PerfEx Pastel Digressionists’ Exhibition Award

Our delightful hosts, Grace Paleg and Dougie Bindon-Howell
Dougie introducing Indi Carmichael who opened the event

At the launch of the ‘River of Art’ on Friday May 20th, again due to the generosity of Henk and Marion, a young pastel student of Grace Paleg’s was the worthy recipient of a $200 encouragement Award.  Young Ebony Allen of Nelligen, a ‘talented and enthusiastic’ young artist, was thrilled to be given this recognition. Our recently appointed and very enthusiastic Eurobodalla Shire Arts’ Co-ordinator, Indira Carmichael opened ‘The Digressionsists’ Exhibition’ the name of the evening’s event.  Everyone enjoyed the fun night. 


St Cecilia Annual Concert

Marion Roubos-Bennett presenting singer Jessica Hughes with the PerfEx Non-Classical Award

At the wonderful St Cecilia 20th Anniversary Concert on 22nd November, 2015, PerfEx Member Marion Roubos-Bennett presented singer Jessica Hughes with the PerfEx Non-Classical Award, valued at $200, made possible due to the generosity of Marion and husband Henk.

PerfEx also donates $100 for a Merit award and this year pianist Chloe Watts was the recipient.


St Cecilia Annual Concert

Ike Reid

At only 12 years old, Ike Reid almost lifted the roof off St Bernards Church with his fantastic rendition of ‘Wipeout’ for which he received the PerfEx Merit Award at the St Cecilia Annual Concert in November, 2014.

Book Launch of 'Memoirs from the Bay'

L – R First time author and PerfEx Member Geraldine Currie speaks with President Jeannie Brewer

Nervous, but justifiably proud and excited was the feeling amongst most of the 25 or so contributing writers who attended the launch of their book on the morning of Saturday 24th May at Hooked-on-Books in the Village Centre, Batemans Bay. For these writers, it was not only because their stories and names were in print for the first time, but also because they were being referred to as ‘authors’! Every writer longs to be published, but only a few ever realise this dream.

The book ‘Memoirs from The Bay’ a compilation of 44 extremely varied short stories resulting from the PerfEx Literary Award of 2013 where the subject was ‘Memoirs’, was made possible thanks to Garry Evans of Harbour Publishing of Ulladulla who spoke about his passion for promoting south coast writers and encouraged all would-be authors to chat with him over a cup of tea.  Fliss Collins of Hooked-on-Books also had enough belief in the publication to guarantee sales.  All 130 copies printed so far sold out before the morning was half over, but more is in stock now.

An audience of around 100 came to support PerfEx, enjoy the morning tea and watch as family members were applauded for their writing efforts.  Officially launched by our Mayor Lindsay Brown, we also welcomed Dr Catherine Dale, the Shire General Manager and Monika McInerney, the Shire Arts’ Co-ordinator who was out and about for the last weekend of a very successful River of Art.  Literary Award co-ordinator Lyn Brown shared her experiences (often amusing) of the many challenges of getting the stories to print which is not as straightforward as most of us would imagine.

Finally, excited first time author Geraldine Currie spoke of the angst in writing her story entitled ‘The Wedding Cake’

President Jeannie Brewer was thrilled with the response and after speaking with several of the authors who thanked her for the opportunity to enter the PerfEx Literary Awards and the consequent positive outcomes in their lives, she said that it makes all the effort worthwhile.  However, without some extra assistance, the Literary Award may not continue and she is appealing to anyone who has an interest in literature to come forward please if they feel they can help out in any way. 

St Cecilia Music Scholarships PerfEx Award Winner

Elodie de Rover

Young pianist, Elodie de Rover received the PerfEx Classical Level 1 merit Award at the St Cecilia finalists concert, which took place in St. Bernards Church, Batehaven in November, 2013.


PerfEx Literary Awards Presentation

The awards presentation was held in the morning of the 24th May at the Soldiers Club and an audience of around 140 turned up. Ian Campbell from ABC radio acted as MC and the awards were presented by Judy Thomson, one of the local judges; the other local judge, Joy Hooton, was unfortunately away. 

From the total of 80 entries these judges shortlisted 12 which were forwarded to the final decision maker, Catherine Milne, from Harper Collins Publishers. In the end, because of the quality of the entries, it was decided to provide each of the short listed entrants who did not receive one of the top 7 awards with a small prize.

The subject of the story was “Memoirs” and the results were:

1st   Gillian Macnamara – The Present
2nd   Erica Woolgar – Christmas at Sayers Gully
3rd   Suzie Sarah – Gift of a girl
4th   Judith Turner – She died with her Teeth in
5th   Robyn McPherson – The Suit
6th   Leonard Hegh – Sunday 1975
7th   Clare Cavenagh – Snapshots From a Time Past-European Style

The remaining entries on the short list were:

Zelma Collier – The Manuals Memoirs
John Maneschi – Towards a New Life
Diana Harley – “Fish ‘n chip” Memoirs  
Rosalie Toth – Overnight
James Wansey – Abington

A special encouragement award was also made to a young girl, London-Rose Fisher, for her story My Memoir.  PerfEx intends to publish a book containing the winning entries.

Following the presentations author Bill Gammage gave a very interesting talk based on his book “The Biggest Estate on Earth” which covers the history of indigenous life in Australia.

Bill Gammage
Bill Gammage

Sponsors, donors and supporters of the Awards were:   

The Village Centre
Eurobodalla Shire Council
River of Art, Monika McInerny
Hooked on Books & ABC Centre – Felicity and Mark Collins
ABC Books
ABC radio, Ian Campbell
ABC radio reader, Anna Jarrett
Members of U3A
Eurobodalla Adult Ed
Harper Collins Publishers
Allen & Unwin Publishers
The Bay Post
Excell Print.

A large number of people were involved in the organisation of the competition but special mention goes to PerfEx Committee member Lyn Brown for her enormous efforts in ensuring that the whole event was an enormous success.

2013 PerfEx Inaugural Photography Award

The presentation of the PerfEx Photography Awards was held in the afternoon at the Village Centre, the theme for the competition being “Music”. There were 44 entries with a wide range of interpretations of this topic.   

Inaugural PerfEx Photography Competition Poster

PerfEx Committee member Jan Draper, who organised the competition and presentation, arranged with Village Centre management for us to use an empty shop for the week before the presentation to allow the general public to view the entries. The Eurobodalla Photographic Club provided the required panels and some of its members arranged the hanging and display of the photographs. The judge was Bianca Dopson, a local professional photographer, and she and Di Gee also gave valuable assistance to Jan leading up to the presentation day.

The winners were:

1st   Graham Small – Tools of Trade
2nd   Kylie Verdouw – Musicians own Music
3rd   Ray Sillett – Kettle Busking

People’s Choice:

Joachim Straub – The Sound of Gentle Surf

Again there is a long list of organisations that supported the event with prizes, donations and assistance:

Harvey Norman
Frame Fast
Excell Print
Moruya Photographics
Gifts on the Bay
Ella Bache
Bay Office Supplies
Batehaven Chemist
Batehaven Newsagency

PerfEx Literary Awards Launch

The Second PerfEx Literary Launch took place in the Village Centre, one of our major sponsors, on Monday 26th November and nearly 40 cups of coffee were served up and donated by The Coffee Club, with huge thanks to them.

President Jeannie Brewer welcomed everyone and introduced Councillor Liz Innes who officially launched the event.  Nearly 40 Guidelines and Entry Forms have been distributed already, which means that 'Memoirs" will inevitably be a popular theme.

Clr Liz Innes launching the second PerfEx Literary Award
Clr Liz Innes launching the second PerfEx Literary Award

John Clague, ESC Divisional Manager for Arts and Cultural Development also represented the Shire Council, another of our major sponsors, while Penny Bonnell attended the event as a Representative of South East Arts.

We were thrilled that Ian Campbell of ABC Radio South East, our major promoter, had driven up from Bega for the morning.  Ian spent the time as a roving interviewer and during the following week those interviews will go to air.

Award sponsor, Fliss Collins of Brown Books and ABC Centre was unable to attend, as she was busy setting up another store in the Centre for Christmas.  Guidelines and Entry Forms will be available from her shop however and we wish Fliss well.

Rhonnie South, the Manager of Eurobodalla Adult Education Centre was able to attend and we thank her for sponsorship this year.  Guidelines and Entry Forms will also be available from their Centre as will Writer's Workshops should anyone wish to book in.

Thanks also go to Excell Print for the wonderful posters and Guidelines and Entry Forms, which are also available from Eurobodalla and Bega Shire Libraries.

We welcome the Bay Post who attended the morning and interviewed several members of the public who are already writers and those who intend submitting their 'Memoirs', so thank you to them for becoming involved this year.

Overall, the morning was very well attended, with a definite 'literary buzz' in the air.

Pirates of Penzance

President Jeannie Brewer and Fundraising Co-ordinator Noreen Birchall in her Policeman's uniform
President Jeannie Brewer and Fundraising Co-ordinator Noreen Birchall in her Policeman's uniform as part of the cast

A full house of got into the swing of the Bay Theatre Players performance of 'Pirates of Penzance' on the night of Saturday 3rd November, with guests being offered 'white or dark rum' and such tasty treats as Parrot Wings, Scurvy Repellent Tarts and Cannon Balls!

PerfEx Fundraising committee member Chris Kelly serving Parrot Wings with President Jeannie Brewer
Pirate and two wenches! Fundraising committee member Chris Kelly serving Parrot Wings and Jeannie Brewer being ably unassisted by PerfEx Member Peter Kable!

At the interval, raffles were drawn by Loretta Parsley whose generous donation of her painting, 'Emu Dreaming' was won by Judith at front of house! Lora Groom's and Suzie Owen's handmade necklaces also found happy new owners. President Jeannie Brewer thanked all involved in the organisation of the evening and congratulated the Bay Theatre Players and particularly Barbara Gellatly on this very successful production.

Cultural Events Board

Our Cultural Events Board
L-R, PerfEx President Jeannie Brewer, Committee Member Noreen Ralston Birchall with Sandy Zhou.

On 21st June, Mr Paul Anderson, General Manager of the Eurobodalla Shire Council unveiled our new Cultural Events Board which provides a wonderful focal point for all the arts' happenings in the Bay.  Special thanks must also go to the Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild ('The Woodies') for the design and construction, whilst All About Glass, Ron Price Sign Writer and the Village Centre all contributed as well.  We invite all cultural groups to take advantage of this promotional facility.


PerfEx Inaugural Literary Award

On Saturday 20th November, a hot and blustery day, the winners of our short story competition themed ‘Seaside’ were announced, to coincide very fittingly with Bateman’s Bay’s ‘Seaside Carnivale’. Just after the emergence from the sea of the gorgeous mermaid, accompanied by the suitably handsome, Captain Jack Sparrow and ‘sea weedy’ King Neptune, the creators of their own fictional characters were lined up nervously awaiting the results. (The odd mermaid featured in these too!)

PerfEx was very happy to receive 43 very diverse and imaginative, well-written entries from the ABC Radio South East listening area. Initially read by local judges and authors Judy Thomson and John Maneschi, the top ten selected stories were then sent to deciding judge, Anna Valdinger, Harper Collins Commissioning Fiction Editor. Anna generously wrote a short critique of each, but her general comment was, “Overall I thought the standard was pretty high. There was a great variety of imagination within the seaside topic and some really fantastic imagery”.

Judges John Maneschi and Judy Thomson being handed thank you vouchers by sponsor Lyn Brown
Judges John Maneschi and Judy Thomson being handed thank you vouchers by sponsor Lyn Brown

Having Anna involved, was a tremendous coup for PerfEx and a great incentive for the entrants, as it is normally almost impossible to have ones work viewed by a publisher!

There were to have been only 5 prizes, but generous sponsor Lyn Brown of Brown Books & ABC Centre Batemans Bay, decided there should be no ‘losers’, so donated five extra $25 Consolation Prizes.

Our congratulations and grateful thanks to all those writers and would be writers who entered our competition and we are pleased to announce the winners as follows:

The first five in order are (click the titles to read the full PDFs) :

First Prize of the $500 Brown Books & ABC Centre Book vouchers

Robin Trinca of Narooma for her story
'The Last Boat'

Robin says, "I have been writing for enjoyment for the last few years. I belonged to the Moruya Fellowship of Australian writers for a time, and contributed to their recent anthology "Where the Pelicans Fly". I have been occasionally published in newspapers and once won a short story prize!

Jeannie Brewer, Lyn Brown of Brown Books and 1st Prize Winner Robin Trinca
Jeannie Brewer, Lyn Brown of Brown Books and 1st Prize Winner Robin Trinca

Second Prize of the $100 Brown Books and ABC Centre vouchers

Kyla Metcalf of Congo for her story
Visiting Tom

Kyla has published several short stories. Currently she co-ordinates creative writing programs for women and children who have experienced trauma.

Third Prize of the $75 Brown Books and ABC Centre vouchers

Erica Woolgar of Lilli Pilli for her story
The Sea... The Sea...

Erica has had short stories and poetry published in various journals. She has won numerous awards, including the Marjorie Barnard Award, the Katherine Susannah Prichard Award and was commended in the 2009 Josephine Ulrich Award.

Fourth Prize of the $50 PerfEx Encouragement Award

Judith Turner of South Durras for her story
To the Sea

Judith says “I started writing three years ago after commencing a local U3A Writing Course. My aim at the time was to record my mother’s stories before she died. However, it has evolved since then into both non-fiction and fiction.

Fifth Prize of the Harper Collins ABC Books’ Package Encouragement Award

Kaiya Skywomyn of Bega for her story
Turtle Child

Kaiya has been writing poetry, plays, songwriting, short stories and children’s stories for the past 40 years. She has self-published some of her works and has recorded three of her stories and poetry with the original music scores.

Consolation Award Winners x 5 (in no particular order)

Penny Gerner of Batemans Bay for her story
Beyond the Reef

Penny is a published author of two books for young adults and an enthusiastic member of the Eurobodalla Writers Group. A relative newcomer to the area, she enjoys the friendly lifestyle and people. Penny enjoys reading, painting and music.

Nick Summers of Tuross Head for his story
The Birdthing

Nick has been writing short stories for 40 years and has published one collection of stories, with several published in newspapers and magazines. He also writes and edits a large variety of community and private publications and journals.

Tara Allen of Mossy Point for her story
Sue Fray from Batemans Bay

Tara is just beginning her writing career and aims towards humour.

Brian McLoughlin of Lilli Pill for this story
Return to the Bay

Brian spent many years sharing a love of poetry and literature as a school teacher and school principal. Now he is enjoying the freedom which retirement brings, to indulge his interest and to take on a variety of writing projects.

Bernadette Davis of Tomakin for her story
The Toilet Block Crew

Bernadette says “I write for the sheer pleasure of it. My characters are a blend of the many people I meet and their stories are a mix of my experiences and also my dreams”.

A huge thank you to all our sponsors without which this event could not have happened, with special thanks to Lyn Brown of Brown Books & ABC Centre for her generosity, support and ideas; to Ian Campbell and ABC Radio South East for his enthusiasm and involvement; the Village Centre; Bridge Plaza Management’; Local Government Super; The Eurobodalla Shire Council and Print Central, Batemans Bay.

Professional storyteller, Anna Jarrett of Batemans Bay has recorded the first five prizewinning stories at the ABC studio in Bega and these are being aired on local ABC Radio from Tuesday 3rd January to Saturday 7th January at 6.20am.  An earlier than usual morning cuppa is recommended for that week!

Overall, we consider our Inaugural Literary Award a great success and intend making it an annual event, well-supported by the ABC South East and Brown Books and ABC Centre.


Midnight in Paris

On Thursday 4 November 2011 PerfEx held a very successful advance screening of the latest Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris. The film was a fund-raiser for the organisation and was very well attended, in fact, we could have filled the Bay Cinema twice over. Before the film commenced there was champagne and finger food supplied by the committee enabling people to mingle and chat.

Robyn Edgar and Meredith Malcolm
Robyn Edgar and Meredith Malcolm

As well, there were raffle tickets on sale with a handsome variety of prizes including an original painting by Loretta Parsley and some excellent hand-crafted jewellery. The invitation to the evening suggested that patrons dress in the manner of the 1930s with a prize going to the best male and female costumes. Many joined in with the spirit of the occasion and there were some dazzling outfits. We look forward to repeating this event next year as it was such a happy night and great success. Our sincere thanks go to the Bay Cinema and the members of the PerfEx committee for making this event happen so smoothly.

Lora Grooms and David Uren and Marianne Ruffin
Lora Grooms and David Uren and Marianne Ruffin



On Friday 15 October PerfEx held a fund raising event in conjunction with the Batemans Bay Players' production of the musical ‘Cabaret.’ Over 80 PerfEx invitees attended the show and enjoyed a very entertaining performance. PerfEx held a raffle for which the prize was a box of chocolates, a sparkling wine (German of course) and a DVD of the 1972 movie of the musical. Also PerfEx recognised one of those present, Hugh McClintock, who has been a member of PerfEx since its inception and for whom that day was his 80th birthday!

The Kit Club Dancers
L-R Jenny Urquhart as Texas, Matthew Jenkin as Victor and Anne Maree Jenkin as Fritzie - The Kit Club Dancers

‘Borealis Brass’ Quintet from Alaska

Almost by default, an amazing week evolved in the life of PerfEx. Instigated by local Tomakin resident and composer Dr Katia Tiutiunnik, PerfEx hosted five musicians from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks over a week in early December, 2009. The PerfEx committee went way and above the call of duty in their hosting abilities, and we thoroughly enjoyed the company of our Alaskan friends.

The week kicked off with an official reception at the Hanging Rock Function Centre to which Local Aboriginal residents, Loretta Parsley and Rod Slockee welcomed us all to Country. The Alaskans were intrigued by Rod’s didgeridoo prowess. Our Mayor Fergus Thomson and General Manager, Paul Anderson also extended their welcome.

Dr Katia Tiutiunnik, with PerfEx’ assistance, arranged a lecture and recital at the Wollongong Access Centre the following day. Then on the Friday, Neil Simpson, Principal of the Bay High School, together with PerfEx organised a very worthwhile music workshop with local students and ‘Borealis Brass’.

The visit culminated with the ‘Borealis in Australis’ concert held on Friday 4th December at St Bernard’s Church. The quintet played a variety of pieces including world premieres of several of Dr Tiutiunnik’s compositions to an appreciative audience. Katia also played a viola solo.

The week produced much positive publicity.

Borealis Brass
Borealis Brass

Bay Theatre Player’s ‘A Bad Year for Tomatoes’

PerfEx managed to fill the theatre on 30th July for this comedy enjoyed by all and the proceeds were welcomed into the fundraising coffers.

Italian Cooking Class

Passionate musician, author and Italian cook, Maria de Rocco donated all proceeds from this fun cooking lesson for PerfEx supporters held in a member’s home on Saturday 16th May.

Maria and Portia and their Squid!
Maria & Portia showing off squid

The PerfEx Easter Art Show

Was generously put on for us by the Batemans Bay Arts & Crafts Society which also periodically donates raffle proceeds to PerfEx. This exhibition held at Sunshine Bay Public School was open from Saturday 11th to Sunday 19th April with net proceeds flowing directly to PerfEx. We are exceedingly grateful for their support.

The Journey
The Journey’ by artist Loretta Parsley

‘Another PerfEx Night’

Was held at the Batemans Bay Bowling Club on Saturday 28th March, 2009. Our competent MC was Graham McGillivray, PerfEx supporter and local radio 2EC Sales Manager. It was another fun-filled night, along the same lines as its predecessor, ‘One PerfEx Night’. The variety show performers included local young talent, guitarists Grant Beasley and Joel Lange, the delightful ‘Stepz’ dancers once more and then we were treated to individual piano solos from Lucy Burrows and Jarrod Sheiles. The coup for the evening had to be Circus35south who had the audience spellbound with their acrobatics.

Our own committee member Councillor Alan Morton bravely took on the job of auctioneer ( a first for Alan). Once again, despite difficult times globally, local businesses and individuals were exceedingly generous with donations. Finally, the ‘Jazz’em’ swing band gave us great dancing music. Although not the huge success of its predecessor, we did make a profit of around $6,500. A great effort all round!

Another PerfEx Night!
Circus35south member Mace Innes on ribbon trapeze

‘One PerfEx Night’

The title coined by Fundraising Committee Chairman Peter Boys was held on Saturday 17th November, 2007 at the Batemans Bay Soldiers’ Club. Our first major foray into the public arena, this ‘black & white’ event gave us a lot of positive publicity and almost $11,000 towards our funds.

It was an ambitious event, consisting of a dinner dance, variety show and auction with a power point presentation as a back-drop. Our enthusiastic MC was Allan Baptist, artist from Bawley Point. At this stage, Allan was employed by the Shoalhaven Council as a cultural officer and was a wealth of knowledge on Arts’ Centres, the Shoalhaven Centre being in the early stages of building at this time.

The variety show performers who all generously donated their time and talents, included the young and highly accomplished classical guitarist Josiah Oddy, followed by the local Koori brothers Roderick & Bobby Slockee who had the audience spellbound with their dance and didgeridoo act. Next we were entertained by two dance troupes from ‘Stepz’ Dance Academy, a strong supporter of PerfEx, followed by the delightful duo ‘Embellish’. Finally we had the opportunity to bop to ‘Jazz’em Bio’.

The Stepz Dancers
‘Stepz’ Dancers

John Law, normally our local vet, made a brilliant and persuasive auctioneer of almost 60 donated items, the well-publicised highlight being Nicole Kidman’s personally signed photo. (At that time the actress owned property locally, so we felt she was one of ‘our own’.

Finally we danced the night away to local band, ‘On the Rox’.