Polyglot’s founder and friend, Naomi Tippett AM, passed away this morning. We are all deeply saddened by this news, and send our sympathy to her loving family. Naomi was with Polyglot every step of the way, engaged in and supportive of our ambitions, growth and changes. We talked with her often about the company’s direction and what we wanted to achieve, and she always had wise advice. We will miss her humour and her fun, her stories and her friendship. We are left with an enormous legacy of passion for making theatre and art possible and accessible for all children.
Naomi founded Polyglot in 1978, with a small Australia Council of the Arts grant to make a show called The Good Friends. With this multi-lingual puppetry work she toured schools, sharing stories in multiple languages with children who were newly arrived in Australia, enabling them to hear their own languages on stage and feel they were a vital part of the community. Polyglot got its name from this first tour, and it became familiar and loved in schools and homes.
The resonance of the early work is felt today, as generations experienced original Australian performance, often for the first time, with Naomi. Many artists got their start in the industry with her, and all felt her care and interest.