Museums & Galleries Qld

Wondai Regional Art Gallery wins 2013 Gallery and Museum Achievement Award

Posted on: 18 December 2013

Museum & Gallery Services Queensland (M&GSQ) proudly announced the recipients of the 2013 Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards (GAMAA) at a special event hosted by Museum of Brisbane on 22 November. Guest presenter, Hon. Ian Walker, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts presented the winners with specially-commissioned trophies created by Queensland artists, Charlotte Beeron, Theresa Beeron, Ethel Murray and John Murray, represented by Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre.

We bring you the stories on each of the Winners and Special Commendation recipients of the 2013 GAMAA in five categories. In this third article, we announce the GAMAA Winner in the category, ‘Organisations: Volunteer’:

WINNER – Wondai Regional Art Gallery for their project, Construction of The Studio – a multi-purpose workroom extension to the gallery

This category was generously sponsored by archival storage specialists, Archival Survival. Wondai Regional Art Gallery receives goods to the value of $1,000.


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The Wondai Regional Art Gallery plays an important role in the South Burnett’s cultural life and development, as well as contributing significantly to the region’s tourism industry. With new exhibitions every month, Friends of the Gallery membership, Sunday Art Group, Pole Art and regular workshops and art classes for adults and children, it provides opportunities for people to develop and display their artistic skills as well as showcasing the region’s art and culture to the visiting public, bringing long-term benefits to individuals and the community at large.

The need for a multi-purpose workroom was identified by the Management Committee, artists and tutors as the Gallery had been successfully running workshops, but because of lack of space had to conduct these off-site in premises not suited to the activities.

Five years of planning, fundraising and grant applications followed, with artists and community members encouraged to become involved in the fundraising efforts. In 2011, the Gallery took over the running of the monthly country markets in Wondai, adding another avenue for raising funds.

The Gallery’s participation in M&GSQ’s 2010 Standards Program evidenced the Committee’s and volunteers’ commitment to improving the operations and relevance of the Gallery to the wider community. They worked closely with the South Burnett Regional Council (which owns the building) to bring the project to fruition. In late 2011, $50,000 was secured through a Queensland Government Regional Infrastructure Grant, with the Council and the Management Committee each contributing a further $30,000 towards the project.

The Studio (10.6 metres by 7.38 metres in size) complements the existing building, blending seamlessly from an architectural and aesthetic viewpoint. Volunteers at the gallery put in countless hours paving, tiling, painting, fencing – adding the ‘finishing touches’.

The Studio was officially opened in December 2012. Bookings for the space were being made months before the building was completed, and it is now used on a daily basis by a diverse range of individuals and groups, including art workshops; choir practices; local musical groups and ‘jam sessions’; tai chi and yoga classes; community activities; and weekly games afternoons for attendees from local nursing and retirement homes.

In choosing Wondai Regional Art Gallery as the Winner in the ‘Organisations: Volunteer’ category, the GAMAA Judges commended the organisation for strategically identifying and addressing a need within the Gallery and the community. The Studio extension has enabled the Gallery to address new programming and to extend its potential audience and stakeholder base, thereby increasing its long-term sustainability. The Judges acknowledged the achievement of this volunteer-run organisation in demonstrating the leadership and drive to realise the project.


The 2013 GAMAA was presented by Museum and Gallery Services Queensland. This prestigious annual event is designed to celebrate the outstanding achievements, professional excellence and innovation of Queensland’s museums and galleries. The Awards recognise the valuable contribution our State’s museums and galleries make to enriching their local and wider communities, and honour the extraordinary commitment and talents of paid professionals and volunteers working in the industry.

For a full list of winners and photos of the event, and to see what the GAMAA Judges said, go to the M&GSQ website at

The 2013 GAMAA were proudly sponsored by Museum of Brisbane, Brian Tucker Accounting, Brandi Projects, Archival Survival, Regional Galleries Association of Queensland and Museums Australia Queensland.


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Museums & Galleries Queensland

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Phone: 07 3059 9740

Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

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Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Melissa Fletcher, Information Officer
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Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

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