To the Boy from Biloela (from the Sheila from Biloela)

Posted: January 11, 2019 in Dust, Musings, Writing
Tags: , ,


Here’s wishing a happy, heavenly birthday to a fallen hero of mine, the actor, producer and playwright, Bille Brown.

A decade older and long gone from Biloela State High by the time I got there, Bille was already treading the boards at the Royal Shakespeare Company by the time I finished high school.

But for kids like me from the bush, he was an inspiration. He opened up an endless world of possibility beyond the farm, the town, the obscure little corner of Queensland into which we had been born.

P1010198He allowed us all to dream big dreams and dare to believe that if we worked hard enough, we could make them come true.

He made one of mine come true when he launched my first novel Dust – a kindness I will never forget.


The Big Director’s Chair – a memorial to actor/producer/playwright – Bille Brown AM.

I think of him, still, six years after his death. When I go home to Biloela, the town where we both grew up. And when I’m in Brisbane, my home for many decades now.

In Bilo, I often drive past the giant director’s chair dedicated to him in Lion’s Park.

If you bother to stop, you’ll find these words, so typical of the man, on the plaque:

“It should not just be a monument to me but an encouragement to others to pursue what they are good at and love doing.”

Bless. It is and does.

In Brisbane, I often drive past Queensland’s beautiful new Bille Brown Theatre. Next time you’re there, look for Row F Seat 34.

It’s a much smaller chair, but one also dedicated to Bille Brown’s memory.

From me to you, Bille. Happy Birthday.


  1. Sam says:

    Beautiful, Chris – loved Bille’s work and I absolutely love the new theatre.

  2. Louise Savage says:

    A lovely tribute Chris! I remember that launch night and how much Bille had inspired you.Two very talented people from Biloela!

    • chrisbongers says:

      Nine years ago, Louise, hard to believe, isn’t it! When I think of Bille, I often think of Helen Thomson too – a Helpmann winning actress who is the darling of the Sydney Theatre Company and hails from dear old Bilo too! xx

  3. Amy Clarke says:

    Hi Chris – I hope you see this comment! I am hoping to get in touch with you to enquire whether you might let me use your image of the Bille Brown director’s chair (on this post) in a book I am writing. Could you possibly drop me an email – aclarke1[at] ? Thanks!

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