Arts & Culture Strategy 2022-2026
Fraser Coast Regional Council supports the growth of a vibrant and active cultural life within our community.
We believe that arts and culture are essential for our community and should be experienced as part of our everyday lives.
Council provides a range of services, venues and programs in the arts, cultural and heritage fields.
After significant community input and consultation, Council endorsed the Fraser Coast Arts & Culture Strategy 2022-2026. It provides direction for the Fraser Coast on development of arts and cultural activities and resources across Council, and also provides a road map for the community, supporting us all in working together and continuing to achieve great outcomes for the whole of the Fraser Coast.
A special thanks to our Ambassadors
To help create a strategy that reflects the aspirations, concerns and ideas from our community, a group of Arts and Culture Ambassadors were engaged to help facilitate community conversations and provided input into the process of summary, data analysis and drafting of the strategy.
Jo Williams | Visual Artist
Jo is a practicing Artist and Art teacher living in Howard.
She is passionate about the arts and believes it is fundamental to a thriving community- both personally, locally and globally.
Jo’s particular areas of expertise and focus are painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage and writing.
Jon Vea Vea | Musician
This well-known Fraser Coast singer is a proud member of the Cobble Cobble clan, born on Butchulla Country into a family that included professional singers.
As well as singing at many local venues, Jon has toured Aboriginal communities, playing at football Grand Finals and the Commonwealth Games. He has also been recognised with multiple NAIDOC awards.
Chris Olin | Stage Manager & Event Coordinator
Chris has a vast background in theatre, being involved such aspects in stage management and lighting design.
He is a graduate with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and has been a teacher and teacher’s aide.
Chris also has experience in Event management and the administration of festivals.
Leelee West | Visual Artist, Art Director & Graphic Designer
Leelee (Leelee Creative) is a self-employed freelance artist and graphic designer, and says that she is so blessed to collaborate with Fraser Coast Regional Councils and other local residents, producing collateral for purposeful projects.
Leelee loves working in the community and enjoys teaching workshops and sharing her love of art with others.
Kerrie Bartlett | Glenwood Progress Association
Kerrie is involved with weekly meetings for the Glenwood Progress Association, including art, craft and genealogy.
Kerrie’s focus is on involving the younger generation, and gaining more knowledge about the Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi Peoples.
Catherine Rose | Artist
Poona and Fraser Coast volunteer leaders encourage Catherine’s line dancing, percussion and printmaking.
Her interests include Visual Arts, photography, tennis and designing quilts.
On her busy days, Catherine’s family joke that she has “too many interests”!
Janet Revill | Hervey Bay Arts Council Member
Janet has organised two Luna Loca festivals (Maryborough’s Moon festival), many concerts at Gatakers Artspace and within her own store.
Janet has run a bookshop/coffee shop in Maryborough for 10 years, which also hosts live music.
She is involved with the Maryborough Arts Council and is responsible for organising the classical & jazz concerts.
Janet’s passions are theatre, writing, music and art.
Kym Latter | Artist
Kym Latter is a local artist creating contemporary sculptures from recycled materials; and owner of Happy Creative Classes, a Maryborough-based art studio that focuses on helping people of all ages and ability to experiment with art and build creative confidence.
Les Ravenau | Yaboa Gallery Owner
Les is a Gomuloroi man from Northern NSW and moved to the Fraser Coast in 1996 with his family.
He works with the University of the Sunshine Coast and is the owner of ‘Yaboa Gallery’-Screenprinting and Arts.
Lyn Harris | Arts Co-ordinator/Facilitator
Lyn is a member of various art groups and has been involved with the Hervey Bay Council for the Arts for over 20 years.
Presently Lyn is Admin for several art related Facebook pages and has also facilitated Fraser Coast writers and poets over 20 years.
Lyn enjoys facilitating arts events, inspiring others and connecting to create a vibrant art scene.
Matthew King | Performing Arts
Matt has been a Director and Producer of local productions on the Fraser Coast for 15 years.
He currently runs the Macabre Theatre Company as an independent Producer and develops large scale local musical events such as ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Shrek’.
Rob Mackay | Musician & Studio Owner
Rob moved to Hervey Bay 32 years ago and has been a musician all of his life.
He owns and operates Pacific International Music Recording Studio which has recorded over 130 albums in the last 15 years, many of these local artists such as Sam Maddison and Frank Benn. Rob has even worked with local artists gaining #1 with JJJ!
Rob plays in 3 bands being The Bobkatz (successful nationally), 8 Ball Aitken (National) and Rhubarb Tarts and helps organise bands for Council/Brolga events such as Storyfest and Brolga River Stage.
Susie Nawaitodre | Artist and Gallery Owner
Susie is the owner and director of Lewis Gallery and has worked as an artist, curator, mentor and industry educator with and has been nominated for an Australia Day Award for services to the Arts in the region. Known for her relentless drive and determination to grow a creative industry that serves artists in developing sustainable careers and allows them to contribute significantly to their communities.
Seamus Mee | Art Director & Producer
Seamus has worked in all manner of performance and theatre since his first show, a rock opera, in 1972. Throughout the 70s and 80s he learnt Stagecraft from old stagers in shows & festivals across Brisbane while also working as the retail manager of a theatre lighting and sound company.
In 1995 he became the Producer of the Inaugural Brisbane Festival. The Festival was absorbed into QPAC and Seamus went there to be an Associate Producer. They produced several more Brisbane Festivals, Stage X and Out of the BoxFestivals. In 2003, he was invited to work for what today is called the Queensland Music Festival.
Retiring to Maryborough some years ago, Seamus has had some wonderful times with Ian Brown's What The River Told me, various Mary Poppins flummeries and creating wonderful sounds in the Alice Street Water Tank.
Wendy Bennett | Producer/Co-ordinator
Wendy has produced such productions as the Yg’ubi Festival, Community pageants and fire events.
She has also co-ordinated several local events and has organised regional community funding through the Queensland Government’s ‘Blueprint for the Bush’ Grants program.
Wendy has a passion for theatre, both producing and running theatre workshops with Ladyfinger.
Shawn Wondunna Foley | Artist
Shawn is an independent Indigenous Australian writer, artist, and creative designer. He is also a public speaker, positive thought leader, streetscape/installation artist, ideas and wellness philanthropist, spiritual lifestyle coach and cultural advisor.
As a senior Butchulla (Badtjala) First Nations man born in Maryborough, he has a great love of Country (land, sea, and sky), particularly K’gari (Fraser Island), and currently lives, works and plays on the Fraser Coast in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.
Wondunna-Foley's diverse and creative arts expression explores a deep synergy between people, place and presence. An inner spiritual perspective infused with a contemporary creative and balanced view of living in harmony with all things, life and the universe itself.
Brian Kelleher | Heritage & Architecture
Brian is a registered Migration Agent and has practicing Immigration Law for 20 years. Born and raised in Maryborough, Brian left in the eighties to study for his BA (Hons) at Griffith University and Bachelor of Laws at the University of New South Wales.
Brian then returned to Maryborough and loves to photograph the architecture of the region for his Instagram Page @Queeslander_Living.
Taylor Dunn | Arts Advocate
Taylor has been an arts advocate and actor for over 10 years working professionally mostly in Queensland and is currently interning with Zen Zen Zo.
Taylor is incredibly passionate about the arts, particularly performing arts, and the importance of building, promoting, preserving, and developing the arts and cultural experiences of the Fraser Coast.
Kym Walker | Indigenous Arts & Culture, Butchulla Community Member
As a proud Butchulla woman Kym Walker is a committed educator, skilled communicator and advocate for the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities. Community consultation, project development and engagement are real strengths within her skill set.
Kym’s substantial experience in the education sector extends across all levels from early childhood to university and includes extensive local, state and national arts and community networks.
Her work has been recognised through various local and state awards. Kym is a published poet. As well as being a traditional owner Butchulla woman Kym has European and South Sea islander ancestral connections to the Fraser Coast.
April Spadina | Visual Artist
April is a Visual Artist living in Maryborough and finds great joy being involved in Community Arts projects. She loves sharing her skills with others in workshops and seeing the positive response from people.
Working with other artists stimulates April, and she has worked in many Fraser Coast Regional Council projects including street art, the Story bank and art workshops.
Erica Neate | Community Cultural Development arts worker and Local History Researcher
Erica Neate is an experienced community cultural development artsworker and local history researcher, committed to giving voice to marginalised community members. She is also passionate about promoting appreciation of nature through hands-on arts activities that celebrate our local fauna and flora.
Cate Akaveka | Literature & Community Art
Cate is the Community Development manager at the Hervey Bay Community Centre, incorporating the Neighbourhood ‘Hive’ – described as a messy, creative space to connect and learn.
Cate is the former owner of a local independent bookshop and has strong ties into the local literary community.
Carol Sendall | Singer & Musical Director
Carol has been lucky enough to work in the Music industry for five decades.
Her current projects include “Mansong”, and “Makin’ Whoopee” and VoiceOnline.
Current discussions with community partners are looking toward the development of a “Recovery choir”, to assist stroke victims, people with acquired brain injuries and dementia patients.
Sonny Dallas Law | Performing Arts, Indigenous Arts & Culture
Sarah Brischke | Artist
Sarah is an abstract artist from Bauple and an active volunteer in the Fraser Coast community.
In 2019 Sarah ran the ‘Creative Kids’ art class. She has also managed the Bauple Nut Bash event in 2021 and is the editor of the Bauple Bulletin.
Andre Carpenter | Musician & Educator