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 Mouth 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.

Our History

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:

  1. Promote the arts through workshops and events for the benefit of our local community;

  2. 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.

Auspice

BHAC offers an Auspice service for arts projects under the following conditions:

  1. All paperwork relating to the project is to be undertaken by the recipient
  2. 20% of the project budget to be paid to BHAC to offset administrative costs
  3. BHAC has right of refusal.

Requests for Auspicing should be directed to BHAC President at president@bhac.org.au in the first instance.

Our Committee

VICKI STRACHANPresident
Vicki lives in Barwon Heads and co-founded the Barwon Heads Arts Council in 2013 and was founding President. She has returned as President in 2021 and is looking forward to working with the community to establish the Barwon Heads Arts and Community Hub which opens in 2022.

Vicki has worked in stakeholder engagement and community development for many years, most recently as the Committee for Geelong working on the Leaders for Geelong program. She is currently a Project Manager at Gen U and previously co-ordinated a small business engagement diversity research project with Deakin University. Vicki has worked in a variety of sectors including the arts, banking, finance, health and hospitality. Vicki has 25 years of experience within community organisations with board experience in a regional health service, local government committees and arts organisations.

Vicki’s interest in community arts is linked to her strong interest in health and wellbeing, connecting communities and reducing social isolation.

Get In Touch
KAREN SHIRLEYVice President
Kaz joined the Arts Council when it was formed in 2013 and served as Treasurer for the first 3 years. Since then she has undertaken the Vice President and now President roles. Kaz is very keen to bring arts and culture opportunities to the community. She is particularly keen to develop opportunities for artists to connect with each other and the public. This was her motivation when creating the popular Bellarine Arts Trail (BAT) in 2016.

Kazs’ main artistic interest is abstract painting; however, she loves to push her own boundaries by learning new skills including printmaking, textiles, design and ceramics.

Get In Touch
SALLY PERRIGNONSecretary
Sally is passionate about being part of Barwon Heads Arts Council. To be involved in once again creative & community projects where it strengthens connections between the arts & the people , creating a vibrancy & working in collaboration with the community. Sally has been involved in the formation of a very successful community Arts Gallery hub in regional NSW, where they co-ordinated many successful events including hosting the St Kilda Film festival over a series of years & held many community workshops from painting,mix media millinery hat making , cheesemaking & generally workshops that interested the community., which Sally feels is vitally important to engage all community members
Sally is an Interior Decorator previously worked in Melbourne , owning her own Interior Decorator Business in regional NSW & Ocean Grove where she is now residing.
Get In Touch
CAROLINE WOODSTreasurer
Caroline has been in the treasury position at the Barwon Heads Arts Council for the last 4 years and has been instrumental in offering Performing Arts events to the local community, as an Arts Council Annual Event. On behalf of the Arts Council, Caroline has also been fortunate enough to assist in the fruition and completion of many wonderful arts auspice projects.
Get In Touch
DOROTHY JOHNSTONCommittee
I’m an award-winning novelist and short story writer who has lived in
Ocean Grove since 2009 and I’m keen to help aspiring and emerging
writers in my community. In 2018 and 2019 I ran writing workshops
through the BHAC and the Friends of the Barwon Heads Library and my
future plans include a writers’ mentorship program.
Get In Touch
ALAN KINGCommittee
With study in both Physics and Engineering, my career has covered many fields in the UK, USA and Australia, the last 10 years in Bio-Medical Engineering. Retirement means I can further my interest in Photography, Writing and the Arts. I look forward to bringing my experience of several society committees and business management to assisting the work of the BHAC.
Get In Touch
LIBBY DARCYCommittee
The creative process has always fascinated Libby, exploring and capturing ideas as well as the interplay between the environment and art.

Libby’s areas of study and interest are literature and music and as a new BHAC member she hopes to help foster community participation in these arts.

Libby has a Post Graduate in marketing, diverse experience in facilitation, communications and strategic planning working for not for profits, business, community and government organizations in the tourism, disability, health and education sectors.

Get In Touch
DEB TAYLORCommittee
Deb Taylor is a visual artist with a practice that spans abstract acrylic painting, collage, printmaking and mixed media works. Deb has a BA (Art History), B.Ed (Visual Arts), Diploma of Arts (Visual Art) and a Post-Graduate Diploma (Visual Arts).

Prior to moving to Ocean Grove in early 2018, she taught art to primary school children with learning disabilities for fifteen years whilst maintaining her art practice. She exhibits regularly, runs workshops for adults and has been the recipient of several artist residencies, a Collie Trust Scholarship for Printmaking at the Australian Print Workshop and an Art Start Grant from the Australia Council.

In early 2018, Deb moved to Ocean Grove, and after participating in the Bellarine Arts Trail joined the Barwon Heads Arts Committee in 2019, as she believes that people are innately creative and is passionate about supporting and facilitating people to access the arts.

Get In Touch
DEB HALLMARKCommittee
Deb is an experienced Philanthropic Director with a demonstrated history of working in the Not for Profit sector currently at Vision Australia and has previously worked with the Ovarian Cancer Australia, Deakin University and the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal as the Executive Director. Deb has also served as a Board Director of the Transport Accident Commission for six years and brings skills in Marketing Management, Business Planning, Business Development, Strategic Planning, and Marketing Strategy to BHAC and is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Deb has lived in Barwon Heads and in Ocean Grove for the last eighteen years. She shares a love of the arts and the enjoys the tight sense of community in these two seaside towns.

Get In Touch
TERRY BARROWCommittee
Returning home from the United Kingdom after 25 years I now reside in Barwon Heads. I worked and studied at Deakin University, obtaining a Graduate Diploma, before retiring.

I have a passion for the Latin dance. I have travelled the world to experience various dance cultures. Cuba for their Salsa, Spain for their Flamenco and Brazil for their Samba where I performed in the Rio Carnival. I also perform and demonstrate Cuban Salsa at festivals and take part in dance competitions.
I am a keen amateur Actor and have had roles with the Geelong Repertory Theatre along with the film and television industry. I also enjoy drawing, playing golf and swimming daily with the ‘Barwon Heads RAAF Icebergs’ – yes even in Winter!

Get In Touch

Be a part of us. Join Now!

BECOME A MEMBER

Be Connected

Follow us through Social Media

Creativity is contagious, pass it on

Albert Einstein

Every artist was first an amateur

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

John Lennon

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Pablo Picasso

You don’t take a photograph, you make it

Ansell Adams

Imagination creates reality

Richard Wagner

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

I explained it when I danced it.

Margot Fonteyn

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.

Ernest Hemingway

Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do

Edgar Degas

Creativity is a drug I cannot live without

Cecil B. DeMille

If you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there’s some way to do it.

Walt Disney

Do or do not. There is no try.

Yoda

Don’t wait! Do it now!

BECOME A MEMBER