17 February 2020 12:20

The North Queensland Bursary has been a major event on the regional Queensland dance calendar for more than 27 years attracting up to 80 regional students to participate. This year the event will change name to recognise RAD Life Member, Registered Teacher, Examiner, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dance and leading dance educator Shirley Treacy OAM FRAD. The Shirley Treacy OAM FRAD Memorial Award 2020 will take place on 12 – 13 September and in honour of its namesake, will return to her home town to be held at Dance North Venue in Townsville. The first time in ten years that it has been held in the city.

RAD Australia National Director Rebecca Taylor said

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the recognition of a such a lifelong advocate for dance education as Shirley Treacy OAM FRAD. Shirley’s legacy can be seen throughout the dance landscape in Queensland and more widely across Australia. She has trained, examined and inspired thousands of dancers and remained a loyal and active Life Member of the RAD until her passing last year. I look forward to the first awards named in her honour in September 2020.”

About Shirley Treacy

Born in Townsville 17 December 1934 Shirley Treacy quickly developed a love of dance. Leaving school at an early age, Shirley moved to Brisbane to pursue a career in the public service, spending her free time at Patrica McDonald’s school of dance. Shirley opened her own small dance school in 1956 teaching ballet, character, tap, jazz, highland and Irish dance and continued to educate young dancers in Queensland throughout her life.

In 1987  Shirley was one of the co-founders of the Queensland Dance School of Excellence (QDSE). For nearly three decades, QDSE played a vital role in developing dance talent in Queensland, with many graduates working in Queensland Ballet and dance companies across the world.

Shirley was a distinguished RAD examiner for over 40 years and worked internationally, including in New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, UK, Canada and Singapore. A Life Member of the RAD Shirley was awarded the Academy’s prestigious President’s Award in 1995.

Shirley was later awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2008, for service to dance, and was amongst the recipients of QUT’s Queensland’s Great Dance Teacher Awards in 2009.

Shirley Treacy OAM FRAD passed away peacefully on 29th May 2019 but her lifetime contribution to dance in the region has secured her legacy within the RAD and broader dance community.