Performing arts scholarships

The winners of the annual St John of God Health Care performing arts scholarships have been announced.

11 Oct 2023

James Leber and Nikita Mereyato at Spirit of the Arts Festival Concert.

Image: (left to right) James Leber, Liam Stojan, St John of God Health Care Group Acting Coordinator Arts and Health Paul Davis and Imogen Sartorello.

The scholarships are provided as part of the partnership between St John of God Health Care and Catholic Education Western Australia, to support students to continue their participation in the arts.

The 2023 scholarship recipients were two passionate year 11 performing arts students, James Leber (metropolitan) and Nikita Mereyato (regional) and were announced at the Spirit of the Arts Festival Concert last month.

James, who is a student at Mater Dei College said as far back as he could remember, performing arts had had a special place in his heart.

“It has had such an innate impact on me because of the genuinely great culture and experiences that the performing arts offers,” James said.

“Theatre also gives you the chance to experience what it is like to be someone else; this really ignited a spark in me.

“The idea that one day you could be playing a king, and the next a magician is something that truly amazed me, and the skills needed to pull off such diverse roles effectively is challenging, yet the development of these skills has given me great confidence.”

James said he would use this scholarship to improve his performance skills.

“Having the ability to pursue these things, which I am so passionate about and genuinely enjoy, means the world to me,” James said.

Nikita, who attends John Paul College in Kalgoorlie said she loved everything about the performing arts.

“I love auditioning for shows, meeting like-minded people, seeing background and tech come together to bring a performance to life and I especially love singing,” Nikita said.

Nikita, who has aspirations of attending Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts’ musical theatre programme, said this award would provide her with extra opportunities to get on stage or be in front of an audience, where she felt most comfortable in her own skin.

St John of God Health Care Group Acting Coordinator Arts and Health Paul Davis, who presented the awards at the Spirit of the Arts Festival Concert said it was a fantastic production showcasing immense talent.

“This show was a truly memorable performance from incredibly talented young people,” Paul said.

“I’m so proud that St John of God Health Care supports this festival and provides two scholarships for performing arts secondary students.”  

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