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).

We bemused Canberra!

We had a year long battle with Canberra to be recognised as a tax deductible entity. The bureaucrats kept saying we didn't fit the model of being a museum or an art gallery.

Of course we didn't. We were, and are, unique in Australia. We are a museum, art gallery, film club, dance organisation, music, live theatre and more—all rolled into one. Canberra was bemused. But eventually we won and became tax deductible.

Name dropping...(just some)

We introduced these performers to Noosa: Sir Neville Marriner, Professor Anthony Camden, Julian Lloyd Webber, Jane Rutter, Peter Gaudion, Storeyville Jazz Quartet,
Piers Lane, Takua Iusawa, Kayo and Chitaru Asahina, the 22 flute "Flutes of Hiroshima", live theatre 'Nearly in the Box" with Alan Edwards and Hazel Phillips, 'An evening with Coward' with Jon Finlayson, 32 films with Glen Gould, Queensland film premiere of 'Love's Theme' - winner of the Palm d'Or in Cannes, 'Tales of the Vienna Woods'. We've held many Strauss balls with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, also the Spiros Rantos Orchestra and the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

Official launch

This was a grand affair, with a performance by the winner of the Fifth Sydney International Piano Competition, Xiang Dong Kong, playing with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Braithwaite, followed by a black tie supper at the Sheraton attended by Sir Zelman and Lady Cowen, and Consuls from Italy and Germany.


Another magical experience happened when the John Nixon Singers and the Camerata of St John performed the Maria Mass. The audience was hypnotised by the event. They were on their feet, hands clasped, a look of rapture on their faces, some with tears streaming down their faces. The reaction was quite remarkable.

Arthur Boyd, through Anita Aarons and Merton Chambers, curated a special exhibition for us, and we have held exhibitions of the Blakely and Wynn award winners at the Regional Gallery.

I could drop many more names of artists and performers we have brought to Noosa over twenty five years , but I won't, except for one of the most famous — Dame Joan Sutherland.

Dame Joan SutherlandDame Joan came to lunch one day, and has never left us.

She lives on in our vocal competition carrying her name, 'The Dame Joan Sutherland Vocal Competition Award'. The first meeting was held in 1994, the first Award in 1999. The next will be in July this year as part of the Noosa Longweekend.

Probably the most famous winner is Mirusia Lowerse who was contracted to Andre Rieu a week after her win. She is still with him, although she now has her own show which she is touring around the world. There is a rumour that she will be performing next(?) year with the Queensland Pops Orchestra on one of her visits.