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Mayors Message - 15 November 2022

Mayors Message - 15 November 2022

Tuesday 15 November 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

As Mayor you rightly spend a lot of time prioritising critical service delivery, but it is also a privilege – and personally rewarding – to be able to help promote and celebrate our thriving arts community.

Over the recent long weekend, I opened the ASPIR Art Show in the new performing arts building at Newhaven College where I was particularly pleased to see young artists being encouraged.

Later I attended the opening of the John Adams retrospective exhibition at the Leeson Gallery. John has made a life of teaching and practising art. The Artspace Gallery in Wonthaggi is about to celebrate its 10 year anniversary with an exhibition of past and present work starting on 6th November.

I was heartened to see in both instances that our senior artists are encouraging our new crop of artists in Bass Coast. A thriving arts and culture community is important to the health of our general community.

The arts are a good barometer of how our entire community is successfully bouncing back from the pandemic.

It is also important to see how art and conservation can combine to inspire and educate our community. Recently, Council supported the For Our Future launch. It was a fabulous event organised by the Phillip Island Conservation Society and The Eco Arts Cultural Hub (TEACH). It was incredible to see this team of artists, musicians, scientists and educators collaborate in providing an overview of the practice of Eco Arts in the Community.

At this time of increasing climate crisis, cultivating stewardship and love of nature through culture is crucial to change. It was deeply powerful to witness how For Our Future connects us to each other and the ancient lineage of First Peoples of this Country - through Deep Listening. I’m excited to see how the program inspires our community and deepens connection to each other and the Living World. To find out more visit

The Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre has a fabulous program of events coming up alongside playing host to numerous school events, dance concerts and awards ceremonies as we close out the year. Why not check out a film one Wednesday or take in a show. I’m interested to see how a comedian and opera singer can swap roles in David Hobson and Colin’s Lane theatre performance of ‘In Tails.’

It’s fabulous to see a thriving arts scene across Bass Coast.