Welcome to the Barwon Heads Arts Council
The Barwon River in Victoria winds its way from the Otway Ranges behind the Great Ocean Road through Geelong and the wetlands on the Bellarine Peninsula to arrive at the ocean between the townships of Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove. While the area is rich in cultural history of the Indigenous Australian clans of the Wathaurong nation and the early settlers, the Arts Council strives to maintain our history and represent the Arts today in our community.
Through participation in major events such as the Mountain to Mount Arts Walk, The Festival of the Sea and the organisation of the Bellarine Arts Trail, in addition to other events during the year, the Council represents our local artists, visual, literary and performing.
In 2012, a community meeting was held to discuss whether the community saw the need for an arts organisation in Barwon Heads. This led to the establishment in 2013, of the Barwon Heads Arts Council (BHAC) as a not-for-profit incorporated organisation.
In 2013 our aim was to lobby government and Council for an Arts Hub in Barwon Heads for the benefit of the local community and the wider community across the Bellarine.
We believe an Arts Hub will support all local artists across all arts genres, including the visual arts, music, drama, theatre, dance, poetry and literature.
We quickly realised it would take a lot of hard work and time to achieve our aim of an arts hub, so we decided to put on events in parallel to the lobbying work we were doing. We eventually broadened our vision to also include the following two objectives:
Promote the arts through workshops and events for the benefit of our local community;
Build the capacity of our local artists through events, workshops and arts programs. We aim to develop deeper connections by building the capacity of our local artistic community.
Between 2013 and 2019 our small team of volunteers has worked tirelessly to engage with the community and to provide many fun and successful arts events. Our membership quickly grew to over 400 local members. We have also worked with City of Greater Geelong Arts and Culture Department and local government to progress our aim of an arts hub for Barwon Heads.
In the 2019 State election, our local member Lisa Neville MP committed $1m to the Barwon Heads community for the establishment of an Arts/Community Hub on the site of the old kindergarten in Clifford Parade, Barwon Heads. BHAC is a key stakeholder in this new project, which also includes the Barwon Heads Senior Citizens and the Barwon Heads Association. It is intended we will all work together to deliver this hub in 2021. Find out more about the progress of this project under the NEWS tab.