FLASHBACK: Facilitator Shelley Pisani and Cr Danita Potter, centre, with some of the arts representatives at an arts strategy workshop in Kingaroy last September

June 3, 2024

South Burnett Regional Council adopted the region’s first Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategy at its May general meeting.

The strategy is a five-year plan which Council hopes will help the sector to grow and engage communities in creative opportunities.

It was developed after community consultations last year, including a workshop led by specialist facilitator Shelley Pisani.

The strategy defines Council’s role as a “facilitator” of the sector, responding to community needs and aiding skills development while also managing its art and heritage collections.

Council owns art galleries in Kingaroy and Wondai, museums in Nanango, Kingaroy and Wondai and a number of historic properties across the region, including Ringsfield House in Nanango and Boondooma Homestead.

The strategy sees a role for arts, culture and heritage activities in economic development and tourism.

“Participating and connecting to our arts, culture and heritage has never been so important,” Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee chair Cr Danita Potter said.

“This strategy will support initiatives that will not only strengthen our communities but also our region’s economic growth, community resilience and overall wellbeing.”

Mayor Kathy Duff said the region’s identity was “deeply intertwined with the expression of arts, the preservation of heritage, and the celebration of our rich culture and unique narratives”.

“As Mayor, I am proud to lead a Council committed to championing these aspects that define us,” Mayor Duff said.

“Our local stories, history, cultural heritage, and creativity are fundamental strengths that continue to attract visitors and enrich the lives of those who call this region home.

“By recognising and celebrating these assets, we ensure that the South Burnett remains a vibrant and sought-after destination.”

South Burnett Arts Inc president Dafyd Martindale welcomed the strategy and the recommended creation of a full-time position for a dedicated Arts, Culture And Heritage officer on Council’s staff.

He said it had been “a long time coming”.

Council’s plan to hold RADF Showcases to promote the important funding scheme was a welcome inclusion, as was the plan to encourage a regional touring circuit.

However, he was concerned Council had emphasised it would be “facilitating programs and projects based on community-driven priorities, within resource capacity”, suggesting limited funding may available for some of the objectives championed in the document.

[Disclosure: Dafyd Martindale is CEO of South Burnett Online]


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