Redeveloped Burrinja officially opened

Burrinja CEO Gareth Hart, Mayor Fiona McAllister and James Merlino MP at the opening of the newly-redeveloped Burrinja Cultural Centre.

The newly-redeveloped Burrinja Cultural Centre was officially opened on Friday, 16 April, following a multi-million dollar building project to improve artist, gallery and social spaces.

State Member for Monbulk and Acting Premier, James Merlino MP, and Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister, opened the venue with Wurundjeri woman Julie Coombes, Burrinja Creative Director and CEO, Gareth Hart, President of the Burrinja Board, Holly DeMaria and a group of artists and community members.

The $3 million redevelopment project started in 2019, with a goal of improving foyer and circulation spaces, artist studios, the kitchen/cafe and social space and the galleries at the venue. Works were completed mid-2020, but an opening event was not able to be held due to the COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings at the time.

Wurundjeri woman, Julie Coombes, performs a Welcome to Country at the Burrinja Redevelopment opening.

Wurundjeri woman, Julie Coombes, performs a Welcome to Country at the Burrinja Redevelopment opening.

Cr McAllister said that a passion for art was woven through the history and culture of the Yarra Ranges, particularly in the Dandenong Ranges and Burrinja.

“It’s a part of people’s day to day lives and it’s one of the many, many reasons why people travel far and wide to visit our beautiful corner of the world,” she said.

“The work that’s been done here will set Burrinja in good stead to keep growing with our community – to keep bringing world-class art and performance to the hills and to bring new artists and visitors through the door.”

Mayor Fiona McAllister speaking at the opening of the newly-redeveloped Burrinja Cultural Centre.

Mayor Fiona McAllister speaking at the opening of the newly-redeveloped Burrinja Cultural Centre.

The project was funded by Council with the support of the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.

Events and exhibitions have resumed at Burrinja, following the easing of restrictions earlier this year. The Dandenong Ranges Open Studios exhibition is currently open for visitors, ahead of the Open Studios Weekend on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May.

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