Larrikin Puppets is back post Covid Pandemic


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The nominees for the prestigious What’s On 4 Kids 2021 Awards sponsored by The Australian Children’s Activities Association (ACAA) have just been announced – and Larrikin Puppets a local Bribie Island business is amongst them! This awards program is one of a kind in Australia and celebrates the best in children’s activities, classes, family events and party entertainers across Australia as nominated and voted for by the experts – parents! Larrikin Puppets from Banksia Beach is a nominee in both the “Best Local Kids Live Show” and “Best Local School Aged Activity for ages 5-12” categories. The 2021 what’s On 4 Kids Awards received over 130 nominations from all over Australia over 32 categories including Industry Leaders, Best Local Baby/Toddler Class, Best Family Business, Best National Pre-schooler Activity & Best Kids Activity for Cultural Diversity.

Owner and principal puppeteer Brett Hansen started Larrikin Puppets in 2012, and the business has grown significantly since. He and his wife and co-puppeteer Elissa Jenkins have even received formal training in the USA under some of the Jim Henson puppeteers from Sesame Street and The Muppets.

Brett Hansen comments, “We present over 200 live puppet shows a year for children and families around South East Queensland and regional Queensland at festivals, shopping centres, libraries, agricultural shows, pubs/RSLs, childcare centres/ kindergartens, vacation care and schools. Our puppet shows and puppetry performance workshops are regularly booked at schools for the Design, Technology and Science unit on puppets in the national curriculum.”

After six months of their live performances were cancelled, Brett and Elissa learned how to set up a basic home studio and transitioned to online/virtual performances using Zoom and Facebook Live.

“It was less of a pivot and more of a pirouette”, says Elissa. Many of these online gigs were ticketed events, as well as performances and workshops contracted by paying clients such as schools, disability organisations, corporates and libraries both here in Queensland as well as interstate and overseas.

Larrikin Puppets even released four original songs for children which aired on children’s radio stations and became available on Spotify and other music streaming platforms.

“We also joined TikTok and made lots of creative short videos with the puppets, gaining 30,000 followers there”, says Brett. Elise Easdown CEO of the What’s On 4 Kids Awards comments, “We feel very privileged to not only work with this industry but to also celebrate them through the What’s On 4 Kids Awards. Winning awards gives the industry recognition and leads to more business for the nominees through family interest”.

All nominations are judged by an independent panel with the ‘People’s Choice’ winners decided on community voting. Voting is done via the website at www.whatson4kids.

Voting closes on the 28th of April 2021. The Awards will be held virtually on the 12th of June 2021. FOR MORE INFORMATION, LOGOS/ VISUALS OR FOR A PHOTOSHOOT OPPORTUNITY, PLEASE CONTACT: BRETT HANSEN AT LARRIKIN PUPPETS ON 0430 086 835 AND [email protected].