theatre since the age of 16. After high school she began a Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services at the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television, Ultimo.

“I like performance, storytelling, I’m not good at acting but I’m good at organising stuff so that’s why I decided on a career in stage management,” Lilly explains.

She most enjoys running the lighting, especially during the shows the Academy would put on as practice. “It’s pretty hands on,” she says. “There’s a bunch of different acts, there’s different set requirements, you’ve got to lift stuff, you’ve got to get people in the dressing room – so much.”

stage management scholarship
Lilly enjoys managing the lighting on a theatre production. Photo: Academy of Film, Theatre & Television.

Receiving her scholarship for stage management

When she found out she got the scholarship she was, “Surprised and very happy. I told my foster carers and they were over the moon!”

One of Lilly’s first purchases with the scholarship money was a digital watch so she could accurately track the actors and timing on set. “It also helped me get a pair of noise-cancelling headphones; they helped with my study because some parts of the school are very loud and echoey and you can’t think.”

In her downtime Lilly enjoys reading, watching films and embroidering: “Mostly flowers and cats!” she says.

Building up her stage manager resume

Since graduation Lilly has been volunteering as stage manager and operator on a production playing at the New Theatre in Newtown. She’s operating the sound and lights and is getting lots of hands-on experience.

stage management scholarship
Lilly is the sole stage manager on a production running in Newtown. Photo: Academy of Film, Theatre & Television.

“Once I’m done with this show I’ll have a proper show on my resume and can start job searching,” she says. “I’m going to contact different theatres, Facebook groups, keep my eyes out, hopefully people within the theatre industry will tell me someone wants an operator. Assistant stage manager would be a good starting point or general tech crew, then I’ll work my way up to stage manager on a production that pays a decent amount of money! The Sydney Theatre would be nice to work at.”

The work is contract based, with stage managers working on a show for the length of its run and then looking for the next opportunity. “Some people do two shows at the same time,” explains Lilly. “Sometimes you get lucky and the show goes on tour around the country or overseas. It depends on the show.”

And thanks to an opportunity arranged through a Foundation board member, Lilly has also landed a job as an usher at The Concourse, a theatre in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood. “I check tickets, help people to their seat, clean up the theatre after, and be generally helpful,” she says.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Foundation’s supporters for my scholarship, and for believing in me and my future.”

About the Tertiary Scholarship Program

The Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship Program provides financial support so recipients can afford university or TAFE study expenses (course fees; textbooks; technology; and attending workshops, networking events and internships) as well as the cost of living on their own with no parental support. The scholarship lets them focus on their studies, rather than having to hold down multiple jobs to survive.

We’re thrilled that our Tertiary Scholarship Program continues to grow in both awareness and impact. The Foundation has given out 13 new scholarships so far in 2024, the largest number of scholarships awarded at one time in the program’s history.

Our new students are doing everything from physiotherapy and paramedicine to design, agriculture and science; and are studying at universities and TAFEs in New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.

Please join us in wishing our new students best of luck in their studies.

How We Help

Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.

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