APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

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Questions over WA RISE Arts Funding

Posted by Team APATA | Sep 16, 2021

ABC Radio Perth posted an interesting article last Friday regarding a WA couple with very limited experience in live events having received a substantial federal arts grant.

A third, in fact, of WA’s current round of the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) funding has gone to Greg and Joy Hamlyn of Mudstone Spa Retreat in Munjimup, for their project the Gatsby Skyline Showcase of Entertainment and Art.

  • $160 million of the $200 million has already been allocated.
  • $14 million has gone to WA.
  • This round of WA’s RISE funds was $1.77 million
  • The Hamlyns have received $621,600.

The Spa owners, Greg and Joy Hamlyn, plan weekly shows at their venue Gatsby Skyline throughout a two year period, hoping for 200 patrons a week in a town of 4,000. That’s an estimated $6,000 per show.

Previous event producers have struggled to garner audiences in Manjimup, which is roughly four hours from Perth, and find it incredible that a couple who have previously held New Years eve parties should be given more money than most theatre companies have in their annual budget.

Jo Trilling from ABC spoke to Joy Hamlyn from Mudstone regarding the plans for the funds.

She also spoke with Margaret Seares, former chair of the Australia Council who believes funding applications should be peer reviewed and thoroughly vetted.

Paul Sloan, event producer, festival director and booking agent for acts like Spacey Jane and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds says,

“It’s an underdeveloped market and while the funding may develop the market, you’re trying to implant a weekly show with emerging talent… It’s no way to drive a cultural renaissance in Manjimup. To drive culture, the bar needs to be high.” 

Fiona Sinclair from Southern Forest Arts has approached the Hamlyns to offer her assistance in supporting them on their journey with Gatsby Skyline.

We encourage you to head to the ABC article below with the radio episode and get informed about this decision and make your own mind up.

We have recently spoken with APATA members who would love arts education in WA to be funded half as well as this weekly night of entertainment.

How about a little love for those trying to create pathways after high school?

Visit the ABC Radio Perth discussion HERE

Where RISE Arts Grants went this round:



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