Meet our six Small Towns set to Transform!


Following an intensive application and shortlisting process, Regional Arts Victoria congratulates the six small Victorian towns who will each receive $350,000 for a significant artistic project with lasting legacy as part of the Victorian Government’s Small Town Transformations initiative.

After an exciting period of discussion, research and sharing of ideas within small towns of less than 2,000 people across the state, 73 inspiring projects from 71 towns were put forward for assessment by an independent selection panel. 14 towns were shortlisted, and now we look forward to the six successful transformations commencing in August with projects to be completed by October 2018.

Minister for Creative Industries,  Martin Foley  announced today that the six towns selected for Small Town Transformations are:

  • Birregurra – for their project enLIGHTen Me: I Have a Hall in my Heart
  • Girgarre – for their project Girgarre Revival: The Sound of Our Spirit Rising
  • Lake Tyers Beach – for their project FLOAT
  • Narrawong – for their project Kang-o-Meerteek
  • Rainbow – for their project The Oasis: Creativity on the Edge of the Desert
  • Western Port Waterline Townships – from Pioneer Bay to Coronet Bay – for their project The Edge of Us

“The Victorian Government’s creative industries strategy is focused on making Victoria a creative state. This means ensuring that all Victorians, from our smallest towns to our biggest cities, are given the opportunity to take part in and enjoy our cultural life,” said Minister Foley.

“Creative projects have the power to transform people and places. The Small Town Transformations projects show how creativity can enhance liveability, drive tourism and strengthen communities by bringing people together. These projects will create a lasting legacy for each town that will have an impact for years to come.”   

Small Town Transformations has invited communities to think big about how art, architecture, games, performance, music, design and more might leave a lasting legacy in their town.

“Six towns are about to embark on an ambitious adventure that puts artistic practice at the centre of their community life” said Esther Anatolitis, Director Regional Arts Victoria. “With thanks to the Victorian Government, the funds that support Small Town Transformations projects are substantial. And yet transformation itself is priceless. It begins with a set of conversations that bring people together – often for the very first time. It’s sustained by passion, dedication and trust. And it’s committed to a lifetime and more of the kind of cultural change that constantly renews a community’s inspirations. Cultural change is generative, creative collaboration is empowering, and transformation is priceless.”

We also congratulate the towns shortlisted to the final application stage: Barmah, Donald, Elmore, Heywood, Longwood, Maldon, San Remo and King Valley.

The Small Town Transformations program is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Regional Arts Package in the 2015-16 State Budget.

Regional Arts Victoria presented the inaugural Small Town Transformations project on behalf of the Victorian Government from 2012 to 2014. This resulted in the creative transformation of Avoca, Dookie, Natimuk, Neerim South and Ouyen, five small towns that are continuing to benefit from the long term legacy of the Small Town Transformations initiative.

Small Town Transformations is a Victorian Government Initiative.

Read the Minister Foley's Media Release here.

Meet the towns here.