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Personal History

Freeman Productions is comprised of a dynamic couple, Don and Judy Freeman, the founders, designers and directors, of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Don, a New Yorker, has a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and a long history as a folk theatre director in several countries, and Judy, a dancer and teacher from Montreal Canada, have been working in the theatre, entertainment and tourism industries for over 30 years.

They met in 1977 in Guatemala, where they produced a short play. From 1977-1979 Don And Judy lived in Sri Lanka where they were an integral part of the country’s first ever Rock Festival. They then moved to India, producing and directing plays such as The Thief And The Bear, The Witch And The Dragon, Where Do We Goa from Here and the Play’gue Must Go On.

Their skill rests with their ability to collect an eclectic group of people who have little or no theatrical experience and turn out a theatrical extravaganza. Many of the locals and expats, in the communities they have worked, enjoyed magic moments with them.

The joy of the theatre is in its originality and our plays reflect the emotions, the politics,
the environment of the place in which we are, and the ethos of its people.

Don and Judy have founded and directed theatre companies and produced their own original plays on four continents.

In 1982, with their two children Zadek and Oryana they chose Australia as the next place to live. In Kuranda Queensland they produced a number of small shows for children, as well as two Australia Council supported musical extravaganzas - Babble On Babylon and The Oddyssey You’ll Ever See.

Three years after relocating to North Queensland, the couple opened the Tjapukai Dance Theatre, which was the first Aboriginal tourist attraction in Australia.

They live on a beautiful rural property outside Kuranda, in a home that they designed and built.

They along with their three children, Zadek, Oryana (a journalist) and Cody (a balloon artist), their son in law Yuval, grandaughter Gaya and grandson Jonah spend time at their house in Goa India.

Both Don and Judy have a long standing love of India and have travelled the country and both practice Vipassana Buddhist meditation.


Eclipse Amaroo - Cairns Post October 2012

The very well orchestrated Eclipse Amaroo was an off site event for 1300 people and Freeman Productions handled every aspect, creating a pop up hotel with luxury facilities in a remote location. Astronomers from NASA, MIT, and many other well known scientific organisations chose Amaroo as the spot to view the Eclipse. Luxury tents were brought in, hot showers erected, shops were set up, and wi-fi tents assembled. Three meals a day were served in the dining marquee complemented by nightly entertainment. The most amazing thing about this event is that it took place on a 50 acre property miles from anywhere. It left no footprint and disappeared soon after it was created.

» Click here to read the article.

"The Don & Judy Show" - City Life, April 2006

As featured in City Life Magazine in April 2006, Judy and Don Freeman have been an integral part of the Cairns tourism industry for the better part of two decades.

Linda Cooper headed to their stunning Kuranda home and discovered that while many know them as international award-winning business operators, not many are aware that this extraordinary couple have been awarded a Federal Government contract to help indigenous Australians.

» Click here to read the City Life article.

Inspirational Grandma Of The Month - Groovy Grandmas, March 2008

The true challenge for innovators is pioneering new horizons and having their creation accepted.

Our Inspirational Grandma of the month is Judy Freeman who together with husband Don created Tjapukai, the first ever Aboriginal Cultural Tourist Attraction and by doing so pioneered an industry.

» Click here to read the article.

Life's Still A Stage - Cairns Post Weekender, October 2008

THE Freemans have had reams and reams of words, pages and pictures devoted to them. It can be a little intimidating when faced with such an archive on Cairns’ leading theatre couple.

The Freemans have sold their shares in Tjapukai after 21 years, but they are far from retired. They tell DENISE CARTER about the birth of their pet project, the glory years in tourism in Cairns and how they are continuing their work in Aboriginal tourism.

» Click here to read the article.

Freeman Productions Pty Ltd ABN 48 199 584 543
56 Rosewood Rd, Russett Park, Kuranda, 4881, Queensland, Australia
Judy: 0411 818 722 | Don: 0408 774 000 | E:

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