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NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors

A Big Day Out at Shrek the Musical Premiere

A Big Day Out At Shrek The Musical Premiere

This month, newly arrived Syrian and Iraqi refugees from Liverpool Public School, Cabramatta High School, Bankstown College and our Early Childhood Program had the time of their lives at the Australian premiere of Shrek the Musical!

Our warmest thanks to Packemin Productions for donating complimentary tickets, to Producer, Neil Gooding and Jay Laga’aia for their generosity and to staff at Riverside Theatres for a truly heartwarming day.

Packemin - Shrek - Grant Leslie Photography
Packemin – Shrek – Grant Leslie Photography


“The students from Cabramatta High School who have come to see Shrek the Musical today are recent arrivals from Syria and Iraq. When life has been totally turned upside down for years by war and displacement, exposure to the performing arts is an amazing experience,” said – Elisabeth Pickering, School Counsellor Cabramatta High School.

“The positive energy generated by the singing, dancing and story is a powerful antidote to the debilitating effects of trauma. The smiles on the faces of the young people after the performance was a joy to behold!

Hopefully today’s experience will carry on to inspire the students to develop their own talents,” said Ms Pickering.

STARTTS’ Community Cultural Development Project Officer, Jiva Parthipan said, “This is an amazing opportunity for refugee kids to be able to see a high value production that will further support the ongoing music education program of STARTTS in conjunction with the Conservatorium High School.”

“Normally kids don’t have access to live music, so we are very grateful to the Crown Resorts Foundation who have funded a three-year program introducing music to refugees in Western Sydney,” he said.

“The BSC students had a wonderful time at Shrek today!! They send their sincerest thanks to STARTTS for this great free offer…There will be a news report in college newsletter later this term…we will send you copy. Thanks so much Georgia and STARTTS team,” said Maria Pascalis, Bankstown Senior College.


Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie; Caroline, or Change) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Starring JAY LAGA’AIA (Play School, Star Wars, The Lion King) as Shrek and LUKE JOSLIN (Les Miserables, Avenue Q, The Play That Goes Wrong) as Lord Farquaad.

Packemin Productions brings all the beloved characters you know from Shrek the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears!

Packemin Productions was formed in 2010 to produce Pro-Am musical theatre in association with the Riverside Theatres in Sydney.

Shrek the Musical premiered on the 2nd of February.

STARTTS aims to be a safe place for all people and cultures. We work alongside people with expansive sexualities, genders and bodies with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to celebrate the diverse and rich lives of individuals and communities.


STARTTS is a not-for-profit and an Affiliated Health Organisation.
All donations processed in Australian dollars.
Donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia only.

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