Support members of the entertainment industry in need this Christmas

john VABT

Over the festive season there will be various members of the entertainment industry in need of some support. To help continue our work, the VABT Charity Christmas Drive is now on! To donate please click the link below, and then share the opportunity amongst your friends and family or people you know who may wish to help others this Christmas.

Every little bit helps.
Merry Christmas everyone.



“Don’t Wait For The Phone To Ring!”   3pm Saturday 7 November @ Theatre Works
Apologies but the Forum is unable to go ahead this Saturday and is POSTPONED until 2016.

Anyone interested in being informed about this event please email


Annual General Meeting 2015

The Victorian Actors Benevolent Trust is holding its Annual General Meeting on Monday 9th November at 7pm, to be held in the Shell Room at the Coopers Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank, Melbourne, 3006.


The Victorian Actors Benevolent Trust is now accepting TAX DEDUCTIBLE ON-LINE DONATIONS to help support members of the Victorian entertainment industry who NEED YOUR HELP.

We’ve made it even easier to help support the VABT and the community it services. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible and completing payment online takes less that two minutes. To lend your support please click here, alternatively please download the letter below (previewed in the picture) and follow the instructions on the payment slip at the bottom.

2015 June giving letter

ScreenHunter_283 Jun. 22 10.24


Casting Forum 4PM SATURDAY 21 JUNE @ THEATREWORKS – The Audition is the Job!

Love them or hate them we all know that auditions are the essential first step to landing the gig. Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Trust has invited a panel of industry professionals, including casting directors from theatre, film and television to share their insights in to the audition process.

What are the do’s and don’ts of preparing a great audition? Will one bad audition blow my chances for future auditions? How do I get better at the process? Is access to the US Industry just a dream? Come and hear the panel share their insights and tips into how you may improve your audition technique.

Date: Saturday June 21
Venue: Theatre Works 14 Acland St, St Kilda.
Time: 4.00pm
Price: $27.50 (plus booking fee)
Bookings: or 9534 3388

All proceeds go to the Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Trust – Helping those in need, providing emergency financial assistance to those in the entertainment industry who through poor health or ill fortune, find themselves with nowhere else to turn

Panel: Nathan Lloyd, Mullinars Casting Consultants (WENTWORTH, OFFSPRING & UPPER MIDDLE BOGAN). Marilyn McIntyre: Multi award winning LA actor, currently a faculty member with HFAS Melb, can answer questions about the US market. Sarah Alekna: Casting Director for This is Littleton, Myf Warhurst’s NICE, Twentysomething2, & many TVCs. Janine Snape: Returned from the UK in 2013 where she worked in freelance casting and at the RSC, she is currently Casting Director at MTC.
MC will be VABT Committee Member Sioban Tuke

So get your questions ready…



Get on board the bucket rattling, come join us as we lend some time to collect for our friends.

If anyone can help out for the February MTC shows drop Mr Don Bridges a line and indicate your interest at

Remember, it’s only about 20 to 30 minutes of your time and it’s a great way to keep in touch with other performers who help out.

DATES BELOW! Thank you so very much for your time. All at VABT

Sat, Feb 15, 2014 4:00 pm – Private Lives at The Sumner
Sat, Feb 15, 2014 8:30 pm – Private Lives at The Sumner

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 8:00 pm – Cock at the Fairfax
Fri, Feb 28, 2014 8:00 pm – Cock at the Fairfax

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 6:30 pm – Neighbourhood Watch at the Sumner
Tue, Apr 15, 2014 6:30 pm – Neighbourhood Watch at the Sumner
Wed, Jun 4, 2014 8:00 pm – Ghosts at The Sumner
Thu, Jun 5, 2014 8:00 pm – Ghosts at The Sumner

Thu, Jun 26, 2014 8:00 pm – The Speechmaker at The Playhouse
Fri, Jun 27, 2014 8:00 pm – The Speechmaker at The Playhouse

Sat, Jul 26, 2014 4:00 pm – Glengarry Glen Ross at The Sumner
Sat, Jul 26, 2014 8:30 pm – Glengarry Glen Ross at The Sumner

Mon, Sep 1, 2014 6:30 pm – The Effect at The Sumner
Tue, Sep 2, 2014 6:30 pm – The Effect at The Sumner

Wed, Sep 10, 2014 8:00 pm – The Sublime at the Fairfax
Thu, Sep 11, 2014 8:00 pm – The Sublime at the Fairfax

Mon, Nov 17, 2014 6:30 pm – I’ll Eat You Last at The Fairfax
Tue, Nov 18, 2014 6:30 pm – I’ll Eat You Last at The Fairfax

Sat, Nov 29, 2014 4:00 pm – Pennsylvania Avenue at The Sumner
Sat, Nov 29, 2014 8:30 pm – Pennsylvania Avenue at The Sumner


Our new treasure Emma Hawkins has the delightful, rewarding job of writing out our Christmas gift cheques to our colleauges and families in need.

Thank you to our wonderful, loyal donors and supporters for all your generosity and kindness this year, without your dedication our charity wouldn’t exist… MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!


EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT! VABT AGM –  MONDAY 2nd Dec at 7pm at the Malthouse



Equity Foundations Life Time Achievement Award for Jill Perryman & Kevan Johnston.

Well what a stunning night at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Monday 7th Oct, as we all gathered together to celebrate the Equity Foundations Life Time Achievement Award to joint worthy, immensely talented recipients, Jill Perryman and Kevan Johnston.

It was such a wonderful, uplifting event organised by the Equity Foundation, generously sponsored by Foxtel. Mike Walsh graciously handed over “Her Maj” for the evening – a most fitting venue; the very place Jill and Kevan met all those years ago.

Wonderfully hosted by Simon Burke, we were entertained by a stellar cast staring Patti (with her broken foot trussed up in a blinged up moon boot) and Bert Newton made a hilarious appearance with the duo renaming their act “Moon Face and Moon Boot.” “The Tap Pack” gave a fitting tribute to Kevan with a fabulous routine. Lucy Durack and Verity Hunt Ballard sang like song birds. The wonderful, talented raconteur Tony Sheldon gave an amazing recollection of Jill and Kevan’s story before launching into a special surprise routine with Nancy Hayes, that brought the house down. Todd McKenney gave a very beautiful and personal tribute to them both dating their connection right back to Todd’s own birth! The speeches and accolades were then rounded off with a glorious montage put together by Foxtel gave us a visual insight into their body of work, talent and history together.  The highlight of this was a recorded, heartfelt and emotional message from Carole Cook all the way from Hollywood -, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

We need more nights like these, giving a nod of honour to our great Australian performers, it reminds us all of the depth of talent we have in our country and the respect and admiration for our peers in the performing fraternity.

The Victorian Actors Benevolent Trust was humbled to collect donations on the night that will go towards helping actors and crew in need.

Doris Mallia Pearse, committee member donned on one of our new VABT hats and

Emma Hawkins, our new Treasurer with Sal Upton, President, showing off our new VABT banners.



THANK YOUS and WELCOME! – September 2013

The VABT would like to thank Phil and Pat for all their tireless efforts in supporting us through the Howard Fine Australia-Office fundraising efforts.

The VABT is very excited to welcome our new Treasurer Emma Hawkins onto the team and wishes to officially thank former Treasurer Mark Bowdern for all his work with the VABT.


A fantastic opportunity for actors wanting to develop their solo show and wonderful support from all at Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia.

In Your Own Words: Building a Solo Show with Karen Ludwig! 

We all have stories to tell, whether they are our own, or someone else’s. In this series of three classes, you will discover the stories you want to tell, using various techniques and frameworks, i.e. improvisation (playing multiple characters in a given situation), using music and media and finding structure (what is the hook, the conflict?) At the end of the course, you will have a direction to follow for further development toward a theatrical performance. If you’ve ever thought about developing your own solo show, this is the course for you!

All proceeds from this course will be donated to the Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Trust, who provide emergency financial assistance to those in need, working in all areas of film and television, on and off stage and in front of or behind the camera.

Dates: Saturday the 3rd, 10th and 17th of August (three weeks),

Time: 10am – 4:30pm

Cost: $85 (100% of which will be donated to the Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Trust)

Venue: Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia
8 Munster Terrace
North Melbourne – 3051

END-OF-FINANCIAL-YEAR DONATION LETTER JUNE 2013 ATTACHED BELOW – simply click on the image, download, save, print and send to: VABT P.O. Box 327 NORTHCOTE 3070 Thank you for assisting us with further contributions to enhance our fundraising activities throughout the year.

2013 June giving letter



Farewell John: VABT was deeply saddened to hear that John Sumner AO CBE passed away on Friday 24 May 2013 at age 88 following a brief illness. MTC’s 1953 founder and longest-serving Artistic Director, Sumner championed Australian theatre voices with passionate professionalism. Our thoughts are with his two daughters, family and friends.

Read today’s The Age article about Sumner here:



By the King Kong, Jersey Boys and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang casts, sold around 850 tickets with proceeds split 50/50 between VABT and ACMF! An exhilarating show, by all accounts from those who made it, put together by this wonderful cast “in their spare time” rehearsing new numbers and routines to present. A massive thank you, congratulations and hoping you had a fantastic night! A Celebration Concert

EXCITING UPDATES: The Lyon Heart Benefit

Thank you for joining your VABT friends at The Lyon Heart Benefit night generously sponsored and held by Revolt Theatre Kensington Saturday 23 March 7PM; a brilliant night of comedy and frivolity to benefit our very dear friend Robbie Lyon, a magnificent actor and one of most joyous souls you will ever meet.

More info go to:

The Lyon Heart Benefit

Unscripted 2012: The Show Must Go On

Behind every great performance is another story that’s never been told… until now! The 2012 inaugrural charity performance of Unscripted was a delightful, diverse and dazzling telling of stories from our wonderful friends of the VABT: Brian Nankervis, John Wood, Denise Scott, Alan Brough and Judi Connelli. At times heart wrenching and mostly hysterically funny, these tales of how adversity was overcome for the Show to Go On was a “not to be missed” performance. Our greatest thanks for the generous fundraising on the night goes to the performers and the supporters of Unscripted. All monies raised will be used throughout 2012/2013 to fund the vital work of the VABT of helping performers, actors and crew in times of crisis.