Regional Arts, Have your say!

As per usual I am plugging the things that I am passionate about, and this is no different, having access to high quality arts experiences in a rural area has deeply effected me and shaped the person I am, and the way that I see the world. So I encourage everyone that has an interest, to go and have your voice heard.

Have Your Say…. and help shape the future of the arts in regional South Australia. Go to the web link below to fill in the survey

This March, Country Arts SA invites you to contribute to the development of its three year strategic plan spanning July 2011 to June 2014 by attending one of seven forums scheduled around the state, setting up a one-on-one meeting with a member of staff or Board of Trustees and completing an online survey.

Everyone with an interest in the arts and regional development is encouraged to have their say, to help ensure Country Arts SA continues to be a relevant and effective provider of arts opportunities for all South Australians living in regional communities.

To get the conversation started, a discussion paper has already been developed. This paper, ‘Country Arts SA Priorities and Directions’, is available online at a hard copy can be requested by calling 08 8444 0400.

Your nearest public forum will be held at:

  • Clare – 17 March 11am, Town Hall Function Room, 4 Gleeson Street
  • Port Augusta – 18 March 10.30am, Institute Theatre, Yarta Purtli, 52 Commercial Road
  • Kangaroo Island – 22 March 11am, Kingscote Town Hall, 43 Dauncey Street
  • Mannum – 25 March 10am, Mannum Leisure Centre Senior Citizens Room, 51 Adelaide Road
  • Renmark – 25 March 4.30pm, Chaffey Theatre Drama Studio
  • Mount Gambier – 29 March 11am, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre
  • Ceduna – 30 March 10.30am, Ceduna Memorial Hall, 33 Poynton Street (Western Entrance via car park)

Each forum is expected to last approximately 2 hours and will be followed by refreshments and one-on one-meetings with Country Arts SA staff and Board members.

Please contact Country Arts SA on 8444 0400 or email to confirm your attendance and assist with catering or to organise a time to meet with our staff. Artists and arts volunteers should contact their local Arts Officer as they may be eligible for travel assistance to a forum.

Country Arts SA is keen to listen to your views and wants everyone to have a say.

Riverlanders: Connect with the Chaffey Theatre – Country Arts SA on facebook here


What I know about Leaving

In this time of transition I wanted to reflect upon the first that I made my first big leap on independence, when I moved out of home, to attend boarding school in Adelaide when I was 15. This I wrote as a blog, in my myspace days when I was 15. I have also published this particular post on Heywire. Its kind of a mix of what the Riverland means to me, what home means to me and trying to prepare for the unknown.

As most of you do or do not know. I am leaving my beloved little suck town and am heading off to the bright shiny lights of the smutty city.

Think back to your childhood. Do you remember the joy of playing alone?

I used to have this game. My bed would be the ship, the wooden floor was a open blue sea. Anything that I wanted to take with me on the adventure had to be on the bed. So I would first rush about. Choosing. Grabbing things. Chucking them on the bed. So that they wouldn’t get ‘wet’ in the sea that is the wooden floor boards and dusty old carpet.

Toys, My favourite dress, the little red shoes, drawings, dolls, umbrella, torch.

Everthing that I needed.

My number one priority was my favourite bunny rabbit. It always had to come.

So that I would never ever be lonely.

And then out onto the ocean we would go. Without a look back, the wish for adventure strong, to find what was beyond the horizon. The little ship would take me far away. To islands, countries, places people have never heard of.

Doing this for real is doing my head in. Everything thats coming goes on the bed.

Anything on there gets to come. Anything thats not is left behind.
Underwear, letters,  photos, music, soap, books, favourite things, special things.
The bunny rabbit
So I’ll never ever be lonely.

In a strange new place all you have is your idenity. Lets hope i remember mine.

“The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you’re moving”

All I can do is remember and make the most of what i have left.

These thoughts erupt my mind. Landed quotes slip in and out of memories.

I remember the wine and food festivals. Having water fights in the street, taking cover in the toilets, getting drenched wearing my favourite top. Dipping my feet into the river, waving to the houseboats, dancing in the hot summer breeze, surrounded by a human wave of movement.

“There is something about the way the leaves smell in the summer, that holds me here, but at night I can hear the wind calling me….”

I remember the weekends. Walking barefoot down the empty roads on a Sunday afternoon, playing in the shopping trolleys, camping on the round-a-bout. Coming home after the holidays, gazing out at the transformed grape vines, which were once shriveled, nasty, scratchy things explode into life, luscious green leaves and huge juicy grapes, dangling down.

“It sucks here! I wish I could pack up all my friends and leave”

I remember hating this place because of the boredom and how it stripped me of all my original friends. Knowing that I will lose my friends to the city, wanting to fly away, crying in the arms of my best friends, splattering them with tears, not wanting them to go and leave me by myself.

“I am a part of the Riverland, I am the embers in the fire…..”

I remember playing fairies on the grass, exploring ‘The great Aus bush’, hiding away in my room, under the bed, waiting to be seeked and caught. Sneaking into the swimming pool, my back being sprayed with a water bottle in dance class, squashing my feet into the mud. Covered in the red earth, feeling like part of the land around me.

“… But one day I guess I will have to leave the Riverland, to do what I want to do, to be who I want to be….”

I remember rehearsing Landed.

With people I was getting to know in the process. Learning lines, buying food and hanging out in the kitchen. Sleeping in-between performances, on the itchy carpet underneath the chairs which the audience sat. The bus rides to and from rehersals. Standing in front of the air conditioner, icy air blasting our skin.

The excitement and laughter we shared at the Fringe festival, exploring the nightlife at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. Yelling at buskers to do backflips or to make us bicycles. Being paid to go inside a freakshow and scream, because it made more people come inside.

Late nights out on the balcony, gazing out at the dirty air and lights.

The actual realistic thought of leaving is hideously scary, wonders and exciting.
I will be wandering out into the darkness of the unknowing.With the feeling of moving away and leaving all my toys behind.With the hope of bigger and better toys ahead.

Even though it breaks my heart to leave my scraggly teddy bear behind. I will be reunited with old and new friends. Walking the streets I doubt to see anyone I know.

I will just be one faceless person in a sea full of names.

All aboard!   The little bed boat.

* Landed was a collaborative performance created with Riverland Youth Theatre  that toured around the Riverland and went to the Adelaide Fringe festival that i was involved with in ’06. The play, explored what it meant to move from one place to another, to be multi-cultured, to be a migrant, and to be a Riverlander.  I still think that it was the best experience that i have had with theatre.

Street Theatre Workshops (a shameless plug)

Born in a Taxi Intensive Street Theatre Workshops! – Only in the Riverland!

24 -28 January
$30 Per day or $125 For five days
For ages 13 and over.

Riverland Youth Theatre
54 Ral Ral Ave Renmark

Come and learn ensemble improvisation and how to create outdoor performance!
This street performance workshops will support the development of our new RYT Street Ensemble, that will be taking arts into the streets, by performing at the Riverland’s many outdoor community events, with fun, quirky, ironic, & satirical performances.

About Born in a Taxi
Born in a Taxi is an independent physical theatre ensemble established in Melbourne in 1989 that has been creating physical, visual and street theatre for over 20 years. Over this time, they have produced many award winning performances in theatres, art festivals, in the streets, galleries, stadiums, rubbish bins etc. These include at the Adelaide Fringe & Womadelaide.

There are limited places, so book soon to secure a place & to avoid disappointment!

08 8586 3437

RSVP to the event on facebook
Join the ‘Born in a Taxi’ facebook page
Read more about ‘Born in a Taxi’ here
Watch Born in a Taxi in action here

Call us up, and talk to the (friendly folk, aka mwah), poster design also done by yours truely. The Riverland would be a perfect location to have street performances, because the majority of our community events are hosted in an outdoor setting, plus its more interesting then bouncy castles surely.


This is another project that I participated with through Riverland Youth Theatre.

‘Whats the best thing about living in the Riverland? Whats the worst?’

The concept for a cross generational letter writing project came initially from Alysha Herrmann, who just has a knack for being awesome in general. People young and old wrote letters back and forth.

“Write about your first day of school. Your worst day at High school. Favorite teachers. First love. First car. Biggest fears. Best friends. Favorite sports team. Proudest days. Favorite place in the Riverland.”

Which was then photocopied and pasted onto a giant wall, which we used to project a film, made of snippets from interviews that we did with some of the participants.

“Its really hard to get to places, theres no public transport” “… and if you don’t have a car, you’re kinda stuck.”

“Everyone seems to know you, without you knowing them, and if something happens everyone knows about it”.

“…but just that when i go to supermarket, I always see someone, and say hello, and how are you going, its just this feeling of being connected and feeling like you are part of something”.

“The Riverland’s rich history of community and personal stories will be delved into and captured in video projections on a giant wall of letters for generations to come.”

The wall was placed on the Renmark riverfront, as kind of an art installation, part moonlight cinema kind of a feel, which I helped to monitor during the week, chatting with people that watched it, inbetween being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

My role in this process was a mixture of writing letters, being interviewed, interviewing other, editing the final cut & the above ‘YouTube’ cut of the project.

“I think when i first came here, there wasn’t this fear about the future, but now i do think there is this great concern, about if the drought continues, what is going to happen to the Riverland?’

“its fresh, its nice, you can just look up at the stars and see for forever”

” I think people here are more resilent then what they give themselves credit for”

“I’ve always been glad to come home.”