Arena Theatre’s production Robot Song has taken home the trophy for Best Presentation for Children and Young People at the Helpmann Awards.

Inspired by a true story, Robot Song is the tale of a father helping his daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, make sense of the world.

Robot Song’s writer and director Jolyon James said the inspiration for the production was a real letter, a petition signed by an entire class, that was given to the child of a friend, containing the phrase: “No-one wants you at this school”.

Robot Song is an antidote to the horrible letter and a celebration of difference,” Mr James said.

“It turns a negative experience into a beautiful, positive one.”

City of Greater Bendigo council mayor Margaret O’Rourke congratulated Bendigo’s Arena Theatre Company on its incredible win.

“This is a fantastic achievement and the council was thrilled to have Robot Song debut in Bendigo and share such a powerful message of inclusion and celebrating our differences,” Cr O’Rourke said.

The Helpmann Awards held annually in Melbourne recognise distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in Australian live performance.

– Grace Aicken