22nd May 12
Congratulations to our 2012 RAVE Award Winners
Regional Arts Victoria regularly recognises the extraordinary efforts of its members and their members in supporting the delivery of cultural events and activities in communities across regional Victoria. The biennial RAVE Awards are presented in six categories. The 2012 Awards were presented at RAV’s AGM on 19 May 2012 at the GRAIN Store, 24 Blake Street, Nathalia.
CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AWARD
Lake Bolac Eel Festival : First held in the autumn of 2005, the Lake Bolac Eel Festival has developed into a unique annual family friendly music and art event. It is very much a festival of place underpinned by Indigenous and environmental themes. The panel felt that the volunteer committee of 20 (up to 50 during the festival) have continually developed good practice and processes, building on previous work and contributing to sustained outcomes for the community.
INDIGENOUS ARTS AWARD
Lennie Hayes: Lennie Hayes is highly and widely respected within the Lakes Entrance and East Gippsland communities for his leadership in general and his work with disengaged aboriginal youth in particular. The panel were impressed by Lennie’s ability to project Indigenous arts into the broader community and believe that his committed contribution to Indigenous arts in regional Victoria is exemplary.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AWARD
Swan Hill Aboriginal Family Service: The Swan Hill Aboriginal Service continuously supports community awareness by encouraging ongoing arts and cultural practice with their young people. The MARRUK MARRUK Project (formerly known as the Creation Story Project) has seen staff and the local community volunteer as artists, caterers, photographers, cultural advisers and storytellers resulting in positive visibility of local Indigenous youth and has raised the profile of the whole community. The panel agreed that the Swanhill Aboriginal Family Service has had a profoundly positive impact on youth leadership and mentoring.
ARTS VOLUNTEERING AWARD
Ingrid Thomas – Baw Baw Arts Alliance: Ingrid has been a steadfast ‘giver’ to the West Gippsland arts community for many years. Ingrid was the driving force behind the Women Who Mean Business project. Ingrid also established the Woman’s Compass Network which is now the Baw Baw Arts Alliance with a hub in Yarragon housing a shop, workshop area, meeting space and pottery studio. The panel is impressed by the sustainable outcomes of her tireless work.
Bethany Simons : Bethany brought her small two-hander play The Weather and Your Health to Showcase Victoria in 2010. An unexpected frontrunner in the voting process, it resulted in a seven week, 33 venue Victorian tour in 2011. Many of these venues were community-managed which complemented Bethany’s sensitive depiction of rural Australian life. Bethany took much pleasure in sharing stories, and post-show tea and scones, with audiences on the tour and this has made her tour one that will be remembered fondly for a long time in small Victorian communities. The panel felt that Bethany had shown good practice by working at ground level with communities and engaging with them on a genuine and honest level.
ARTS LEADERSHIP AWARD
William (Bill) Kelly: Bill Kelly has shown extraordinary vision and considerable financial personal commitment to arts development in Nathalia. Recognising that the town lacked a community-owned and operated space that could present visual and performing arts and also deliver workshops, Bill and his wife Veronica generously dipped into their retirement savings and purchased the old Grain Store in the main street. He called upon his many friends and colleagues, including Carillo Gantner, former Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin and RAV’s Chair Dennis Goldner, to help him establish a not-for-profit association The GRAIN Store Inc, which now manages the annual programming. Bill’s contribution will support the development of arts and cultural practice in Nathalia for the next generation of visionaries and beyond.
Image: Bill Kelly receives RAVE Award from the Premier, Ted Baillieu. Photo: Julie Millowick