A sustainable community with a strong identity, working together for community cohesion, economic prosperity and sound environmental management.
The Swan Hill Rural City Council will lead, work with, help and empower our community to fulfil their aspirations.
The Performing Arts program offers the community the opportunity to attend a range of quality productions. The program delivers high standard productions that would not otherwise be available to the local and the wider community; and delivers the George Fairfax Memorial Regional Schools Theatre Festival, as part of the youth support for the Arts throughout the community and the Region.
The Arts Centre site has always been associated with arts and entertainment and has previously been home to circus, theatre, roller and ice skating, cinema and dance.
After World War II it was decided that Melbourne needed a cultural centre. After many years of discussion, a master plan was approved in 1960, with Sir Roy Grounds as the chosen architect.
During the ensuing years, and to accommodate difficulties associated with the geology of the site, changes to the original plans were made and eventually the Arts Centre emerged as two buildings – now known as the Theatres Building and Hamer Hall.
Work commenced on the Theatres in 1973 and land was acquired for the Hamer Hall (formerly the Melbourne Concert Hall) in 1975.
The building now known as Hamer Hall opened in 1982. The Theatres Building opened two years later.
The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is also an Arts Centre venue and in 2009 celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation was established in 1986, following the death of the founder, Hugh Dean Thomas Williamson (1901-1985). Hugh was a bank manager who rose to the position of chief executive officer of ANZ Bank, a position he held until his retirement in 1961. He maintained a keen interest in the stockmarket and used his profits to support his community interests, which included the Salvation Army and the Victorian Arts Centre Trust.
The Foundation is administered by ANZ Philanthropy Partners. At its inception in April 1986 the Foundation’s assets were $4,900,000. By June 2007 this had grown to $35,978,227.
Over the 20 years of its existence, grants by the Foundation totalled $13,974,132.
This project has been assisted by the Australia Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. In 2015 Festivals Australia has provided the Fairfax with funding to bring out special guests The Flying Fruit Fly Circus to appear at our launch as well as to conduct workshops with young people. In 2016 Festivals Australia funding will allow the Fairfax to bring YSpace to Swan Hill to develop a community based presentation to launch the 20th anniversary of the festival.
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. We support Australia’s arts through funding, strengthening and developing the arts sector.