Launceston City Council alderman Danny Gibson believes that young Tasmanians can live fulfilling and enriching lives without leaving the state.
Danny combines his role on the city council with running his own drama school, being an award-winning community theatre director, and taking a role on a host of voluntary boards and committees.
He credits his years at St Patrick’s College in Launceston, which he attended from 1996 to 2001, with fostering his love of the arts.
This passion started at Hagley Farm Primary School and was nurtured by [now Deputy Principal] Dr Julienne Colman and others at St Pat’s.
When he was in Year 8, he formed the St Patrick’s College Youth Drama Club which still exists today.
“St Patrick’s College afforded me a wonderful launching pad into the arts, into inspiring others, into lifelong learning and into making our community better,” Danny said.
“I had inspirational teachers who recognised my love of drama and who nurtured my pursuits, and who continue to do so.
“I have wonderful memories of school camps to Maria Island, the St Patrick’s College Youth Drama Club, Launceston Competitions, Nagle fundraisers, representing the college at World Youth Day in Rome and of course, wonderful times in College musicals.”
Danny is still ‘deeply connected’ to the College, regularly assisting with musicals and the Arts Department.
Away from the College, he has run his own drama school for the past ten years and has directed productions for a number of community organisations, the first before he turned 18.
Earlier this year he won a prestigious Tasmanian Theatre Award for best community musical theatre direction for his sparkling production of Mary Poppins.
“I am currently directing my students in Peter Pan, preparing for Wicked and have just completed Buddy,” Danny said.
“It’s busy but rewarding.”
Danny, 33, of South Launceston, was first elected to the city council in 2011.
“I wanted to show others that anyone can be involved in shaping the community that we want to have,” he explained.
He is also Chair of Launceston Carols by Candlelight and secretary of the Rotary Club of Tamar Sunrise.
“I believe passionately that the opportunities I was presented with at St Patrick’s set me up for life,” he said.
“Young people do not need to leave Tasmania to lead rewarding lives, nor do they need to earn big salaries. I have always followed my heart and the rewards have been tenfold.”