The Artful Dodger — June 2024

On Behalf of the Chair

Welcome to our June edition

Bruce is keeping warm in Queensland this week and so he asked me to introduce this edition of the Dodger.

You will see below, that as always, our members are very, very busy. Groups of people coming together, enjoying their arts, having fun and contributing to the wellbeing of the Warrandyte Community.

We all enjoyed meeting so many people at the Warrandyte Festival in April, making the community aware of the many activities we offer at the Mechanics’ Institute Hall and the Community Pottery. We are very grateful for all the interest shown, for the generous donations people made, and the new members we signed up.

I would like to make special mention of the Trivia Night scheduled for Friday, August 23, where you, your friends and family, can come along for a fun-filled evening and help ‘Fight the Mite’. Every cent collected that night will go towards funding the extensive repairs needed due to termite damage, to our unique community pottery studio. It will be a great evening’s entertainment and you will be supporting a very worthy cause.

Also, the theatre company’s latest season of three one act plays has just opened - to great reviews and many sold out performances. So, book your seats soon to avoid missing out seeing these three wonderful, and quite different, plays that won our community playwriting competition last year.

I’ll end with a special thank you to all the volunteers who help make our association so successful. Our association was formed by our community, its members are from our community, and its only purpose is to use the arts to educate and entertain our community!

Grant Purdy
[email protected]

Warrandyte Theatre Company

Our One Act Play Festival has just opened to sell-out houses. The three winning plays are looking very polished and reviews by audience members have been very positive. Have you been following us on Facebook and Instagram to check out photos?

Midnight Muse by Michael Olsen: The story centres on Steven, a young writer, and Calli his Greek goddess muse. Steven doesn’t want her help, but Calli thinks otherwise. She’s helped him for many years, often without him knowing! Tonight, on this special night, she’s determined to help — whether he wants it or not — and she deploys the full range of her persuasive techniques.

Mockingbird by Alison Knight: Tom lives in a run down house in a prosperous suburb. Jake and Ella discuss how best to support him, while others seek to ostracise him. Mockingbird looks at how society treats misfits. Ignore them, get rid of them, or, only sometimes, try to show understanding and compassion.

Double Booked by Adrian C Rice: A sex worker finds herself with one more customer than expected and needs the help of the student who lives in the upstairs apartment. The client, down on their luck caused by an egregious wrongdoing, and the student, discover a common past and hatch a plan to set things right.

*Note — some adult themes.


We are using a cabaret layout, which provides the most comfort for audience members, but does limit audience size to 60. Let us know when booking if you have any special requirements. The bar will be open, serving red, white and sparkling wines. Beer, soft drinks, tea/coffee - and of course - Choc-tops!

Tickets are selling fast, so don’t be disappointed.

Get your tickets now!

Remaining performances will take place on June 28, 29 and July 5 and 6, at 8pm. June 30 at 2.30pm

Sorting out the costumes - Part 1

In April, a bunch of us took on the mighty task of sorting and clearing out the costume wardrobe. We ended up filling over 20 black bags of discarded costumes that we have spread around the various Op-shops in the Eastern suburbs.

Special thanks to Noelene Cooper and Caroline Shaw for organising the event. We still need to do the two sheds out the back, but decided to wait until Spring
to have a go.

If you would like to help, get in touch with me.
[email protected]

Season 3 - Opening August 30

Things I know to be True is well underway with a full cast and rehearsal schedule. Written by Andrew Bovell and directed by Kellie Tweeddale. An Australian drama and story of familial love focuses on a close-knit working class family. Mum, dad and four adult siblings create a moving ensemble theatre.

Tickets from:

Season 4 - Opening at the end of November

Hotel Sorrento
The play has been cast and the new team are getting to know this woonderful play and their characters.This lovely Australian classic is about expatriatism, our perception of home and the tensions that exist between those who’ve left and those who’ve stayed behind. Written by Hannie Rayson and directed by Grant Purdy.
Louise Phelan
[email protected]

Fight the Mite

A Trivia Fundraising Night is being held to help raise funds to repair the severe termite damage in the Warrandyte Community Pottery Studio. Tickets are $10. There will be a silent auction, games and plenty of opportunities to donate money to the cause. Dave Phillipsen will be our MC for the evening and there will be an open bar. We are setting up the tables to accommodate 10 people, so you can BYO food (only) as well. So grab your pals and bring your wallets and good cheer and come
to the hall for what will be a very fun evening.

So far, Australia wide, IT has become our first Gold Sponsor, and as we go to press, it has been joined by Coco Moon Café.


A big thank you to Grant Purdy

At our bi-monthly central committee meeting recently, Grant Purdy was presented with an Ink Block Portrait by Jock Macneish, along with Grant’s favourite drop - Chard Farm Pinot Noir - and some other goodies, to thank him for all of his hard work over the past few years.

If you see him in the hall, make sure you give him a slap on the back and a big thanks!

Michelle Reeves

Pottery News

It’s been a busy three months for the WMIAA potters.

Potters were delighted with the enthusiasm and attention received from the Warrandyte community at the WMIAA stall during the Warrandyte Festival. It was terrific fun to bring members from all groups of the WMIAA to promote our Arts Association. It was a successful day raising $1,000 revenue from pottery sales, along with boosting interest from the community.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday groups now have new members, mostly gained from the festival weekend. Their ideas and enthusiasm have brought much joy and energy to the Studio. The calm and peaceful working space encourages creative interaction and sharing of knowledge through conversations, and laughter.

Post festival, we have been able to settle into generating pottery again, creating many first class sculptures, pots, birdbaths and dragons, to name a few.

We look ahead to hard work preparing and painting the downstairs studio walls and re-doing the floors, contributing to the upkeep of the studio. We’ve spent much time doing additional de-cluttering over the past few months and look forward to the Trivia fundraiser night at the hall on August 23.

Tickets available at:

Alison Beanland
Pottery Representative


More WMIAA T-Shirts - with Jock’s lovely illustration of the Mechanics’ hall on the front - will be available at the next Repair Café on July 7. They come in colour, as shown, or black on white. An order is required for the latter. Buzz me with any questions, or I shall see you there. Marion 0408 395 299

Life Drawing

Our group is rolling along beautifully with a couple more interested participants, and we are at our max. I am aware not to overcrowd the sessions, keeping them creatively enjoyable for all. So far so good.

Marion Cooper
Arts Group Representative
[email protected]

Repair Café

Case studies in Repair stories

In partnership with the Warrandyte Diary and video production company, 42K Media, we are hoping to promote the work of the Repair Café by producing a number of articles and short videos which will tell the story of one of the fixing gigs. More soon, but here is a snippet which appeared in the June Diary.

Bunting for Repair Café 15th Anniversary

Bernadette, on behalf of - and as a member of the WRC - made a flag to contribute to the 15th Anniversary of Repair Café, and sent it to Amsterdam. She received a lovely reply from the original founder of Repair Cafe, Martine Postma (See attached).

Lovely work Bernadette!

‘Do yourself a Favour’

A lovely contribution from Jock…

When things break, we can either chuck them out or get them repaired. Not much stuff gets repaired, lots of stuff gets chucked out.

Over 20 million tonnes of solid waste goes into tips in Australia each year. That’s truckloads of stuff, creating truckloads of social and environmental problems for the planet. Your planet!

If there’s a chance your broken stuff can be repaired, bring it along to the Warrandyte Repair Cafè, Warrandyte Mechanics’ Institute hall, first Sunday of every month, from 10.30am till 12.30pm. A team of talented ‘Repairers’ will fix anything that can be fixed, and save it going into landfill. It’s free, and you’ll be doing the planet a favour.
Your planet!

Promoting our Repair Café

James Poyner and Sandi Miller have started putting together some promos of our work - here’s a sample!

Meet the people who’ll try to fix anything

What’s on at the Hall

Art Exhibition in August

‘Winter Brilliance’

Coming up on August 9, 10 and 11, we have the well established Warrandyte Artisans. The hall will host the three day event ‘Winter Brilliance’, with a variety of works for sale, as you scope the artistic ability that surrounds us here in Warrandyte.

Please visit and support this wonderful exhibition.

Cheers for a successful event which will hopefully become a regular one.


Déjà vu!

Keeping our lovely 95-year-old, wooden Mechanics’ Institute Hall open, operating and safe, is not easy, and ultimately requires a great deal of volunteer effort together with a great deal of cash. There is always a considerable load of maintenance work, from cleaning gutters and upgrading electrical systems to, now, replacing the drain from the hall that has been invaded and crushed by tree roots. It never seems to end!

Then there are the big projects that can only be put off so long and which are so expensive they cannot be funded from normal cash flow. As you will all know we have just completed a substantial project to ‘keep the roof up’ on the hall by replacing the aged tie-bars with custom built beams. And, at the same time, we also upgraded the lighting rigging system. Last year, of course, we also rebuilt and significantly upgraded the bio box.

These mega projects were only possible through generous grants from the Warrandyte Community Bank, together with sizeable donations from Rotary, Lions Club, Riverside Market, Ruby Tuesday Jewellers and Manningham Council. WMIAA also contributed substantial sums to both projects.

Now we face the daunting task of raising several hundred thousand dollars to rescue our historic pottery studio from the ravages of pesky termites.

But it was ever such!

We return to our roots and sift through the Warrandyte Diary archives to June, 1974, to find out how Warrandyte has changed - or hasn’t at all - over the past 50 years. (Above: the Mechanics’ Institute Hall in the 1970’s)

Local Landmark again in danger
Raffle to save hall

Another desperate bid is being made to save Warrandyte’s historic Mechanics’ Institute Hall.

It is sadly in need or repair, and as reported in the Diary last year, at least one offer has been made to use the building as a commercial prospect.

The hall’s plight has been known to many of our community leaders for some time. Doncaster and Templestowe Council helped out with some financial aid a few years ago when the hall needed repairs. However, since then further repairs and alterations are needed to maintain it as a community centre.

The hall committee has decided to launch a strong campaign to save the hall from falling into further disrepair. Treasurer of the committee, Mr A.B. Burgess has written a letter to the Member for Casey, Mr Race Mathews, seeking a Commonwealth grant for repairs and alterations.

The committee has also decided to raffle a Torana De Luxe six-cylinder manual car to help obtain funds. Tickets are available at $5 each from any Warrandyte Art Association member. Tickets will be available from June 1 until July 31.

Cr J. Scott will make the draw on August 17 at 3pm in the hall.

Mr Burgess pointed out to Mr Mathews that the hall was built about 50 years ago and had been used as a picture hall and community centre.

”With the growth in strength of the Warrandyte Arts Association and the decline in other usage, the hall is now used primarily for that association’s activities”, said Mr Burgess.

As a result, the hall’s revenue is largely dependent on the association’s continued usage.

“In the year 1972-1973, the hall received $962 from hire, of which $650 came from the Warrandyte Arts Association”, said Mr Burgess.

Mr Burgess said that because of the hall’s deteriorating condition and various physical inadequacies, the Art Association were finding their facilities “…anything but satisfactory…”.

“Quotes for repairs and alterations to bring the hall up to standard would amount to $9,500”, said Mr Burgess. Roofing, ceiling, stage lining, insulation, painting, stage improvement, ducted heating, and overhaul of the septic system were the most urgent needs.

The Diary believes there is a strong community cause to save the hall and urges residents to “chip in” for a car raffle ticket. If you can’t afford a ticket, then send a donation to Mr Burgess.

And so, here we go again - Déja vu!

If any members would like to make a donation, a contribution would be very much appreciated. Every little bit helps, and as we are now a registered charity with Deductable Gift Recipient status, any donation of $2 or more can be claimed on your taxation.

Keep those returnable containers coming in!

Please either leave your cans and stubbies in the bin on the deck at the back of the hall, or take them to a collection point and donate the refund to Warrandyte Arts, using the barcode in the photo below. Printed cards with the barcode are available in the kitchen at the hall.

Collection points include Wonga Park Cellars and Park Orchards Milk Bar, and reverse vending machines at Petty’s Orchard and Mullum Mullum Reserve. We also have an arrangement with Hops and Vine to collect their empties each week.


Join or Renew your Membership NOW!

To renew for 2024, click this link and BOOK NOW:

For any membership queries contact:
Noelene Cooper
Membership Coordinator
[email protected]
Mob: 0400 861 133

With many thanks to our generous sponsors this year.