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The Sydney Opera HousePlay Award

An annual award for a school, learning program, class or an individual student or teacher, who has made a remarkable and ongoing contribution to ‘play in learning’ with demonstrated positive impacts.

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About the Play Award

Award Amount: $10,000

The Sydney Opera House has an ongoing and rich connection with play and its intrinsic connection to the arts and learning. From the inspiring stories on our stages, to the artists who enliven our Centre for Creativity, we are committed to equipping artists and audiences with the capacity and skills to embed play in their classrooms, creative and civic spaces, and everyday life. 

It is in this spirit that we continue our relationship with renowned educator Professor Pasi Sahlberg, and launch the Sydney Opera House Play Award.

This annual Award (2024–2027 inclusive) will be given to a primary-aged school, learning program, class or an individual student or teacher, who has made a remarkable and ongoing contribution to play in learning with demonstrated positive impact in the school community.

The recipient/s of the Play Award will be announced by the Sydney Opera House on International Play Day, 28 May 2024. The Play Award is made possible by the generous donation of Professor Pasi Sahlberg and will be ongoing for the next four years. 

Play is how children explore, discover, fail, succeed, socialise, and flourish. It is a fundamental element of the human condition. It’s the key to giving school children skills they need to succeed – skills like creativity, innovation, teamwork, focus, resilience, expressiveness, empathy, concentration, and executive function

Pasi Sahlberg and William Doyle, 'Let the Children Play: How More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive'

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