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Congrats to Lorrie Gardner Scholarship 2016 Awardee Katherine Hannaford!

Katherine Hannaford with Peter Linz and Noel MacNeal at Beyond the Sock, 2015

Katherine Hannaford with Peter Linz and Noel MacNeal at Beyond the Sock, 2015

Congratulations to Katherine Hannaford who has been awarded the UNIMA Australia Lorrie Garner Scholarship for 2016! From May 30 to June 19, 2016 she will be travelling in the United States of America to Atlanta, Georgia for a return visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts, Texas to attend for the second time, “Beyond the Sock: Puppetry for Film and Television workshop” and Los Angeles to visit the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Katherine is a professional puppet builder, emerging puppeteer and she is currently teaching Puppetry as a year-long elective at the high school in NSW where she works at full time as Teacher Librarian.

If you’d like to join Katherine at Beyond the Sock (June 7-11, Texas), registration is still open until May 24, 2016. Workshop participants get to design, build and perform hand and rod puppets while learning from Muppet and Sesame Street performers Peter Linz and Noel McNeal (shown in the photo with Katherine in 2015) and puppet builder Pasha Romanowski from Project Puppet.

For those interested in the Lorrie Gardner Scholarship, the next one will be offered in 2018 to the value of $2500 AUD. The scholarship is only available to UNIMA Australia members who have been continuous for at least 2 years before applying. To allow for new or expired membership, UNIMA Australia is giving the opportunity to join/renew before the 30th of April, 2016.

If you are already a current member, you just need to keep updating your membership.

For more info about membership and to join/renew, go to

An Exciting New Puppetry DVD

"Murray Raine is... Highly Strung" DVD - see more info at

Marionettist and UNIMA Australia member Murray Raine has recently had a documentary made about his life’s work, which was released on DVD in November 2014. The film was produced & directed by Tasmanian documentary film maker Peter Oldham.

“Murray Raine is…Highly Strung” is are a rare gem of a documentary – the film not only guides you through Murray ‘s fascinating journey as a puppeteer but it has rare archival footage of other Australian puppetry greats like Peter Scriven’s Tintookies, Norman Hetherington’s Mr Squiggle and Marti McClelland’s marionettes. There are insightful interviews from leading puppeteers like Richard Bradshaw, Sue Wallace and Steve Coupe from Sydney Puppet Theatre, Peter Oldham (from The Tintookies) and Marti McClelland.

The film captures Murray’s spectacularly flamboyant style and mastery of marionette design and manipulation. It showcases several of his stunning marionette creations, including Vegas showgirls decked in gorgeous plumes of pink, a koala on a flying trapeze and a whole host of hilarious celebrity caricatures like Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Elvis, Pavarotti and Dolly Parton. There is also some lovely footage of Murray creating his “Madame Tipsy McBoozle” puppet from start to finish in his workshop, which is particularly interesting for puppet makers.

This is an important film for Australian puppetry history and particularly good for people interested in marionettes.

The DVD costs $25 AUD (with $5 AUD Postage within Australia. International shipping is available). For more information about the DVD go to: