2017 Annual General Meeting Report

2017 achievements

Ballarat Arts Alive Annual General Meeting

AGM Monday 16 October 2017, 6pm
Old Colonist’s Club, 16 Lydiard St Nth, Ballarat

Haydn Smith, President’s Report

Ballarat Arts Alive mission remains the same. It is a flexible forum for discussion, development and action around arts based in Ballarat and surrounds. It is volunteer-run, fostering opportunities and a vibrant arts culture.

The Committee of Management meets the first Monday of the month at the Old Colonists Club. During the year two new members of committee were added – David Twomey and Susanne Graham. Haydn particularly thanked the organisational members and encouraged new membership. Benefits included auspicing of grants, ArtsHub membership, discounts at Radmac Office Choice etc.

Membership Fees

Fees remain at: $10 concession, $20 full, $100 for organisational membership. A significant part of this goes to Regional Arts Victoria to allow BAA to obtain reduced insurance.


Haydn thanked Susanne Graham and Tim Gay for their work on memberships. He thanked Kiri Smart for heading up the events team, which is always seeking new events & opportunities for members. BAA facebook group has over 1500 members, most of whom are not paid members. There is a lively discussion forum around arts as well as advice and requests for support. Thanks to Aldona Kmiec who moderates Facebook forum. Thanks also to Peter Sparkman for design work over the year.

Grants Auspicing

Auspicing enables artists to get grants, but this year there has been none. Over the years there have been many attempts to establish arts spaces, including a bid to obtain the Railway Station for a Co-working Hub. Advocacy has accounted for a large part of BAA efforts this year, requiring many meetings with politicians, local and state government. There still is no Arts Policy and the Council Plan contains little acknowledgment of the arts.


ArtsAtlas website (www.artsatlas.com.au) was an initiative of Ballarat Arts Alive, and is now managed by City of Ballarat. Council has agreed it breached the agreement with BAA over Arts Atlas and apologised. There was another ongoing issue involving the removal of important indigenous artwork from Alfred Deakin Place. Finally last month an apology has been given to the artists by CEO Justine Linley.

Ballarat Civic Hall

The Civic Hall has an important arts role. It was designed with input from arts groups, for performing arts in particular. BAA has advocated that Lower Hall should be retained as its facilities enable the Civic Hall to be used for arts. The ongoing rumours of closure of Backspace Gallery have also been troubling.

BAA Role

BAA continues to reinvent itself. In some years the focus has been on auspicing, in others on advocacy, others events. A recent initiative has been members nights, held at Lost Ones Gallery Basement Bar (see blog events here).

Election of Office Bearers

All positions were declared vacant previously received nominations were read out, and as there were no other nominations, were declared elected. As the position of Secretary has not been filled, it was resolved to seek interested members.

President: David Twomey
Vice President: Merle Hathaway
Secretary No nominations
Treasurer Tim Gay
Membership Manager: Susanne Graham

Ordinary Members: Peter Sparkman, Dave Knowles, Christine Crawshaw, Shane Van Den Akker, Susan Mitchell, Kiri Smart

Guest Speaker

“Dangerous Ideas” by Bryce Ives – Director of Arts Academy and Gippsland Centre of Art & Design, Federation University. This took the form of a workshop/brainstorm to find what “dangerous ideas” we could generate to make a real change in Ballarat.

Guest Artist performance

Ellen Sørensen, Composer and visual artist now living in Ballarat. The Annual General Meeting was preceded by a tour of the Old Colonists Club led by Merle Hathaway.