Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.

1978 History

The beginning

A Polyglot Puppet Theatre production image of 'The Good Friends'. Three puppets, two with brown hair, one with blonde hair, are pictured. They all have smiles and button eyes.
  • Polyglot Puppets is founded by Naomi Tippett in 1978.
  • Polyglot Puppets was conceived after Naomi received $3,000 from the Australia Council for the Arts. The Creative School Holiday Club, where Tippett was Artistic Director, received funding for English puppeteer Peter Nichols to travel to Australia, yet he didn’t come. Tippett was told she could keep the funds, provided it was used for theatre.
  • This inspired Tippett to use the funds for establishing a puppet company to promote intercultural understanding among Melbourne school children.
  • In June 1978, Polyglot was established with $18,000 in initial funding from the Australia Council and Schools Commission with a commitment to tell stories promoting respect and understanding of children from different backgrounds and cultures.
  • Naomi Tippett then co-produced The Good Friend with Lorrie Gardiner, to premiere in 1978. The play was written by Dorothy Rickards, directed by Ricardo Pietropaoli, designed by Patricia Mullins and performed by Sue Worland, John Shiels and Peter Wilson.
  • The Good Friend was a multilingual puppetry performance for school touring. Languages spoken in The Good Friend were Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Italian and Serbo-Croatian.
  • Polyglot Puppets attends the Hobart International Puppetry Festival in 1979, and another festival in 1981.