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Happy Mondays - Alison Shaw

This week on Happy Mondays, we feature Alison Shaw, Arts and Cultural Officer at Blackall Tambo Regional Council

Alison Shaw1.    What are you working on at the moment?

Presently I am distributing the 2016 program for the Grassland Art Gallery, I send this as a brochure to all Visitor Information Centres and Galleries in my contacts listing as well as share it widely online via social media and upload it to our webpage. I am also booking up the workshop space and starting to develop the 2017 gallery program.

One of the Blackall-Tambo RADF Initiatives for this year is the implementation of recommendations from our Cultural Tourism Strategy and last week we held a packaging workshop where tourism operators, arts and cultural organisation representatives brain stormed packaged products for our region, an audit of all tourism product specifically including arts and cultural products was compiled and then potential methods of grouping and presenting these attractions into a complete itinerary was discussed. This project will continue to be refined so we are ready to distribute to tourism operators for inclusion in their 2017 planning to encourage longer visitation and expenditure for our region.

And as per a normal week – I am researching potential funding opportunities and writing grant applications for all manner of projects from arts & culture to roads, infrastructure projects at the Blackall Airport and the Tambo Sawmill, sport and recreation and anything else that crops up!

2.    Where would we find you on a Monday?

Generally at my desk at the Grassland Art Gallery in Tambo.

3.    So far, what are you looking forward to most in 2016 in Blackall-Tambo from an arts and culture perspective?

BTRC has been selected to participate in the Culture Counts Trial this year and I am excited to be involved with this project. The two events we have selected are quite different in their nature, one being a festival the other an exhibition, so I am anticipating the project will provide a wide range of feedback for Council and the community groups involved. 

Apart from that we do have a wonderful range of exhibitions planned at Grasslands, some of which are being supported by workshops delivered by the exhibiting artists. Our aim within the BTRC region is to involve as many people as possible with the arts, to integrate art into the everyday, and to achieve this, the variety of art and cultural experiences the community is exposed to is wide ranging.

4.    What arts and cultural experiences shouldn’t visitors miss if they are coming to Blackall Tambo region?

The Blackall-Tambo region prides itself as being the arts & cultural hub of the west and has many cultural attractions for visitors that are free to visit. In Tambo we have the Grassland Art Gallery which has a rotating exhibition program of locally produced and curated displays, regional artists and touring exhibitions. There are public sculptures, heritage & environmental walks, a wonderful heritage precinct which includes the VIC and a fire engine display. And in Blackall there is a public art sculpture trail, arts festival, youth arts festival, heritage walks, Art Retreats at the Living Arts Centre as well as renown heritage attractions, the Blackall Woolscour and Ram Park where visitors can experience history in action. If in the region at the right time visitors can catch exceptional touring performances at the Cultural Centre in Blackall or the Hall in Tambo.

5.    Best piece of advice you have received

Art is for everyone.


Alison is the Arts and Cultural Officer at Blackall-Tambo Regional Council.