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April @ SWMakers

Welcome to all new members and thank you to those supporters who attended our special general meeting on 2nd February at Blarney Books. Some small changes were made to our constitution, including changing from a committee to a board, increasing by one the number of board members and updating some terminology. Thanks to Helen Fitzhardinge, inaugural secretary of SW Makers Association, for her excellent work over the past two years. We wish her all the best in WA.

Helen Fitzhardinge with her printing press prior to moving to WA.

New Board Elected

At our March 2nd meeting the following office bearers were elected:

Marion Matthews - Chairperson

Robert Gatt - Deputy Chairperson

Susan Kay - Secretary

Kay O'Connell - Treasurer

Ordinary Members: Sian Burman, Jo and Dean Canham, Britt Gow, Ruth Lazarus, Freya Marriott and Kathryn Riessen.

Regular Board meetings will take place on the 1st Thursday of the month at

5:30pm at Blarney Books and Art.

If you are a paid-up SW Makers member, you can find all relevant documents (agendas, constitution, financials, annual reports) under the “Memberships” tab, in the “File Share” section. The SW Makers Strategy Summary is a useful document that summarizes our goals and values. An extended version, prepared in consultation with Lisa McLeod, is the document that we present to councillors and include in funding applications.

Lantern workshop and New Year's Eve Parade

The SW Makers Association Annual Report includes a summary of all the events since our conception in 2021. Highlights for our members were opportunities for “meet and greet”, “show and tell”, exhibitions and artist workshops. Also evident are the successful applications for grants from the Port Fairy Community Bank ($2000) and the Fletcher Jones Family Foundation ($11,000). Thanks to Marion Matthews and Jo Grant for working towards obtaining this funding.

Behind the scenes there have been numerous formal and informal meetings with Moyne Shire councilors to gauge their support for a dedicated arts space in Port Fairy. We have also been in communication with local and state CFA representatives regarding the old fire shed, which has been a protracted process. At present we are waiting for a building report that may indicate the cost of works required to bring the building up to public use standards. Negotiations with council to find a suitable building are ongoing. We will keep you informed as to possibilities.

Artist Call Out - "Cottagecore Exhibition"

Mott’s Cottage, Port Fairy

There has been an Artist's call out for a new exhibition and fundraiser for SWMakers - “Cottage Core” featuring Mott’s Cottage, Mills’ Cottage and other Port Fairy cottages. It will take place at Blarney Books and Art over June and July with the launch on the Saturday of the long weekend. The National trust charges $5 entry to Mott’s and Mills’ Cottages and artists wishing to inspect the properties will need to pay this. The exhibition is open to both members of South-West Makers (free entry) and non-members who will pay $20 entry fee per piece. Online entry form on the website. Commission on sales will be 50% which will go to South-West Makers. Jo Canham has kindly offered to host the exhibition at Blarney Books, free of charge.

Sketch of Mill's Cottage by @sallyforrestartist at Saturday morning Sketch Club

Jo Canham has been facilitating a Port Fairy Sketch Club on Saturday mornings, from 11am to noon. Although they are taking a short break for the 22nd and 29th April, casual sketching will continue from Saturday 6th May. Find out more by joining the "Port Fairy Sketch Club" group on Facebook.

As it is almost twelve months since we set up this site, many members will be receiving a renewal reminder for payment of membership fees of $50 per single, $75 per family and $30 per concession. We value our inaugural members and the important contribution that everyone is making to establish a new Arts organization for our community. With around 250 members of diverse skills, interests and backgrounds, we form a valuable sector of the community who provide a voice for the arts in our region. As a member of SW Makers, you are entitled to discounts for workshops and events. In the past twelve months that has included an artist-in-residence, Julie Ryder, who ran three workshops and a public lecture. Prior to that, Mary French ran lantern-making workshops that enabled us to facilitate lantern-making with community members for the Moyneyana Parade. Your continued membership of SW Makers assists us to establish ourselves as strong advocates for the Arts in our region.

Please send any news articles of interest for our members to

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