Each panel normally comprises 10-12 members. Panelists are all active members of the Melbourne theatre community.
- Must agree to see not less than 75% of the work presented in Melbourne in a judging year (Music Theatre & Opera panels, 90%): statistically, this ensures coverage by a majority of panel members of all eligible productions;
- Declare any conflicts of interest and agree not to vote or nominate any production or performer in which or with whom the panel member has a pecuniary interest or family connection.
- Members are appointed to their panels annually but there is no current limit to the length of time they may serve. Each panel has a Panel Head who manages the panel.
- Each panel ensures a good spread of expertise and knowledge across: Performing, Directing, Choreography / Movement, Design ( Set / Lighting / Sound / Costume, Video AV), Dramaturgy, Academia, Criticism, Music, Writing and Technical / Production / Management. It is essential, in order to maintain credibility, that as many areas of expertise are covered within the art form.
- In addition each panel seeks diversity in every way among panellists, including a wide age-range, gender balance, cultural and linguistic diversity as well as a spread of both emerging and mid-career artists.
- New panel members are nominated by the individual panels and the Association’s Executive Committee ratifies all new membership.
- A minimum of three panel members must see each show for it to be nominated.