Bridges Health & Community Care brings the circus to town!
This school holidays, Flipside circus will be visiting North and South Burnett.
Flipside circus will be visiting for just over two weeks, conducting two in-school programs at Mount Perry and Proston as well as workshops in Blackbutt, Kingaroy, Murgon, Biggenden, Gayndah, Mundubbera, Eidsvold and Monto.
Bridges delivers community mental health programs in the Burnett regions, particularly working with children, young people and families.
“These circus workshops enable young people to participate in skill building whilst gaining self-confidence and social connections. These are all important for wellbeing,” said Bridges CEO Sharon Sarah.
Flipside Circus are no strangers to our region, having delivered workshops for young people over many years. Two team members from Flipside Circus hail from the Wide Bay Burnett and are excited to be facilitating the school holiday tour. Robert Kronk is the CEO of Flipside. He grew up on a cane and cattle farm just outside Gin Gin. Matt McInally grew up in a house in the main street of Monto where his family owned and operated the furniture story from 1983-2020. Now he delivers marketing for Flipside. We interviewed them both about their experience of growing up in our region and then spreading their wings to work in the arts industry.
We have many successful artists and artsworkers that come from the Wide Bay/ Burnett region. Can you tell us a bit about growing up in the region and the opportunities that led you to a career in the arts?
“I loved when arts council shows or touring productions visited (and not just to get out of maths). I had some great teachers in Primary and Secondary School who helped me develop an interest in the arts and encouraged me to get involved in school productions and musicals. I was a bit surprised to find out this was something you could do as a job. Their encouragement helped me get into the drama program at QUT and when I finished school I left to study and start my career,” shared Robert.
For Matt… “It was the Arts Council that opened to my eyes to the fun world of performing arts. The dedicated teachers at Monto State Primary and High School encouraged me to follow my dreams. I was a boarder at Rockhampton Grammar School where I graduated school captain in 2012 before moving to Brisbane and starting my career as a performer while studying Marketing at QUT.”
What steps did you take with your career to end up working with Flipside Circus?
Robert found himself working behind the curtain. “I discovered very quickly that I wasn't a very good actor. But I loved directing and writing and loved seeing how audiences respond to a show. I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of theatre companies as a director, playwright, and producer. My background was mostly in theatre before I started working with Flipside, I had worked a lot with circus performers and always loved the way circus engages people and can tell stories.”
“I very quickly found myself at home in the Brisbane Theatre community. When I graduated with my Bachelor of Marketing I started working as an actor – touring various plays to regional centres all over the state. Some of these plays include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet and Charlotte’s Web. I most recently performed in the award-winning production of Othello at Queensland Theatre. I took a pivot into the world of marketing at the beginning of the year when I started here as Marketing Coordinator for Flipside Circus,” said Matt.
What do you love about working at Flipside Circus?
For Matt it is all about engaging communities in opportunities. “I love working for a values driven organisation. Everything we do comes back empowering people and communities through circus. Flipside’s regional and remote touring programs hold a special place in my heart as without similar programs (like the Arts Council) I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
“I love the people and watching circus artists develop new skills and tricks. The most rewarding part has been the opportunity to 'come home.' I love touring and working with regional communities - Flipside has visited over 100 Queensland communities in the last 6 years and run workshops with over 18,000 students. Arts programs and circus programs have huge benefits helping build teamwork, fostering creative thinking and problem solving, health and fitness outcomes, and emotional stamina. I also like to think about how much a young me would have enjoyed them,” reflects Robert.
Bridges can’t wait to host the Flipside team in our region from next week.
For anyone from the North or South Burnett regions with young people wanting to sign up to the workshop program, you can book online here -