Shoalhaven Arts Board



Meeting Date:     Thursday, 29 November, 2018

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   1.00pm


Please note: Council’s Code of Meeting Practice permits the electronic recording and broadcast of the proceedings of meetings of the Council which are open to the public. Your attendance at this meeting is taken as consent to the possibility that your image and/or voice may be recorded and broadcast to the public.





1.    Apologies

2.    Confirmation of Minutes

·      Shoalhaven Arts Board - 12 November 2018.............................................................. 1

3.    Declarations of Interest

4.    Reports

AB18.35...... Shoalhaven Arts Board Action Plan - Audience Engagement Projects - Reallocation of Arts Awards Funding...................................................................................... 3

AB18.36...... Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre's 2019 Seasons - Report for Information 6

AB18.37...... Election of Chairperson.................................................................................. 9

AB18.38...... Notification - Membership Request - Nowra CBD Revitalisation Strategy Committee...................................................................................................................... 11

AB18.39...... Shoalhaven Regional Gallery 2020 Strategic Plan update.......................... 12

AB18.40...... NOW Contemporary Art Prize - Information and Update............................ 22

AB18.41...... Policy Changes - Public Art - Maintenance and Conservation.................... 25

AB18.42...... Master Planning for the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and Creative Economy Strategy for the Shoalhaven....................................................................................... 31                         

5.    General Business


 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018




Clr John Wells – Chairperson

Clr Greg Watson

Clr Mark Kitchener

Ms Alison Chiam

Ms Karen Akehurst

Ms Barbara Dawson

Dr Peter Lavelle

Mr Shane Brown

Mr Rob Crow


Quorum – Majority of the members.



a)    To contribute to and develop strategy and policy both for the Shoalhaven City Council as well as in alignment with the Region.

b)    To develop and implement policy, planning and vision for the broad arts within existing resources and use a co-opted panel of peers for professional advice. They include:

·         Visual Arts

·         Heritage and Museum Sector

·         Literature

·         Performing Arts

c)    Advocate and maintain specific arts related portfolios.

d)    Advocate and promote Board recommendations.


Delegated Authority

·         Act within adopted budgets aligning with Council’s strategic plans and document, and make recommendations on the arts to Council.

·         Appoint suitable representatives to fill casual vacancies on a set term basis.

·         Inform and recommend policy for arts related funding programs, and where required by Council, vote on related matters.

·         Establish a peer panel of professionals, experts and practitioners across art forms, heritage and cultural platforms to be co-opted as needed for input and advice to the Shoalhaven Arts Board.

·         Establish a Shoalhaven Arts Foundation:

o   To support the development and enrichment of broad arts across the Shoalhaven including visual, heritage, literature & performing arts

o   To ensure that the Foundation in its governance, membership and charter are independent/ and at arms-length from Council yet works in concert with the Shoalhaven Arts Board, Council and the community needs

o   To fundraise and develop a sustainable principal investment to generate ongoing grant funds.


Relevant staff will work collaboratively with the Shoalhaven Arts Board to:

·         Develop and implement activities to achieve objectives in line with the Shoalhaven Arts Board recommendations, the Council’s policies and corporate plan.






Minutes of the Shoalhaven Arts Board



Meeting Date:     Monday, 12 November 2018

Location:            E-Meeting




The following members responded:


Clr John Wells - Chairperson

Alison Chiam

Karen Akehurst

Dr Peter Lavelle

Robert Crow





Apologies / Leave of Absence





Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (By consent)


That the Minutes of the Shoalhaven Arts Board held on Thursday 27 September 2018 be confirmed.





Declarations of Interest







AB18.34     Election of new member - Casual Vacancy

HPERM Ref: D18/382274

Three (3) votes were received for Jennifer Thompson.

Two (2) votes were received for Andrew Barnum.

On the basis of the majority vote, Jennifer Thompson is appointed to the casual vacancy.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Jennifer Thompson be appointed to the Arts Board as a community member in a casual vacancy, with the term of the appoint to expire on 30 June 2019. 


RESOLVED (By consent)

That Jennifer Thompson be appointed to the Arts Board as a community member in a casual vacancy, with the term of the appoint to expire on 30 June 2019. 





There being no further business, the meeting concluded.



Clr John Wells







 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018

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AB18.35     Shoalhaven Arts Board Action Plan - Audience Engagement Projects - Reallocation of Arts Awards Funding


HPERM Ref:       D18/311723


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Recreation Community & Culture  

Purpose / Summary

To request support from the Arts Board for the purchase of a single year licence to trial the Culture Counts Software across Council’s cultural units, encouraging greater understanding and awareness of community responses to programming and contributing to further development of the units’ community engagement strategies. Ultimately this important research tool will assist Council’s cultural units to better articulate the positive impact and value of arts and culture - assisting in terms of advocacy for improved funding within Council; to assist with attracting State and Federal grant funding; and to leverage sponsorship and philanthropy.  


That Shoalhaven Arts Board allocate $4,500 in funding from the former Shoalhaven Arts Awards budget (21596/10722) for the purchase of three (3), single year licences of the Culture Counts Software.   




1.    Accept the recommendation as printed

Implications: Shoalhaven Arts Board will be supporting the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Nowra and Shoalhaven Libraries to better understand their audiences, social and economic impact and improve community consultation for programming and engagement. 


2.    Amend the recommendation and provide alternate direction

Implications: Unknown, depends on the direction provided


3.    Reject the recommendation

Implications: The Arts Awards money may not be allocated to suitable projects in the 2018/19 financial year, and may not be revoted in future years, putting the ability of the Arts Board to support audience engagement projects at risk. 



At the Shoalhaven Arts Board meeting on the 21st of June, there were two items with recommendations adopted that spoke of the support for audience engagement activities within the arts.  These items were:

AB18.16 point 3:

“The balance of funds ($5,000) from the Arts Board Awards budget for 2017/18 be subject to consideration of audience development projects”


AB18.20 point 3:

 “Under strategy 3.1, SAB will look for opportunities to fund specific audience development opportunities within the arts”.

Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Shoalhaven Libraries and Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, all have audience development activities as part of their primary business and strategic planning and are keen to enhance and develop these programs, while also undertaking improved community feedback and consultation and to gain a better sense of the impact of the key cultural organisations within the Shoalhaven. 

Culture Counts is an industry leading software that helps to capture a full picture of audience engagement and social impact.  As a metric framework and accompanying set of software tools, it captures feedback from the public, peer assessors and self-assessors on the quality of arts and culture within a community.  This intrinsic data is combined with secondary data sources to generate a comprehensive measure of the impact of cultural investment on the experience of a range of user groups. 

Culture Counts provides a range of easy creation surveys where the organisation chooses from a standard set of public impact questions, demographic questions and questions customised to particular needs.  The metrics have been developed through extensive work with the cultural sector and cover outcomes such as artistic quality, public engagement, community building, economic sustainability, connectivity and placemaking.  Events measured through Culture Counts can be benchmarked nationally and internationally and performance of the organisation can be tracked over time. 

Investing in this platform will help us to use public feedback in our decision making, programming, and to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.  Greater public engagement with the cultural offerings of Shoalhaven City Council will help to promote an inclusive, engaged, dynamic, culturally rich and vibrant community.  By improving our performance and our understanding of our impact, we will then be better equipped to assist community groups in monitoring and measuring their impact, supporting grant applications, diversifying our offerings and being more responsive to community needs. 

The Culture Counts software is used by numerous organisations across the UK and Australia, including Museums & Galleries NSW, Craft Victoria, Perth Festival, Sydney Opera House and more than 30 LGAs across Australia.  On the use of Culture Counts at Sydney Opera House it was noted that the data provided helped to move a conversation about programming beyond financial results and towards intrinsic and social benefits; ‘Culture Counts provides arts organisations with an easy, consistent, robust and cost-effective way to source and communicate reliable qualitative data to assist us’ (Alison Nadebaum – Head of Operations and Business Management).

The software platform is offered on a 12-month annual subscription for $1,500 per licence.  As each business unit has specific needs and reporting targets, individual subscriptions are recommended, but Culture Counts are able to package and share any additional support and reporting tools we purchase. 

With all three units taking on this software, we can support each other in ensuring we gain maximum use from it, and our audiences will become familiar with the software and survey tools as they move across the different cultural venues. 

Council’s Chief Information Officer has been approached with regards to the software and any concerns with IT issues, or the need for the software and licence purchase to be approved by the ICT Committee.  He has stated that there are no concerns and he will report to the ICT Committee on the request to purchase the software and that no further approvals are needed. 

Following the initial 12-month period, each venue will assess the value derived from the software and the metrics gained from it.  Based on this, each business unit will be responsible for funding future annual licences from their operational budgets.  A report on the use of Culture Counts over the initial 12-month period will be made available to the Arts Board, alongside reports generated from surveys conducted during that period. 

Examples of a report from Culture Counts can be found at


Community Engagement

Purchasing a licence for Culture Counts for each of the key culture related business units will support greater community engagement, improved understanding of community expectations and social impact.  The insights gained from using Culture Counts will help to further improve the relationship between the community and the cultural organisations as we are better able to show the value of investing in culture, the unique work we do and the important role of culture in the Shoalhaven. 

As the use of Culture Counts at the SEC, SRG and Libraries supports staff to better understand ways to measure value, impact and social engagement; staff will then be better able to support the community organisations throughout the Shoalhaven who seek ways of quantifying their cultural and social impact.

This proposal supports Shoalhaven City Council’s Integrated Strategic Plan Key Priority 1.2 Activate communities through arts, culture and events.


Financial Implications

Culture Counts is a cloud-based software with an annual licence fee of $1,500 per licence, and further fees for additional support or in-depth reporting.  Support is asked from the Arts Board to fully fund the licences $4,500 in total, in the first year as a trial period where the business units work with Culture Counts to undertake a range of surveys and begin to accumulate data for future programming decisions. 

Following the initial 12-month period, each business unit will make a decision on the value of further investment in the software and fund necessary licences and support from their operational budgets. 

The Arts Award budget (21596/10722) within the Cultural Activities job number has $11,700 available for the year.  To date just under $3,000 of this has been spent, leaving around $8,800 for the year.  As the Culture Council licence will require $4,500 this will leave $4,300 for other projects aligned to the Arts Board strategic plan. 


Risk Implications

The purchase and use of Culture Counts will help to lessen reputational and financial risks faced by each of the cultural business units.  Having a specific, industry leading software, used in cultural institutions worldwide that supports better reporting and awareness of value will ensure we are able to better communicate what we do to funding bodies and the community.



 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018

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AB18.36     Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre's 2019 Seasons - Report for Information


HPERM Ref:       D18/386250


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Recreation Community & Culture  

Purpose / Summary

The purpose of this report is to update the Shoalhaven Arts Board on the upcoming curated seasons to be presented at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre during 2019.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Shoalhaven Arts Board receives the Report for Information relating to the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s 2019 Season, 2019 Morning Matinee Season, and the 2019 Education Season.



1.    Arts Board receives the report for information, as recommended.

Implications: The Arts Board will have an insight into the year ahead at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre and its commitment to programming performing arts for its community.


2.    Arts Board rejects the report and makes an alternate recommendation.

Implications: Not known.



2019 Season

Actor, comedian and director Damian Callinan, as master of ceremonies, will reveal the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s 2019 Season, at the venue, on Tuesday, December 4.

The line-up for the year includes national and international touring works with a total of 17 acts drawn from a broad range of genres including musical theatre, cabaret, drama, physical theatre, productions for children and families, comedy, orchestral music, and contemporary music. Two of the shows focus strongly on Indigenous culture, with one contemporary work, and the other based on a true story from our modern history.

All Arts Board members will have received an invitation to the Season Launch, which will include live excerpts from upcoming Season shows, plus presentations by community presenters, and an independent professional producer.


2019 Education Season

Teachers from Shoalhaven regional primary and high schools were invited to attend the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s Education Season Launch, at the venue on November 15.

Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre staff will introduce teachers and education specialists to the programmed performances, highlighting relevant curriculum links.

Teachers will also be made aware of engagement opportunities, which include in-school education programs, workshops, performer demonstrations, school visits, plus post-show question-and-answer sessions for students.

Details of teacher resource kits, to be provided to educators after they have booked to see a show, will also to be highlighted. Theatre producers often provide teacher resource kits including activities based on the thematic content of their work. These kits help teachers to prepare for the theatre experience, to explore the subject matter, and often include post-show follow-up activities.

Teachers attending the launch were also to receive a copy of the Theatre Experience Guide, developed by the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, to help children understand theatre etiquette and what to expect. This guide was developed to suit all primary school aged children, and especially those who are on the autism spectrum.


2019 Morning Matinee Season

Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s Morning Matinee Season of six performances, targeting a day-time seniors audience will go on sale on November 26.

The Morning Matinee Season includes operetta, musical theatre, opera, pop music, fine music and three well-known stars of fine music and musical theatre fame.

The soft launch of this Season, via electronic and hard copy mail, was timed to coincide with the State Government’s Seniors Concerts which are being presented at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre on Friday, November 30.

This was undertaken to reach out to an audience which attends the free Seniors Concerts, but may not attend the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s Morning Matinee series.



Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre will be offering Memberships in 2019. Single memberships are $45 and double memberships are $75. Members receive a raft of benefits including:

·    Lowest prices for the 2019 Season

·    Discounted prices for other shows when offered by the promoter

·    Opportunity to book the best seats in the house for Season shows before they go on public sale

·    Invitations to at least three Member events

·    VIP invitation to the 2020 Season launch

·    Early bird special offers

·    Discounts on pre/post show dining and at Encore Café & Bar

·    Ticket exchange fees are waived

·    Members aren’t charged for phone transaction or mailing fees


Community Engagement

Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre is dedicated to engaging with its audiences as often as possible – via a range of active participation workshops, master classes, post-show meet-and-greets, educational workshops, and skills demonstrations. Details of community engagement opportunities will be listed in the Education Season and 2019 Season brochures, and also on the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s website.

A new audience development and community engagement initiative, offered during 2018, is My Theatre Mates, which will be offered again in connection with the 15 shows in the 2019 Season.  My Theatre Mates is intended for people who want to attend the theatre but can’t find someone to go with. There’s no joining fee to become a part of My Theatre Mates when purchasing a show ticket. By mentioning My Theatre Mates at the time of booking a ticket at the box office people are placed in specially allocated seats. They are greeted in the Centre foyer by a member of staff who sits with them during the show and introduces them to other My Theatre Mates. The Entertainment Centre has received excellent feedback from the people who have taken up the offer. Most of the people who have utilised My Theatre Mates have been women, new residents of the Shoalhaven, and retirees.



Ticketed event attendance at Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre:

(Including Seasons, community hires and independent touring)

2015/16 32,286

2016/17 38,518

2017/18 40,468


Seasons attendance:

2015/16           3,857

2016/17           7,808

2017/18           8,078              



Feedback provided by hirers, performers and ticketholders has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Good afternoon, I would like to congratulate you on the diversity of programs you are arranging for the Entertainment Centre, something for everyone. Keep up the good work,”

Patron Margaret Duncan


“Too many great shows to see. Thank you to the friendly staff and for the great venue. See you again and again and again.”

Patron Anna Kemp


“Thanks so much for having us. We had a wonderful time and the audiences loved the show. Your crew are amazing and we appreciate their fantastic attention to detail. Yes, the sound in your room was wonderful.”

Performer Catherine Alcorn


Financial Implications

The Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s curated Seasons are funded from within the business unit’s operational expenditure budget.



 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018

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AB18.37     Election of Chairperson


HPERM Ref:       D18/341723


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Governance  

Purpose / Summary

To allow for the election of the committee Chairperson in accordance with section 3.8 of the Board’s Terms of Reference.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the committee elect (insert name) as Chairperson for two years from November 2018.




1.    As recommended.



In accordance with 3.8 of the Terms of Reference (below), the Shoalhaven Arts Board is required to elect a Chairperson every two years.


·      The Chairperson will be appointed by the Board, the position will be limited to a two (2) year term and is open to all members of the Board.

The Committee last formally elected Clr Wells as Chairperson on 16 November 2016. 

Outlined below is the process that is followed for the Election of Office Bearers for Committees of the Council:

At the time on the agenda when the election of office bearers is listed, the following process will be followed:

(1)   The chairperson to step down from the chair (unless their position is not up for election). An appropriately Senior Officer of the Council or other official should assume the chair for the nomination process.

(2)   Individually, for each position the following is to take place:

a.    Nominations are called for that position and are acknowledged by the chair

i.   They may be received in writing prior to the meeting or provided verbally at the meeting

ii.  The Officer conducting the election shall confirm acceptance of each nominee prior to his or her inclusion in the ballot.

b.    If only one nomination is received, that person is declared as elected

c.    If more than one nomination is received, the Committee will be asked to resolve whether the election is to take place by open voting (i.e. show of hands) or ordinary ballot (i.e. written votes recorded and provided to the chairperson in secret).

d.    Where a large number of nominations are received, the Committee may elect to proceed by a preferential ballot, whereby ballots are consecutively taken and the nominee with the least number of votes is excluded from running after each ballot, until there are two preferred candidates remaining and a final ballot is undertaken and declared.

e.    The nominee with the most ballots is declared as elected.

f.     In the event of an equal number of ballots being cast for nominees, the position shall be determined by draw. The name drawn by the chairperson will be appointed to the position.

At the conclusion of the elections, the Chairperson shall reassume control of the meeting and proceed with other business.




 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018

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AB18.38     Notification - Membership Request - Nowra CBD Revitalisation Strategy Committee


HPERM Ref:       D18/348506


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Human Resources, Governance & Customer Service  

Purpose / Summary

To advise the Shoalhaven Arts Board (SAB) of the decision from the Nowra CBD Revitalisation Strategy Committee.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the report regarding Notification – Membership Request be received for information.




1.    As recommended.


2.    Adopt an alternate recommendation.



At the SAB meeting of Thursday 21 June 2018, the Board resolved as part of the Action Plan to:

2.    (a) Seek to have a nominee from SAB included in the CBD Revitalisation committee.

Following this meeting, a report was submitted to the Nowra CBD Revitalisation Strategy Committee (NCBDRSC).

The NCBDRSC at its meeting of Wednesday 5 September 2018 resolved as follows:


1.         The request for membership from the Shoalhaven Arts Board be acknowledged

2.         The Shoalhaven Arts Board be advised that the Nowra CBD Revitalisation Strategy Committee welcomes representations on items of interest and/or projects relating to Arts Projects, however do not support the inclusion of an additional member on the Nowra CBD Revitalisation Strategy Committee.”

This was subsequently reported to and ratified by Council on 25 September 2018.

The Agendas of the NCBDRSC are publicly available on Council’s Website via the link below, should the SAB wish to make representations on any relevant items of business:


 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018

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AB18.39     Shoalhaven Regional Gallery 2020 Strategic Plan update


HPERM Ref:       D18/380597


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Recreation Community & Culture 

Attachments:     1.  Shoalhaven City Arts Centre Strategic Plan 2020 (under separate cover)  

2.  Shoalhaven Regional Gallery - review of 2020 strategic plan - achievements to date   

Purpose / Summary

To update the Shoalhaven Arts Board on the progress made by the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery under the 2020 Strategic Plan. 


1.    The Shoalhaven Arts Board receive this report for information and continue to champion the integral role of the Regional Gallery in the cultural offerings of the Shoalhaven.

2.    The Shoalhaven Arts Board request Council fund MIN17.1092 and allocate $100,000 recurrent funding to the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery to support its continued growth in line with the Strategic Plan 2020 from financial year 2019/20 onwards.




1.    Adopt the recommendation as printed.

Implications: The information in the report is noted and provides members of the Shoalhaven Arts Board with information about the progress of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in achieving the aims and objectives of the 2020 Strategic Plan, and the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery receives the funding support to continue to grow and expand its core business in line with the adopted Strategic Plan 2020.

2.    Amend the recommendation. 

Implications: Unknown at this time.



In 2013, Shoalhaven City Council commissioned a strategic plan to help the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre grow and develop over the 7 years through to 2020.  As we are now at the end of the 2018 calendar year, it is appropriate to review the progress made to date, outline the steps needed over the next 12-24 months and consider the opportunities for future strategic growth of the Regional Gallery. 

The Strategic Plan outlined four (4) key focus areas for the growth and development of the Gallery.  These were:

1)   Stimulating Thought – to curate and exhibit fresh and challenging art in all its forms… to be the ‘go-to’ location for creative engagement in the LGA for locals and visitors.

2)   Connecting Community – to be a central space for community to express, explore and celebrate the diversity that makes up the creative arts and the region.

3)   Inspiring Learning – to educate current and future generations of art lovers and local practitioners. 

4)   Building Partnerships – To increase the reputation and brand through strategic and regional partnerships. 

The barriers to growth and to the aspirations of being a Regional gallery of note, were considered to be:

1)   The level and structure of funding – the overall budget was declining in real terms, and the impact of efficiency gains and costs savings were noted as having a severe impact on the operations of the gallery.

2)   A commitment to a curatorial vision was needed to position the gallery as a destination point.

3)   Space as an issue for the gallery – with less than 110 lineal meters for display, limited storage, lack of loading dock and café as well as an entrance that is uninviting and restrictive. 

There were 17 specific recommendations made, and the progress on these is noted in the attachment to this report. 

The recommended strategic framework within the report listed 9 outcomes aligned to the 4 key focus areas. 

Stimulating ThoughtCurating and exhibiting fresh and challenging art in all its forms

In 2020 we will have:

a)   Outstanding exhibitions that both challenge and entertain

b)   Committed and engaged visitors and users

Connecting CommunityA space for community to express, explore and celebrate the diversity of their arts and the region.

In 2020 we will have:

c)   Vibrant and engaged local arts community

d)   Cultural space that connects the broader Shoalhaven Region

e)   A celebrated regional point of difference developed from a strong sense of place

Inspiring Learning -  Educating current and future generations of art lovers, creative thinkers, designers and local practitioners.

In 2020 we will have:

f)    Engaged residents who value innovation, creativity and culture

g)   Holistic education program that connects at all levels of the community

Building PartnershipsIncreasing the reputation and brand of the SRG through strategic and regional partnerships

In 2020 we will have:

h)   A must-visit cultural destination for locals and tourists

i)    A recognised contributor in the regional gallery network.


In moving SRG towards a strong regional gallery presence in 2020 the following areas were identified, and additional options and opportunities were noted.  These opportunities were listed as being ‘within the available budget’ to be achieved at an ‘interim stage’ and being actioned ‘as a regional gallery’.  While many of the options listed as ‘within the available budget’ have been achieved, the more ambitious opportunities of the ‘interim stage’ and ‘as a regional gallery’ have not yet occurred.  Some of this is due to changing priorities and understanding of the growth in digital engagement since the commissioning of this report (ie mobile apps, QR coding etc are no longer considered ‘must haves’ for the museum sector), but much is related to the finite resources and budget as well as the inherent restrictions on growth related to the current building. 

The 2020 Strategic Plan has provided a strong roadmap and has guided much of the considerable growth achieved by SRG over the past 5 years.  The rebranding of the gallery to SRGN, the planning of ‘blockbuster’ style summer exhibitions, the development of the school holiday programs and exhibition related public programs, and the significant audience growth with related revenue increases are all aspects of this Strategic Plan and the outcomes of achieving some of the key recommendations. 

The success of the 2020 vision can be seen in a range of ways including:

·    Gallery audiences increasing 175% over 3 years,

·    Revenue from shop and art sales increasing more than 60% in 3 years,

·    Increase in collection valuation from $1.02m in 2012 with $390,000 attributed to works on long term loan, to $1.62m in 2017 with $225,000 attributed to works on long term loan,

·    Exhibition openings now welcoming around 200 people per event,

·    School holiday workshops regularly sold out,

·    Increasing numbers of non-Shoalhaven residents visiting the gallery.

While some recommendations and objectives are no longer relevant, there are still many aspirational targets within the plan that we will be working towards over the next two years. 

These include:

·    The establishment of a ‘frequent flyers’ club as a pilot program for a formal friends offering,

·    Seeking funding to make all staff positions permanent full-time positions,

·    Seeking grant funding for the establishment of a strong education program for high school students – using funds to employ a consultant with experience in curriculum delivery in galleries,

·    Establishing a partnership with Meroogal / Sydney Living Museums to develop a primary school program across both sites, finding solutions to the limitations of both sites for meeting school excursion sizes,

·    Growing the NOW ContempoRAry Art Prize to be the most significant art prize on the south coast,

·    Installing industry standard HVAC system to ensure object and exhibition loans from state and national lending institutions can be supported,

·    Opening up of ‘North Gallery’ as a space to exhibit collection works and curating shows from within the Shoalhaven City Art Collection,

·    Put the collection online through Vernon,

·    Seek approval to start master planning for the future needs of SRG,

The opportunities for growth and development are still considerable, the current staff are all committed to the vision of SRG as a vibrant and creative centre for the arts, a destination for cultural tourists and a place to explore and celebrate the rich diversity of arts and heritage of the region.  The Gallery’s reputation is growing, and we continue to seek grant funding for further support to push our programming and community engagement to new heights. 

The Shoalhaven Arts Board previously supported a request to Council for an additional $100,000 for the SRG.  Council adopted MIN17.1092:

“Endorses Shoalhaven Regional Galleries request for additional budget and resources to be allocated to enable consolidation of the facilities success and continual growth of the galleries services for the Shoalhaven community and CBD”.

However this remains unfunded.  Should the $100,000 be allocated this funding would facilitate an increase from part time hours to full time hours for the (3) three existing staff members.  This would enable the recommendations from the 2020 Strategic Plan to be implemented and, the balance of $30,000 would allow the gallery core business to extend its reach and deliver the quality expected from a regional gallery.  

In 2018/19 funding was provided to extend the working hours of the Gallery Officer and Public Programs Officer to full time from July – December 2018, and the Group Director, Finance Corporate and Community, is currently assessing the funding available to extend this for a further 6 months from Jan-June 2019.  The Arts and Culture Unit Manager will be putting in an operational budget bid to request these positions be made full-time permanently from July 2019.  Funding MIN17.1092 would ensure that these positions would become permanent full-time roles and meet the recommendation of the Strategic Plan 2020. 


Community Engagement

The 2020 Strategic Plan has been made publicly available through Council’s website and is regularly referenced with communication with community members on specific items.  The Strategic Plan was developed following a range of community consultation including in-depth interviews, facilitated workshops, online survey and public exhibition period. 


Financial Implications

The SRG has an annual operational budget funded by Shoalhaven City Council.  The 2020 Strategic Plan and report from 2013 identified a budget that in real terms was declining as an issue.  Over the period 2015/16 to 2018/19 the operational budget has increased 23% and the income achieved has increased by almost 60%. 

The issue of overspending the budget as identified in the original report is still evident, and only 14% of the operational budget is provided for the core gallery business of exhibitions, marketing and public programs.  The balance of the funding (86%) is used for staffing, building maintenance and cleaning / security costs etc. for the site. 

The difficulties of the lack of funding for exhibitions and related programming is evident when trying to source touring exhibitions.  Most of the major touring shows, shows by state organisations or major regional public galleries, have a hire fee of $3,500 - $6,000 per show on average.  Our budget allows $3,000 per main gallery show, including marketing and costs associated with transport etc. 

If, as per the unfunded minute MIN17.1092 an additional $100,000 was added to the Gallery budget, with $70,000 being put towards ensuring all staff were permanently full-time and provide an additional $30,000 towards gallery programs, marketing and public programs, this additional amount would increase our budget for core business by almost 50%.  This would put us in a far stronger position to not just access touring shows of note, but also to commission and curate shows like ‘Promiscuous Provenance’ and ‘Guy Warren: River Rainforest Rock’. 

It is important that financial support for the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery is continued and grows to meets the needs of the organisation.  While alternate streams of funding are being sought through grants, philanthropic activity and commercial sponsorship these are generally project specific and not guaranteed. 

As has been evident with the installation of the HVAC system, lack of funding can cause critical issues and damage the ability of the Gallery to perform to expectation as well as posing a reputational risk that staff have to be pro-active in managing. As per the attached summary document on achievements to date in implementing the Strategic Plan 2020, a number of recommendations have been partially implemented and require, in most cases, staff resources to be able to deliver effectively. 

With 2020 only 14 months away, it is also important to consider the future strategies and plans for SRG and the ability to finance another strategic plan and / or a master planning process to outline the next stage and the continued growth and development of this important cultural venue.  This is the subject of another report included in this Business Paper.



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 Shoalhaven Arts Board – Thursday 29 November 2018

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AB18.40     NOW Contemporary Art Prize - Information and Update


HPERM Ref:       D18/384315


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Recreation Community & Culture  

Purpose / Summary

To inform the Shoalhaven Arts Board of the vision and planning for the NOW Contemporary Art Prize which will be managed and run by Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in 2019


That the Shoalhaven Arts Board:

1.    Receive this report for information and consider how they may support the development of the Art Prize. 

2.    Recommend to Council that the following entry fees be introduced and placed on public exhibition for a period of 28 days, after which, if no significant adverse comment is received the fees be deemed adopted

a.    $40 for NOW ContempoRAry,

b.    $30 for NOW ContempoRAry for members of Jervis Bay and Basin Arts.




1.    Adopt the Recommendation

Implications: The NOW ContempoRAry Art Prize will progress with planning and development for an exhibition period in November 2019, with the entry fee used to support administration and other costs associated with the running of an arts prize. 


2.    Amend the Recommendation

Implications: Unknown


3.    Reject the Recommendation

Implications: This may prevent the Arts and Culture team from progressing work on the NOW ContempoRAry Art Prize and / or significantly reduce the opportunity to promote the prize as a major drawcard.  The entry fee is required for offsetting the budget and ensuring that sponsorship money is directed towards prize money and value add elements.   



The NOW Contemporary Art Prize is a biennial prize, that was launched by Jervis Bay and Basin Arts (JBBA) with support from the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery (SRG) in 2013.  The prize was established with the intention that it became an important biennial art event promoting the region.  From the formation of the prize, there was an understanding between JBBA and SRG that after three occurrences of the prize, JBBA would transition the prize and all rights to SRG, after which the SRG and Shoalhaven City Council would be responsible for managing and running the prize, with a focus on continuing to develop and grow it. 

In 2019 the NOW Contemporary Art Prize will be run entirely by SRG and the intention is to take the excellent foundation established by JBBA and move the prize into another league by gaining substantial sponsorship and ensuring the prize money is of a value to attract established artists from across NSW and provide a significant opportunity to local and emerging artists. 

NOW ContempoRAry will be run across 2019 with the Expression Of Interest (EOI) period opening around February 2019, and the exhibition running throughout October and November 2019 in the Main and Foyer galleries.  The prize will encourage artists to engage with the idea of contemporary art as art beyond something created recently.  It will call on artists to consider the tagline NOW ContempoRAry – pushes boundaries, responds to our world, is dynamic and personal. 

Should suitable sponsors be found, the intention is to seek a judge of note, potentially Nick Mitzevich (Director National Gallery Australia) or Karen Quinlan (Director National Portrait Gallery) and have a first prize of up to $10,000.  There will also be a prize for a JBBA member, supported by JBBA and a Curator’s Choice prize offering a solo show at SRG in 2020 or 2021. 

A significant media campaign will be run to increase awareness of the prize.  This will be run across local media throughout the South Coast, from the Illawarra to Eden, and in art specific press such as Artist Profile, Art Almanac, Art Guide and through the Regional Gallery network.   

The income required for the running of the prize will be obtained through sponsorship and the entry fee.  An entry fee of between $25 and $50 is standard practise for art prizes and generally reflects the anticipated value of the prize.  For example, Meroogal Women’s Art Prize with a total prize pool of over $10,000 has an entry fee of $30, the Mosman Art Prize with a prize pool of over $65,000 has an entry fee of $50 and the Dobell Drawing prize with a prize of $30,000 (acquisitive) has an entry fee of $50.

The entry fee for the NOW ContempoRAry art prize is proposed to be set at $40 with a fee of $30 for JBBA members recognising their past involvement and commitment in establishing and building this prize.  Artists will be able to enter a maximum of two (2) works.  These are new fees and will need to be adopted by Council, through a public exhibition process prior to inclusion in the fees and charges structure.  Given the timing of entries for the prize, this needs to occur prior to the annual review of fees and charges.

Sponsorship opportunities will range from a potential for an exclusive sponsorship, or sponsorship package options at different rates.  Sponsors will be sought across the Shoalhaven, Illawarra, Southern Highlands and through state / national companies with a presence or interest in the Shoalhaven or the visual arts. 

The competition will have two (2) key stages after entries have closed; a listing of semi-finalists and a selection of finalists.  The semi-finalists will be chosen based on the email entries received and will be required to deliver works to Nowra immediately prior to the installation period.  The judge will then select the finalists on viewing the works and these will be hung in the galleries. 

For Shoalhaven Regional Gallery to meet the aims of promoting NOW ContempoRAry as the most significant arts prize on the South Coast, we will need to find several sponsors, both locally and more regionally who are interested in supporting arts and culture through significant partnerships. 

Arts Board members are asked to consider their business and personal networks and potential sponsors or philanthropists who may be interested in aligning with the Regional Gallery and the development of this prize.  Approaches to potential sponsors and donors will be made early in 2019. 


Community Engagement

NOW ContempoRAry will have several points of community engagement across the project period.  A call for sponsors will provide local businesses with an opportunity to engage with the project in the first instance.  The media campaign around the prize will be extensive and provide good engagement with the visual arts communities both locally and further afield.  The exhibition of finalists will be run at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and the visitation for the prize is anticipated to be in excess of 4,500 people. 


Financial Implications

NOW ContempoRAry will require significant funding to achieve the level desired.  It is intended that through sponsorship and the entry fee the budget required will be achieved without impacting the SRG operational budget. 

The operational budget for NOW ContempoRAry is currently set at $40,000.  This includes prize money of $13,700, a marketing budget of $10,000, graphic design costs of $6,000, exhibition costs of $3,000 and miscellaneous costs related to public programs, speakers’ fees, judges travel and accommodation etc.  The income from the entry fee is anticipated to be around $4,000, which leaves $36,000 needing to be found in sponsorship. 

Sponsors will be offered the opportunity to be a major partner with packages at $10,000, a minor partner with packages at $5,000, or a supporting partner with packages at $2,000.  The benefits to sponsors will be in line with the investment and include media mentions, speaking opportunities, gallery hire for events, collateral marketing, social media content and access to talent. 

The introduction of an entry fee for the NOW ContempoRAry art prize is proposed to be set at $40 with a fee of $30 for JBBA members to assist in off-setting the cost of holding the prize.  The is commensurate with existing industry practice.  


Risk Implications

The NOW ContempoRAry Art prize has been run successfully on a small budget for several years and can continue in that manner.  In pushing the prize to a new level, the risk increases as the need for sponsors to offset the expense is significant.  Initial outlay on expenses prior to seeking sponsorship includes branding development and administrative costs such as developing sponsor packages, artist Terms and Conditions etc.  These costs can be covered by the entry fee and the potential sponsors based on previous prizes. 

Without enough sponsors being found early in 2019, we will need to reduce the expectations of the prize back to previous years (prize money around $6,000) and adjust the entry fee accordingly.  Hence it is suggested that the proposed entry fee of $40 be a price maximum that can be reduced should the format of the prize need to change based on reduced sponsor support.  With these adjustments, the entries will mostly come from the local region as the marketing budget and associated reach will be restricted and the interest in the prize will be from those artists who are still emerging or developing. 



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AB18.41     Policy Changes - Public Art - Maintenance and Conservation


HPERM Ref:       D18/393774


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Recreation Community & Culture 

Attachments:     1.  Draft - Public Art Policy - Recommended Changes   

Purpose / Summary

To review changes to the Public Art Policy (POL16/197).  These changes ensure that the requirements for conservation and maintenance of public art are made clear and provide strong guidance to all those commissioning, delivering and maintaining public art. 


That Council place the revised Public Art Policy on Public Exhibition for 28 days and if no significant adverse comment is received that the Policy be deemed adopted. 




1.    Adopt the Recommendation

Implications: This will reaffirm the Policy with the recommended changes and ensure that the community, private artists and groups within Council have clear guidelines for the conservation and maintenance of Public Art throughout the Shoalhaven.

2.    Amend the Recommendation

Implications: Unknown at this stage.

3.    Rescind the Policy

Implications: Not recommended as this will result in the loss of guidelines and structure around the development of public art and will potentially prevent future public art proposals from being made.



Following a presentation to the Arts Board about the ‘One Track for All’ public artworks and the difficulties of maintenance and conservation of those works, it was noted that the current Public Art Policy (POL19/197) does not make explicit mention of Council’s role and responsibilities in maintaining the wide range of public art throughout the LGA. 

Council staff have reviewed the Public Art Policy and added a new section 4 – Maintenance and Care of Public Art.  This is detailed in the attachment to this report.  To assist in this process staff have reviewed a range of policies from Council’s across Australia. The recommended changes to this policy will bring us into line with the approach and practices that many other Councils have adopted and will help to clarify the role and responsibility of both Council and the Artist when public artwork is installed. 

Alongside these changes the Unit Manager – Arts and Culture will run a series of internal workshops with stakeholders across Council to ensure the policy, the intent and the requirements when commissioning or approving a new piece of public art are followed. 

These requirements will include the need to provide information about the work for the public art database, the need to outline maintenance schedules and the information required from the artist for this to occur. 


Community Engagement

The recommended changes to the policy ensure greater clarity for the Community and for Council staff on the responsibilities and expectations for the conservation and maintenance of public art.  This should help to facilitate future conversations and improve outcomes in the delivery of public art projects across the Shoalhaven.

Given the changes have impact on the management of Public Art, it is proposed that the Policy should be placed on public exhibition for 28 days and if no significant adverse comments are received the policy is deemed adopted and internal staff workshops will be held. 


Policy Implications

The recommended changes provide greater clarity to the area of conservation and maintenance of public artworks, detailing the expectations of Council and the artist and also outlining life expectancy of some artworks. 


Financial Implications

Maintenance of public artworks currently sits across several units within Council.  Most commonly conservation and maintenance sits with the asset manager, usually being Assets and Works or Environmental Services.  The policy update does not change this. 

At present works of public art are generally provided with reactive maintenance, fixing up issues that are noted in routine inspections or reported by members of the public.  Under the policy change the maintenance and conservation of public art will become more routine, and while there may be an initial increase in expenses, as work that should have been done to prevent significant wear and tear is delivered, overall the impact on the budget should be negligible. 

The changes to this policy will assist Units to better budget for the maintenance of public artwork as the requirements will be clearly documented and captured, and the 10 year limitation on maintenance of works that naturally weather, degrade or otherwise are not suitable for long term maintenance will prevent costly repairs in future.  


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AB18.42     Master Planning for the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and Creative Economy Strategy for the Shoalhaven


HPERM Ref:       D18/397288


Group:                Finance Corporate & Community Services Group 

Section:              Recreation Community & Culture 

Attachments:     1.  Master planning for the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery - Detailed Report (under separate cover)    

Purpose / Summary

To encourage the Shoalhaven Arts Board to support the need for a holistic cultural strategy that includes master planning for the future of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and the development of a Shoalhaven Creative Economy Strategy. 


That the Shoalhaven Arts Board:

1.    Support a budget bid from Shoalhaven Regional Gallery to undertake a master planning exercise for the future of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery that looks at:

a.    Options for the development of the existing site,

b.    Options for the adaptive reuse of another site within the Shoalhaven,

c.    Options for a new build Cultural Centre that incorporate both Nowra Library and Shoalhaven Regional Gallery.

2.    Promote the need for a Cultural Economy Strategy that encompasses the Shoalhaven LGA and considers the considerable opportunities for growth in creative businesses and cultural tourism.




1.    Adopt the Recommendation as printed

Implications: The Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and the Council will be well placed to benefit from future growth of the cultural economy and be able to expand and develop for future needs. 


2.    Amend the Recommendation

Implications: unknown


3.    Reject the Recommendation

Implications: The Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and Council will see declining visitor numbers and will fail to achieve maximum benefit from the growth of the cultural scene in the regions around the Shoalhaven. 



The attached report highlights that the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery (SRG) has seen significant growth and development over the last 5 years, and is now facing a range of challenges and limitations on its potential to grow as needed into the future.  The current building will soon reach capacity, and if the gallery does not have a master plan and a vision for the future, audiences and opportunities will stagnate or decline. 

With the large investment of state and federal funds into the development at Bundanon, it is a perfect time to start planning the future of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery to maximise on the interest and excitement that the Bundanon masterplan has and will continue to generate. 

A vision for the future of SRG, which is able to be launched once Bundanon is complete, will continue to show that the Shoalhaven is an emerging cultural destination of world standard and will allow us to enthuse and encourage sponsorship, donations and grant funding for the future of the Gallery. 

A cultural economy strategy to support and expand the vision of the Shoalhaven as a place of world class cultural and creative engagement will help to encourage new residents and businesses to the region, and support the growth of cultural tourism seeing an increase in the liveability of the Shoalhaven. 

A number of councils in Victoria and Queensland have developed Cultural Strategies to support the development of a city-wide vision of cultural engagement, support for creative industries and encouragement of cultural tourism.  Across Victoria the Creative State initiative recognises the value to the cultural and creative economy and actively supports organisations and councils to work within this area.  The development of a Cultural Economy Strategy for the Shoalhaven would see us recognise this growth area and position ourselves to take advantage of it. 

Community Engagement

Any masterplan document and / or a creative economy strategy will be developed with a wide range of community input.  This will include consultation prior to development, interviews and group discussions with targeted stakeholders and public exhibition of plans and strategies.  For the success of such a project, community buy-in is essential. 


Financial Implications

To undertake each of these items will require an investment of up to $50,000.  This is unfunded at this stage and will require a budget bid to be included in the 2019/2020 financial year budget.  The endorsement of the Shoalhaven Arts Board is sought to add weight to such a budget bid.

Subject to funding being provided by Council, Staff will seek grants to assist in progressing this project with further reports coming back to the Shoalhaven Arts Board as this progresses. 


Risk Implications

The lack of a master plan for Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, with a lack of future vision or ability to plan for rectifying the issues currently faced will see the Gallery stagnant in the coming years and be unable to progress and or continue to see the significant gains currently experienced. 

The lack of a cultural economy strategy will disadvantage the LGA in maximising growth and gains from the increasing trend towards remote work in creative industries and the ABS / Australia Council research which shows the above average engagement with the creative sector in the region. 

A cohesive strategy that draws in the future development of the SRG, the plans for Bundanon, the likely increase in creative industries and the opportunities for cultural tourism will provide Council with a clear direction and opportunity to enhance the liveability and desirability of the region.