A renaissance of the arts in Ballarat is welcome news and is appropriate that the Art Gallery of Ballarat is leading the way (Courier Dec. 26th). The importance of the visual arts cannot be overestimated but as a community we must not lose sight of the broad spectrum included in the arts i.e. music, dance and theatre.
Many fine music performances are experienced in the Art Gallery of Ballarat. The regular Last Sunday of the Month concerts, the Piano for Pleasure series and the occasional concerts which have featured some of Australia’s finest musicians and singers including the Seraphim Trio, the Australian String Quartet, Slava Grigorian and David Hobson.
Locally grown artists who have gone onto national and international fame include David Hobson, Genevieve Lacey, Benjamin Northey and Jacqueline Dark. This foursome were recent guest presenters on ABC Classic FM, broadcast nationally. Genevieve Lacey will perform alongside local and international musicians in the upcoming Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival, now in its 22nd year and regularly attracting hundreds of visitors from Melbourne and interstate.
In the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, which has the finest piano in the region, the annual Don Huntley Memorial Piano Recital has presented some of Australia’s greatest pianists in its 12 years, including Ronald Farren-Price and Gerard Willems. On May 13 2017 CarolIne Almonte will be the recitalist. The Ballarat Symphony Orchestra concerts feature some of the best loved and lesser known works in the classical repertoire.
Her Majesty’s theatre and the Ballarat National Theatre continue to deliver great drama. Royal South Street encompasses performers from primary school age to adults with the Herald-Sun Aria and the Margaret Schofield Celebrating Chopin Prize.
All genres of art impact on each other and contribute to the cultural well-being of the community. Ballarat has much to be proud of, starting with the sights and sounds within the Art gallery of Ballarat and then taking in the many artistic strands available throughout the city.
Bronislaw Sozanski, Newstead
My family and I have only been in Ballarat since April so this is our first Christmas here. We would like to thank the council and all involved presenting such wonderful Christmas displays . From amazing floral displays to fantastic light displays. The city is always so beautiful and well presented but we just wanted to say a special thank you for bringing such joy to us . We look forward to all the Ballarat has to offer in the coming year. Thank you once again. Signed by very happy Ballaratians.
Chiarine Roberts, Eureka
Recently The Courier ran a report quoting the Principal of a local College as saying that steps are being taken to remove from the College Honour Board the names of anyone who had perpetrated sexual abuse of students.
I certainly have no issue with the editing out of the names of convicted paedophiles. I am, though, apprehensive about whether the same process will extend to a considerable number of other people against whom the media and other bodies have conducted an ongoing witchhunt with no evidence that has been substantiated through the courts or legally proven to be factual. These people are themselves victims of the fall-out from an era of shocking criminality and have had their lives severely and unjustly affected.
Some of them may well be featured on Honour Boards by reason of their faithful dedication and service to the College and also the wider community.
If trial by media is taken as the criteria for name removal then that would be further victimisation of already suffering individuals.
The era that enabled inter-generational sexual abuse of students and others also allowed the emergence of sadistic physical and emotional abuse of those in the care of educational and other institutions. A huge number of those abused young people simply had to somehow pick up their broken lives and with great courage and resilience make what they could of their futures. A few of the perpetrators of this type of abuse were also paedophiles but many were not and have not come before authorities. The victims certainly know who their abusers were and if those names were to remain on Honour Boards it would simply validate the crushing abuse they meted out.
I urge those who are dealing with the Honour Board situation to be very careful not to further compound abuse already suffered. Maybe it is time to completely overhaul and refurbish what has been the Honour Board corridor and open up new vistas.
Margaret Laavery, Ballarat
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