Small Town Transformations Revealed

Posted in Creative Communities on 06/Oct/2014 08:11

Regional Arts Victoria is delighted to congratulate the towns of Ouyen and Dookie for their Small Town Transformation launches revealed this weekend.

In May 2013 five small towns across Victoria began a journey of creative change. Each town was successful in applying for $350,000 towards a significant artistic project with lasting legacy that would transform their town.

Ouyen’s Mallee Up in Lights was the first project to be revealed on Friday 3 October. Building on community assets and aspirations, the Mallee Up in Lights project has created a new outdoor performance space, light installation and community garden at the iconic Roxy Theatre – the Jewel of the Mallee.


The launch event was hugely successful, with a street festival featuring gallery openings and market stalls. The newly revealed Roxy Theatre premiered the screening of the highly anticipated Great Ouyen Zombie Apocalypse created in Ouyen by local students and community members, and the night culminated in a concert featuring Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses and a brilliant display of fireworks. This will be an unforgettable night for the community of Ouyen and beyond.

On Saturday 4 October the town of Dookie attracted thousands of people to their town of Transformation. Dookie Earthed saw the local quarry reawakened as an awe inspiring outdoor epitheatre after a 79-year slumber. The entire town was also transformed into a live and interactive artistic experience for all the senses. From film screenings and sculptural installations, to opera on the silos and projections onto the Quarry walls, Dookie Earthed was an artistic spectacular for all who took part. The project provided an inspiring glimpse of the artistic capacity now possible with their reimagined quarry & the technical resources injected into the town through this project.


Regional Arts Victoria’s Director Esther Anatolitis commended the creative visions and widespread community engagement behind these ground breaking projects.

‘Small Town Transformations has revealed the vision, leadership and artistic audacity in five small Victorian towns,’ Ms Anatolitis said. ‘Everybody who attended the Ouyen and Dookie events left with an indelible impression of what bold vision and generous collaboration can achieve.’

‘It’s been breathtaking to experience artworks designed for their unique regional Victorian location – public art, architecture, opera, projection, film, performance – each work deepening the sense of place that binds our memories, strengthens our capabilities and galvanises our future vision. I’ve seen moment after moment of art making a profound change in someone’s life, and I’m full of admiration for the artistic leaders of Ouyen and Dookie.’

‘The collaborative work of the Small Towns Transformations projects have inspired a lasting creative legacy for these regional communities.’

We can’t wait to see the remaining three Small Town Transformations launch later this month, and you’re invited to take part!

  • Avoca Chinese Garden – Saturday October 11
  • Natimuk The Verj – Friday October 24
  • Neerim Bower: Inspired by Birds – Sunday October 26

Small Town Transformations is presented by Regional Arts Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.

Click here for launch details. 

For full details including Small Town Transformations launch dates and locations visit

Photos from top to bottom:
Ouyen Mallee Up in Lights launch, photo by Pia Richardson
Dookie Earthed launch, photo by Pia Richardson



Regional Arts Victoria is delighted to congratulate the towns of Ouyen and Dookie for their Small Town Transformation launches revealed this weekend.

Dookie launch image