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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Minister launches world-class facilities for the Australian Ballet School

Media release
1 April 2009

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Arts Minister Peter Garrett today launched refurbished facilities at the Australian Ballet School, and took the opportunity to help celebrate the School's 45th anniversary.

The much-needed refurbishments include studio upgrades, expanded student change room facilities, new health areas and classrooms.

“The Australian Government is proud to have funded these necessary upgrades to the Australian Ballet School facilities,” said Mr Garrett.

“Before the students graduate and go on to the world's ballet stages, they have spent long hours in these studios. To maximise safety and the quality of training, they have to be state-of-the-art spaces - carefully designed and engineered with the latest technologies.

“I commend the School's initiative and I'm sure the effort will be more than repaid with the students' own achievements in future years.”

Mr Garrett was treated to performances showcasing the students' techniques and abilities.

“I'm particularly glad to see that new student common-room facilities have been included in the upgrade. Interaction, conversation and exchange are a vital component of any arts practice, and the School's training will be significantly enhanced by this new measure.”

Mr Garrett said that in 2008-09 the Australian Government is providing $1.133 million towards the Australian Ballet School's vocational classical ballet training program.

“There are currently 160 students enrolled in the program, and a highlight of today's occasion has been student Hannah O'Neill's reprise of the piece that won her the prestigious 2009 Prix de Lausanne for classical ballet.”

In 2007-08 the Australian Government committed up to $4.6 million for the Australian Ballet School to refurbish its facilities to address occupational health and safety concerns and plan for its proposed expanding training program.

The Australian Ballet School is one of seven elite national arts training organisations supported by the Australian Government through its Cultural Development Program: http://www.arts.gov.au/arts_training_bodies 

Commonwealth of Australia