The South Coast Music Society

“The South Coast Music Society (SCMS) fully supports the efforts of the Batemans Bay Performance and Exhibition Centre Working Group (PERFEX). The provision of a performance venue in Batemans Bay is essential for the continued development of music and performing arts appreciation in this area.

The objective of the SCMS is to present fine music concerts to the community of the South Coast, many of whom are pensioners and/or retirees. It was a combination of these community members’ inability to travel to concerts in Canberra/Sydney/Wollongong as well as our aim to encourage young people to experience fine music that led to the formation of the Society. For over 14 years, we have presented an average of 5 concerts each year at affordable prices. Most of the artists have been obtained through Musica Viva Australia at highly subsidised rates. Our average attendance over the last few years is around 200.

We currently hold most of our concerts at St Bernards Catholic Church that can accommodate over 500 people. The Church has very good acoustics and is aesthetically pleasing as well as affording us a place to house our grand piano between concerts. We are most grateful to the Church for allowing us to use their wonderful building.

However, we have had to reject offers from Oz Opera and from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to come to Batemans Bay due to the lack of a venue that could accommodate more than 8 or 9 performers.

Another public venue able to seat at least a similar capacity, as well as providing the necessary acoustic characteristics with a stage area sufficient to cope with a small orchestra or performance troupe in the Eurobodalla Shire would be invaluable.”

St Cecilia Music Scholarships

“...As an organization and as individual committee members, we are hugely supportive of the aspirations of the PerfEx committee in their endeavours to have a designated performance and exhibition centre in Batemans Bay. St Cecilia would be one of the main local organizations that has great need of such a centre.

Apart from our annual auditions and subsequent Finalists’ concert, we have a great need of a suitable venue for us to hold workshops and master classes open to young students in the various musical categories. There is no such public space in Batemans Bay, there is not even a publicly accessible piano, the most basic need for any music group.

Batemans Bay is a vibrant growing centre of population on the South Coast and we have a large demographic that has an interest in the performing and visual arts and which needs a hub for cultural activities of all kinds in the centre of the town. ...”

STEPZ – South Coast Dance Academy

“I strongly support your committee’s view that a Performing Arts Theatre/Exhibition complex in the Batemans Bay area is necessary and long overdue.

As a director of Stepz Dance Academy I would welcome a venue that had a proper performance space. One that also had comfortable seating, heating and cooling, up to date sound equipment, cyclorama, lots of stage and front of house lighting, special affects, range of colour gels, stage curtain, wings, lots of dressing room space with mirrors and costume racks.

We have explored the clubs with stages in the district but found them unsuitable venues for Dance. With around 200 performers there is no dressing room space and the stage is not suitable for dancing. Also, seating arrangements are more suitable to Dinner Dances.

Our only option has been to use High School Halls for our dance recitals. These venues are not equipped for live performances. They are community halls which are primarily for events such as indoor soccer, gymnastics and other sports. They are also in high demand because of the lack of suitable indoor facilities in Batemans Bay.

It would be wonderful if there was a fully equipped Theatre in Batemans Bay for our recitals. I am sure we would be in a position to extend our performances with the right facilities available...

Having a quality performance space I am sure would allow more touring groups to perform in Batemans Bay. Parents would also appreciate not having to take their families out of the area to see professional/amateur Theatre.

Stepz staff and parents are very excited about the possibility of a Performance/Exhibition Centre in Batemans Bay and are willing to help in any way that we can to see this come into fruition.”

Batemans Bay Arts and Crafts Society Inc

“I write on behalf of the Batemans Bay Arts and Crafts Society Inc (BBACS) to offer support to PerfEx in its endeavours to build a much needed multi-purpose arts, performance and conference centre in Batemans Bay.

BBACS finds it increasingly difficult to secure suitable venues for art exhibitions and workshops; a facility of this type would be invaluable to our members. Moreover, the community of Batemans Bay would not miss opportunities, as has happened on numerous occasions in the past, for large scale visiting performances, art exhibitions and conferences. These needs will only increase with Batemans Bay now recognised as the fastest growing regional centre for the South Coast of New South Wales.

The Society commends the PerfEx Committee for “taking on the fight” for a most worthy cause that will be of huge benefit to the entire community of Batemans Bay and surrounding districts.”

South Coast Pastel Society

“…Gallery Space
Our members believe this is of the highest priority. Currently there is no suitable space in the shire. We use the CWA Hall in Moruya and while we appreciate the support of the CWA as they only charge us a small fee, the space is inadequate. Workshop space is needed which has adequate lighting, sinks, bench space, is flexible in design and capable of holding a full class. In fact we would like to see several workshop spaces to cater for differing visual media and performing arts. In order to attract top quality tutors to the area it is essential that such workshop spaces be provided in any new facility. We believe there is also a potential tourism opportunity for the shire if such a space existed as weekend or winter schools could be offered bringing extra income for tourism operators.

Exhibition Space
Our members believe that in order for this shire to be able to stage a professional level of exhibitions which feature both local and visiting artists as purpose built exhibition space is a high priority for the shire. Such a space will also improve the access of residents to quality art in all media. Many of our residents are not in a position to travel to other cities and our young people lack opportunities which students in larger population centres have.

Location of the Arts Centre
Our committee unanimously supports the location of an Arts Centre in Batemans Bay. We believe that this is the only viable location.…”

Jan Lewis
Freelance Curator, Arts Writer & Artist

“I encourage PerfEx’s endeavour to establish a purpose-built facility in Batemans Bay for the performing and visual arts. Strategically speaking, a centre here would service the immediate and wider community’s artistic and cultural needs.

Whilst teaching Curatorship and Audience Development to local senior high school art students I was alarmed to hear that only 3 (out of 40 students) had ever visited a major gallery. Despite the fact that we reside nearly 4 hours drive from Sydney, 2 ½ hours from Canberra and 1/ ½ hours from Nowra (our nearest regional gallery), there exists a significant art population. This is evidenced by the number of art and craft groups operating in the region.

A sizeable resource centre for students and art practitioners would benefit: - SEMAG (South East Modern Art Group), EFTAG (Eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Art Group), MACS (Montague Art & Craft Society) plus the Pastel and Eurobodalla Art and Craft Societies – all have limited outlets in which to run workshops and showcase their art. Furthermore, I have 250 local contemporary artists on my database who mostly have to exhibit outside the region – what a loss to this area.

We live in a beautiful part of the world and it is little wonder that artists find inspiration here but the Eurobodalla - Land of Many Waters is fast becoming a popular tourist destination too. A quality performing and visual arts centre which showcases regional art, exhibits innovative new media art and hosts touring exhibitions would further promote tourism and enhance the social and cultural experiences of our visitors.

The performing and visual arts translate and document our culture and it is well known that culture is one of the four pillars of a healthy and sustainable community. There is no doubt in my mind that having such an arts centre in Batemans Bay would create opportunities for the present and future generations. It would provide employment, income, artistic expression and social and cultural exchange which would benefit not only the local community but all those who visit.

I wish you the best of luck with your project and will do all I can to support it.”

Batemans Bay U3A

….Translated into local terms, it means that people over 50 can participate in stimulating learning programs, the social and health benefits of which, research has shown to be considerable. Current membership is around 370 and their addresses range from Termeil to Tuross, which places Batemans Bay roughly mid-way for organisational purposes.

Without a home base, U3A is committed to using public facilities for its large group activities such as meetings, performances and displays. With the growth of population in the area, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure such premises at appropriate times, even with the best long-term planning. For example, at our recent July meeting, the Committee decided to try to avoid the Christmas rush and sought to book the Batemans Bay Community Centre for the last week in October, for a Tutors’ Party, an annual acknowledgement of their contribution to and the mainstay of our organisation. Even then we were too late!

The Annual General Meeting is the largest gathering for our members, where an exhibition of Course outputs is displayed on walls and floor space is essential of exercise and dancing performances. For such functions, a Conference Facility would be ideal.

U3A members are also active supporters of cultural events, as evidenced in the numbers who attend South Coast Music Society-arranged Concerts held in St Bernard’s Church as well as other occasions that are part of the work of other organisations, who promote well-being in a variety of ways in our small community. …”

SEAR (South East Arts Region)

“I have no hesitation in writing in support of the proposed study to investigate the feasibility of a purpose built facility for the Eurobodalla Shire within the Batemans Bay environs.

As the regional cultural development organisation, SEAR is well aware of the total lack of purpose built, professionally managed arts facilities across the region. Such a lack severely constrains the ability of the community to access and enjoy a range of entertainment and cultural experiences both from with the region and beyond.

It is timely and opportune for a thorough investigation of the needs, potential site, scope, scale and ongoing management of any such facility for Eurobodalla. We appreciate that this will be a major undertaking for both the community and the Council, hence it is all the more important that the preliminary research is detailed and comprehensive.

SEAR would be pleased to participate in the study as a potential user of such a venue and in representing the arts and cultural sector of the region.…”

Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc

“At the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc General Meeting 4th February 2009, a motion of support for the PERFEX working group was put forward in General Business. This motion was passed as being fully supported by those members present at the meeting with no one against.

The Business Chamber has received several enquiries regarding suitable venues in the Batemans Bay area to hold various functions and events. Unfortunately due to the specific requirements of some organisers, no suitable venues were available, resulting in our community missing out of the economic benefits that these functions can realise.

The Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc would like to add our support and wish your working group well in pursuing what can be a valuable addition to the future of the Batemans Bay Community. ….”

Batemans Bay Soldiers Club

“…The Board of Directors have reviewed your group’s vision for the establishment of a Performance and Exhibition Centre for the Batemans Bay Area and I am pleased to advise you that they consider your concept to be of great future benefit to the local area and the Eurobodalla Shire.

The Club Board of Directors are mindful of the fact that this proposed facility would create additional competition for local providers of conference facilities including our Club, however they also believe that the expansion of our area as a regional centre would warrant additional facilities to meet the rapidly expanding future needs of the community...”

The Quota Club of Batemans Bay Inc

“It is with pleasure that the Quota Club of Batemans Bay would like to confirm their support of the PerfEx Committee in their mission to bring to completion and construction of a Centre for the performing and visual arts, to meet the current and future needs of the Batemans Bay community.

It was certainly enlightening to hear the wonderful plans that PerfEx are planning to bring this project to fruition and to hear of the support and involvement already received from a number of organisations in Batemans Bay.

All members of the Quota Club of Batemans Bay were enthusiastic to hear of this project and will endeavour to assist the committee in this regard.”

Rotary Club of Batemans Bay

“The Board of the Rotary Club of Batemans Bay Inc met in late September and discussed the letter received, requesting financial support for a feasibility study for a Performance and Exhibition Centre at Batemans Bay.

The Board determined that the request for financial assistance was against Rotary Policy.

It was further noted that the Rotary Club of Batemans Bay Inc is fully supportive of your quest for this important community asset, and with a combined visionary approach we will achieve this in the very near future.”

State Member for Bega

Hon Andrew Constance MP

“….Everyone involved can see the potential such a centre holds for Batemans Bay.

The Far South Coast region has a strong performing arts community that covers a wide variety of mediums and styles. The establishment of a performance and exhibition centre would allow that vibrant community to grow and develop further.

There is also great potential for the region’s school students to enhance their talent and learning through the availability of such a facility. It will be a significant place of learning and creativity for all ages in our community.

Aside from the many social benefits the centre would bring to the local community, it would also add to the regions tourist appeal and in turn contribute to the local economy…maybe a place for the Sydney Symphony orchestra to rehearse whilst enjoying the wonderful surrounds of the Far South Coast?

I wish PerfEx every success and support their plans to establish a performance and exhibition centre in Batemans Bay.”