Cairns-based Jute Theatre Company is set to benefit from a $9,800 funding boost from the State Government.

Member for Mulgrave and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said the funding boost is part of the Learning Earning Active Places (LEAP) strategy.

The LEAP program, worth $900,000 in 2011-12, funds sport, recreation and cultural projects in rural and regional areas to help ’close the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders.

“This is great news for the arts in the Far North and for local Indigenous performers,” Mr Pitt said.

“The funding boost will enable the Jute Theatre Company to write and develop a script for a play which will showcase local Indigenous stories.

“The play, to show later this year, will share positive messages by telling the stories of local Indigenous people who have overcome adversity to succeed against the odds.

“Indigenous Queenslanders have a strong history of storytelling, and we want to harness their talents to send a powerful message of reconciliation to the local community.”

The Jute Theatre Company, located in Abbott Street, focuses on supporting local and regional artists.

Mr Pitt said LEAP focuses on 20 actions across government to close the gap in areas such as employment, health, education, housing, sport, community care and early childhood development.

“It is a place-based strategy, acknowledging that the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living here in Cairns and surrounds are different to the needs of people living in remote communities – and LEAP reflects those differences,” he said.

More information about LEAP projects can be provided through regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services offices.

The full LEAP strategy is available online at: