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Meet the Salkelds

If not for the support of our valued donors, State Theatre Company would not be able to create the work that we do.

Meet two donors who have been instrumental in supporting our shows – Roger and Helen Salkeld.


They’re there in the crowd at every State Theatre Show.  Third row, seats 20 and 21 at the Dunstan Playhouse. Always smiling and ever supportive, Roger and Helen Salkeld are – like all the subscribers and donors who surround them at every production – part of our theatre family.

Their story with us started on Christmas Day five years ago, when Helen bought her husband a State Theatre Company subscription. Having enjoyed the program so much, Roger and Helen decided to sign up as Gold Subscribers.

“It was from then that we became more involved,” Helen says.

Driven by a love and deep appreciation of the arts – and “so impressed with the quality of the company”, Roger adds – the Salkelds went on to become donors.

“People assume that if they pay for a seat, they’ve paid for the show and the Company is making money…but until you get involved in it, you don’t realise how complex the whole system is,” Roger says.

“To put on new work which involves not just the writing but the development and then designing the whole set…it is wonderfully complex.

“Once you become a subscriber you’re more aware of how everything works, and the diverse things the company does in terms of its programs like education and touring.”

One of their strongest passions is promoting theatre to children and young adults, mainly because their appreciation of the arts stemmed during their own crucial early years.

“I grew up in Sydney and I was fortunate that I was taken to theatre a lot, and those experiences have stayed with me all my life,” Roger says.

Helen adds: “I lived way out in the wiles of northwest NSW and theatre was something very remote – it wasn’t until I went away to boarding school that I did start to see a bit more. I loved it. I still remember my grandmother taking me to Cinderella on Ice when I was about nine.

“[Theatre] feeds imagination, it takes you out of yourself…and I think it can build empathy.”

The Salkelds were instrumental in getting Rumpelstiltskin, our co-production with Windmill, up and running. And it is because of their financial support that the production is touring to London this Christmas as the Southbank Centre’s Christmas pantomime.

For Helen and Roger, the arts are worth supporting, and supporting now, so they can enjoy the results of their generosity with their own eyes. It’s exhilarating, enlightening and immediate. It’s a bit like watching a play.

“As far as philanthropy is concerned, we really believe State Theatre Company punches far above its weight. What they do is absolutely stunning compared to what we see interstate. Let’s make it stronger, that’s my feeling,” Roger says.

“I would rather do something to help now while I can see the benefit of it, than give money after I’m dead. I’d rather build their strength now.”

To help more shows come to life, consider becoming a donor. Click here