Buvette Masthead

Courtney Act in Cartier

Emma Macdonald

Courtney Act loves few things more than shimmy and shine.

After a resounding victory in Celebrity Big Brother UK, Australia’s most beloved Doyenne of Drag is back in Australia with both the crown and the jewels!

On 3 April, Courtney will be coming to the National Gallery of Australia to celebrate the launch of Cartier: The Exhibition, because “there is literally nothing I love more than shiny objects!”.

Her only concern prior to hosting the special “Queenstameet” is what to wear.

Speaking from LA, where she is now based, Courtney first rose to national prominence in 2003 as Shane Jenek, a male singer on the first season of Australian Idol, who was cut from the show, only to return as his alter ego Courtney.

Courtney has subsequently become an international drag queen sensation, recording, performing and winning the admiration of reality TV audiences across the globe with a non-conforming gender identity and a truly compassionate heart. Courtney/Shane, who both featured in UK Celebrity Big Brother, smashed records for the popular vote, winning the 2018 series with 49 per cent.

Courtney recently performed in Canberra, saying she loved the openness and broad-mindedness of Canberrans.

“The queerness of the city is really cool. It is like this political city, but it has this utopian future feel and a left-leaning attitude on so many important social issues.”

She could think of few things more exciting than returning next week to host a special event to celebrate the city’s Cartier coup.

“I’ve been thinking about buying myself a diamond the celebrate my Big Brother win,” she mused.

Courtney said that she was fascinated by the Carter: The Exhibition for two reasons “first, I appreciate that Cartier is all about artistry and design”.

But she also believed “the diamonds and stones themselves are these rare artefacts, these natural anomalies that are cut out of the earth and polished. I think it is just so fascinating and I can’t wait to get up close to them.”

“And of course, being a Queen means the tiaras will have special appeal.”

The Queenstameet will be a ticket-only after-hours event featuring a decadent dessert bar, cocktails for the carefree, a romantic playlist, a special introduction by Courtney on ‘Exotic Fantasies’ followed by a private viewing of Cartier: The Exhibition and a million photo opportunities. If you love a champion of compassion and equality, believe in superstars for new generations that are beyond labels and desperately seeking to see the world’s most famous jewels up close, this is your night.

the essentials

What: Courtney Act’s Queenstameet
Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: Tuesday 3 April, from 7.30-9.30pm
How much:$27
Tickets: Buy them online at tickets.nga.gov.au.


Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author