National Performing Arts Conference

Role of NatPAC

Normal gs08When Scouts interested in performing arts first gathered, the aim was to support each other and exchange ideas. At that time, theatre was often seen as not 'real' Scouting and the shows needed to reinforce their place in the Scouting world.

The principal aim is still to provide a networking of all such shows. And, as there are shows made up entirely of Guides, it incorporates all Gang Shows, Scout Shows and Guide Shows.

Concepts and ideas with regard to production, marketing and technical aspects are discussed at the annual meeting. However, there is a continuing discussion throughout the year - by personal visits, telephone and, more recently, using the internet. A recent innovation has been to use the Google facility to create an interactive email, calendar and messaging system for use by all Shows and associates in Australia and New Zealand. 
Normal gs10AC remains in contact with similar organisations in other countries.

Finally, there are some issues which require a national coordinated approach. These include such matters as copyright and intellectual property, the need to devise a national approach to child protection, and the means whereby a participant who moves home can make contact with a new show.


History of NatPAC

The first Australian Gang Show was in Brisbane in 1951. The following year saw the first Melbourne show and since then they have appeared in many other cities and townships. Since those early days, Scouts involved in such shows have been keen to share experiences and ideas.

Informal contacts developed into an annual meeting called the 'Gang Show Conference' in the 1970s. This was usually attended by 3 or 4 shows and was held in one of the major capital cities.

In the 1990s there was clearly a need for a more organised structure and a national body was established. All shows were encouraged to attend. As many of the shows chose not to be called Gang Shows, the name of the group became the National Performing Arts Council.

Finally, in 2000, the name was changed to the National Performing Arts Conference. By this time, shows from cities as distant as Perth, Hobart and Brisbane were attending as well as shows in rural centres such as Mildura, Albury and Gippsland.

NatPAC continues to have annual meetings. The 2013 meeting united shows from Australia and New Zealand as did previous years.