Newsletter - Summer 2015 - Silver Jubilee Edition

Changing Of The Guard 

You never know who you meet at a party and what that meeting will lead to.


Nineteen years ago Pat and Vince Hahn attended an NFA fund-raising event at Mykonos, the home of John and Verushka Cumming.


On that fateful evening Pat volunteered to become Treasurer of NFA.  We had been looking for such a person following the resignation of our previous Treasurer.


So nineteen years later, Pat received her gold watch.  Not only did she retire as Treasurer, the best anybody could ever wish for, but also as Vice Chairman, a position she has held for the last ten or so years.


Pat also came with a big “plus”, a husband who helped out wherever he was needed.  Invaluable to organisations such as ours and very much appreciated.


Pat was farewelled by past and present members of the Management Committee, including  past Chairman, Jean Gross, and our very patient Artistic Adviser, Brad Jarrett, who came from Brisbane for the occasion with his family.


Bert Wansley, past Noosa Shire Chairman (before we had Mayors) who, as original Vice Chairman, advisor,  and friend, the strength behind the throne, so to speak, made the speech of the night to Pat on behalf of the Noosa Federation of the Arts Inc.


Also retiring from office are

Chairman of the Schools Instrument Bank, Iain MacLean and Secretary, Moya Aland.  Both still retain their seats as members of the NFA Management Committee.


Iain MacLean and Pat Hahn

Iain has been a member of NFA since the very early ’90’s  and for the last 12 years has held the office of Chairman of the Schools Instrument Bank.


Iain and the SIB retired together, so, there is no longer an instrument bank.  We are in the process of selling the instruments and all money raised is to be directed towards the 2017 Dame Joan Award.


(Pictured Iain MacLean and Pat Hahn).


After three years of tireless and selfless dedication, Moya is retiring but is retaining her seat as a Member of NFA Management Committee.


Moya, we thank you, and salute you for a sterling effort, sometimes under trying circumstances.


Don’t forget to book for John Woods Afternoon Delight Friday 27th February.


But now it’s time to introduce our new Treasurer, Jeff Page.  Once again, be careful whom you befriend!


Jeff comes to us with huge qualifications, having been Financial Controller of a national gas company for many years, then upon retirement, volunteering as Treasurer with service clubs.


The question is, how did we find someone to take over Pat’s role in such a short time? The answer is simple.  Once again a chance meeting.


Meg met Jeff and his wife Sally at Weyba dog park walking their dogs. A friendship grew, and Meg asked them to come to the AGM as friends and promised not to pressure them into (a) joining as members, or (b) finding a job for them to do. And she didn’t!


It was Sally, Jeff’s wife, who suggested him when the AGM meeting was asked if anyone wanted to take over Pat’s job.  Before Jeff knew it, his nomination was accepted and we had a new Treasurer. 


But he got his own back a little later. We were looking for a Secretary to take over from Moya Aland, who was also retiring.  Jeff took great delight in putting forward Sally’s name as Secretary and before she knew it she, also, was accepted by the Committee.

Silver Jubilee Celebrations

Exciting fund-raisers  in 2015...


Afternoon Delight—first for 2015

Celebrated accompanist to the stars, John Woods is our first Afternoon Delight for 2015.      

He’ll tell us tales about his travels and encounters around the world.  He has accompanied the great Dames of opera, including our own Dame Joan.  He’ll talk about the new crop of divas, in particular, Jane Eaglen.


Born in Stirling, Scotland he studied piano and bassoon at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and won scholarships from The Scottish Arts Council , and The Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust  which enabled him to study the art of accompanying at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. 


He was guest repetiteur at the R.N.C.M. and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts before joining the Queensland Conservatorium in 1992.


A man of many talents,  John was Musical Associate for Granada Television with credits on a wide range of arts and drama programmes which include  “Joan Hammond Masterclass”, “Coronation Street”, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Lost Empires”, the eight-hour serialisation of the J.B. Priestley novel where he worked with Sir Laurence Olivier.


But let John tell you his story himself. Come to see him, ask him questions, and listen to him play on our hosts’ beautiful Schimmel piano, a recital hall grand, with the most amazing tone.

Read more: Silver Jubilee Celebrations

Newsletter - Summer 2014


Who'd have thought we'd reach a quarter of a century?  Amazing!

(Excerpts from Chairman's address - 2013 AGM).

A little history:

We were established in 1989 as Noosa Arts Foundation, working under the umbrella of the Noosa Regional Gallery. We had to change our name because we were not in reality a Foundation. No-one had left us anything in trust. So, our Honorary Solicitor, Michael Richardson, suggested we change it to Noosa Federation of the Arts, "federation" meaning "pillars" - four pillars to represent each of the arts: music, art, dance and Avant garde.

We became incorporated on 9th November, 1990. Just after we were incorporated, I asked a friend Gillian Murray, now Gillian Helfgott, to do our astrological chart. She was gifted in this area. 

Her reply was that it was a pity we had been incorporated on the 9th as it showed we had a hard road to hoe and that we definitely would not get our desired purpose-built building, one of our objectives.

It all proved to be true. We have had to work very hard for every dollar earned. (We couldn't have done it without your financial and moral support).

Read more: Newsletter - Summer 2014

What a Gal!

Is anyone more suited to the role of Vice Chairman than Juanita Overson?I Following is a potted version of her life to date.………

”During my final year of school I studied the piano and completed my Associate in Music (AMusA), and Intermediate in Classical Ballet. Two years later attained my Licentiate with the Trinity College of Music, London (LTCL); and Associate with the Royal Academy of Dance, London (ARAD).

“I danced in the J.C. Williamson's production of Camelot in Melbourne for a 4 month period, followed by 9 months with the Sydney Contemporary Dance Company working under the direction Keith Baines, and Ronnie Arnold a well known American Contemporary Choreographer.

Read more: What a Gal!

How important is the Dame Joan Sutherland Award?

Written by Mirusia a year on from winning in 2006...

This last year (which seems like a month!), has gone by so quickly and the leap my career has taken has been incredible! Who would have thought that last year I was walking into an audition, my pink shoes for good luck on my feet, and that now I am treading on the world stage! Once again, thank you to the panel of the Dame Joan Sutherland Award for believing in me and for giving me the kick start I needed to get my singing career off the ground!

This competition was a turning point in my music career.

From Mirusia.

Dame Joan Leaves Legacy

Music memorabilia to help fund-raise for DJS Award 2017.


Dame Joan TreasuresWe have acquired seven original manuscripts owned and signed by the late Dame Joan Sutherland. 

Donated by  her husband, Richard Bonynge, the manuscripts are estimated to sell from around $200  to $1,000 and include songs ‘Love Everlasting’, Mozart’s ‘Tortures Unabating’ and Verdi’s ‘Otello’.


We feel extremely honoured to have been given this priceless memorabilia all of which contain Dame Joan’s signature and her hand written notes altering the music or lyrics to suit her voice.


The manuscripts date back to the height of Dame Joan’s career and are precious keepsakes which mark a very special time in her life.  They will be auctioned with the proceeds going towards the Dame Joan Sutherland Awards 2017.



As our members, you are probably aware of our struggle to secure sufficient funds to continue with the Dame Joan Sutherland scholarship program, a cause very important to us.


NFA believes that it is essential  to help classical music stay alive by investing in younger generations of musicians and performers. Money raised from these manuscripts would really help us financially and help to make sure the program continues into the future.


NB: The manuscripts may be  the subject of a silent auction during the Noosa Long Weekend. We will keep you informed.

Read more: Dame Joan Leaves Legacy

Afternoon Delights have been a delight

This is a series of popular afternoon lectures we started last year and will continue this year...

Michael Bradshaw

UQ Ph.D. student, Michael Bradshaw showed us how to 'read' music as a sentence, complete with full stops and commas. He is now studying in Hungary.

Brad Jarrett w' John and Suzi Smeed

Brad Jarrett pictured with hosts John and Suzi Smeed.

Brad Jarrett, Artistic Administrator of Opera Queensland (since resigned) gave us an insight into the mounting of an opera, including some saucy behind the scenes tales.

Read more: Afternoon Delights have been a delight

Your New Management

Committee office bearers:

Chairman:  Meg Lawrence

Vice Chair: Juanita Overson

Treasurer:  Jeff Page

Secretary:  Sally Page

Chair DJS:  Susan Beaver


Committee  Members

Anna Abbott

Mickey Craddock

Iain MacLean

Moya Aland

Suzanne Wright                                      


Xmas Cruise on the good ship MV Catalina

Evie PiklerGuests and crew had a jolly good time with Evie Pikler and her trio serenading us while we floated up and down the beautiful Noosa River.

As a bonus, the Skipper manoeurved the Catalina to a perfect vantage spot on the river where we watched a magnificent sunset.

Chariman's Note

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your moral and financial support. Without you, we would not exist, without you we would not be able to nurture our young artists. Each and every one of you are philanthropists for what you give to the arts.


The next 2 years are going to be tough. Our goal each year is to raise $11,500 if we are going to hold the Dame Joan Award in 2017. We need your help.


Thank you one and all


Meg Lawrence

Why do we supply instruments to schools?

Primavera ViolinsPrimavera violins on display at Musica Mondo, Cremona, Italy 2008 (pictured left)

Don't they have their own instruments?

The answer is, yes, they do, but, and it is a big but.

Read more: Why do we supply instruments to schools?