What is the Fairfax?


What is the Fairfax?

The Fairfax is a series of workshops, activities and performances specifically for young people aged between 12 and 17 from regional and remote Australia.Beginning in Swan Hill, Victoria in 1997, the Fairfax is held annually in memory of George Fairfax, who grew up in Nangiloc, a small town in the Mallee region of Victoria. He was well known for his support and encouragement of activities that involved young people in the arts, especially through places like the Melbourne University, the Victorian College of the Arts and St Martin’s Youth Arts Centre.The Fairfax has three distinct phases

  • Four in-community workshops to help create a 10min micro performance piece
  • Two and a half days of rehearsals and workshops in Swan Hill, Victoria
  • A final community performance at the Swan Hill Town Hall

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When does it all happen?

A general overview of the year will look something like this:

June, July and August

The In-Community Development Sessions happen throughout these months.  We send artists from leading arts companies to help you create your 10min micro-performance.


Tue 15   

  • Participants arrive around 2pm and the Fairfax officially opens with theatre games, rehearsals and workshops.

Wed 16  

  • 9.30am – 5.30pm – Workshops and Rehearsals.

Thu 17  

  • 9.30am – 5.30pm – Workshops and Rehearsals with a community Gala Performance at the Town Hall at 7pm. All our young artists present their performance pieces

2007  Swan Hill College Mr Howard Australian Idol

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How much for all of this?

There is a one off registration fee of $550 per group. [A maximum of 10 young participants + leader/s]

All you have to do is organise your transport to and from Swan Hill and the Fairfax will cover everything else.

We know that schools and groups from the country have little to no money and we don’t want a single kid to miss out because of the fee, hence it really is only $550 per group for everything.


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What does the Fairfax do?
The Fairfax brings top Australian actors, directors, filmmakers and musicians to the country.  It gives young people and their leaders the chance to learn from the best in a series of in-community workshops, before bringing everyone to Swan Hill in September for four days of learning, fun, workshops, performances and a street party like no other.

2011 Red Cliffs Secondary College Wonder in Ozland

Don’t freak out about creating a performance!  That’s why we’re here.  We pair each group with a professional arts company to help you along the way.

We empower isolated young people aged 12 – 17 living in regional and remote areas of Australia to give voice to their stories.

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Where does this happen?

We realise that there are simply not enough hours in the day especially for teachers and parents.

So we come to your community.

In the months leading up the Fairfax we will work with you to find the best time to send our artists to you [wherever it may be] and help your group create their piece.

Then for one week in September everyone travels to Swan Hill, Victoria to learn how to sing, dance, juggle, walk on stilts, act, read Shakespeare or any number of things that they wouldn’t normally get to do.993024_496392677106710_151795095_n

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What do you gain from this?


Here are a few things that previous leaders have said about how the Fairfax changed their group

  • improved creative thinking
  • made them more receptive to different people, attitudes and cultures
  • improved their self-worth
  • improved self-esteem and confidence
  • improved their communication skills
  • improved their ability to think about things/ideas from different angles
  • created heaps of new friendships

Many of our leaders are librarians, PE teachers or parents who don’t have arts on the school curriculum or have don’t community theatre/arts groups, so the Fairfax is their one chance to let their creative hair down without fear of judgement or prejudice.

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