RAF Case Study | Cargo Club

CARGO CLUB is an intercultural and interactive theatre model designed to build audiences and promote multicultural engagement.

CARGO CLUB Transcultural Performance and workshops

CARGO CLUB Transcultural Performance and workshops

Over the life of the project four public performance events were held, each one preceded by four workshops (Theatres of Exchange) to engage new participants, build skills and develop material for the CLUB.

The CARGO CLUB process focused on each performer mining their personal stories to create unique ‘self-portraits’ that were at once individual and collective. These ‘self-portraits’ were presented on multiple stages through traditional and avant-garde music, song and dance, gesture and multi-lingual texts supported by live musicians and large-scale projections.

The model was creatively developed as an immersive performance club: a total integration of cultural entertainment with food, an open bar and performers from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds continuously interacting with each other and with the audience for an hour. Increased cultural diversity across artists, participants and audiences was a focus; as was audience inclusion. Contributions of traditional cultural performance, cultural knowledge and food came from sections of the Japanese, PNG and Indigenous Australian peoples of the region.

Cultural and Economic Impacts:

  • An invitation to further develop and present CARGO CLUB, both in regional and metropolitan locations
  • Artists, participant and audience members came from regions spanning a distance of 150 kilometres to undertake activities in Cairns
  • Audience members expressed a sense of belonging, identification, release, emotional enrichment, stimulation through enquiry and innovation (the unexpected), and exposure to new perspectives
  • CARGO CLUB created employment for 8 artists and 6 arts workers as well as engaging in economic exchange with seven local businesses. Individual artists have gone on to further employment as a result of being showcased in CARGO CLUB
  • Participation in CARGO CLUB offered opportunities for participation in other creative and economic projects, new relationships and cross-industry connections leading to potential employment and new partnerships and collaborations

Social Impacts:

  • Successfully offered participatory and reflective processes with the potential to address socio-cultural issues, break down barriers to inclusion and bridge cultural divides.
  • Created opportunities for participation of diverse communities and for these voices to be heard and shared inter-culturally and transculturally.
  • Digital outreach to Senegal and Italy, as well as the exchange of artworks, opened up a sense of global connection for those involved in Cairns.
  • Audiences expressed the clear benefit of attending a theatre performance that was not reliant on text/English to derive meaning.


Regional Arts Australia acknowledges the traditional Custodians of land throughout Australia and we pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.