The Artful Dodger — December 2022

Ceremonial Handover of the Finska Trophy

Inclement weather and The Freedom Party celebrations reared their ugly heads last Sunday and our usual spot at Stiggants Reserve was not available for the Christmas barbecue and annual Finska Championship.

Thankfully the lovely Louise saved the day and we all congregated in her beautiful undercover patio, resplendent in silver and white Christmas decorations, to celebrate a wonderful year of theatre. Nibbles, salads and desserts were brought to share and Jonathan, bbq chef extraordinaire, cooked the snags. Unfortunately, the rain persisted and we couldn’t run the fiercely fought Finska competition. Erin Brass, last year’s winner, handed back the perpetual trophy and it will stay with Louise until next year.

There was, however, another competition, which was just as fiercely fought. Lou’s husband Steve had arrived home from a camping weekend with a pop up dome tent he hadn’t been able to fold back up, so Louise put out the challenge. A box of Favourites was offered to anyone able to fold it up. Ian and Adam accepted the challenge, with Ian the eventual winner.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was an email to Lisa Mac announcing the Lyrebird Awards for 2021/2022. WTC did very well, with Love Sick, and _Blackbird_receiving nominations, including, best junior actress, best costume, best actor, best actress, best director and best production. Congratulations to all involved!

And so, another year over and another wonderful afternoon shared with friends. Thanks to everyone for their contributions and Merry Christmas!

Warrandyte Theatre Company

At the time of writing we are just over half way through the Follies run. Bookings have been good, though falling a little short of what we might have expected based on past years. 

There are numerous factors, however, we have sold 473 tickets (82%) of those available and might expect to reach 500 around (86%) over eight shows, which would be excellent. There are already discussions about the next Follies, which may see a return to a festival time. Note however that seasons one to four in 2023, and directors, have been established and there is not room for a fifth, particularly one requiring many performers.

Earlier in October, Calendar Girls was spectacularly successful raising over $13K through 10 performances. An extra performance was added and additional seats released.

The Victorian Drama League held it Annual Awards on December 4, and our entry of Calendar Girls was successful in the following categories:

Best Program Design - Alan Cornell

Nomination, Best Actress - Ana Isabel

Nomination, Best Supporting Actress - Monica Greenwood and Lisa Upson

Nomination, Best Props - Carol Owen

By the end of the year the Theatre Company will have raised close to $42K for five productions. However, it may have been one production too many. Our capacity has been stretched and at a recent meeting the Company decided to return to four productions for 2023. 

Putting together such a successful 2022,with the stresses and restrictions of a lingering pandemic, is due to the flexibility of all involved with the company. Thanks to all directors: Susan, Lisa Mac, Grant, Lawrence and Matt. 

Thanks especially to those who moved seasons/dates to accommodate others. Thanks to all those who took on production coordination: Lisa, David, Grant and Susan. 

Thanks to those who inhabited the box: Adam, Drew, Andrea, Harry and Tony. To all stage managers and their crew: Jenny, Lisa and Sandi. To all Front of House participants, especially Hazel, for coordinating it all, we thank you. 

To those who built and painted: Peter, Grant, David, Denise, Marion and June and to those who created programs: Alan, Robert, Jock and Anna. 

To those I’ve forgotten to name, my apologies.

And to all our actors, regular and new, we hope to see you back on our stage again soon.

This may be my last contribution for a while. Lisa MacGibbon will be taking over as Chair of the Warrandyte Theatre Company.


Lyrebird Award Nominations for WTC



Best Costumes in a Comedy - Louise Phelan and Lisa MacGibbon

Best Performer in a Lead Female Role Comedy - Tam Dahmen-O'Neil

Best Performer in a Lead Male Role Comedy - Lawrence Phelan

Best Performer in a Lead Male Role Comedy - Matt Wallace

Best Performer in a Lead Male Role Comedy - Rob Lloyd

Best Director Comedy - David Tynan and Lisa MacGibbon

Best Production Comedy - Love/Sick


Best Youth Performer in a Drama - Katie Barley

Judges Award

Warrandyte Theatre Company is to receive the Judges Award for promoting creativity in their community and supporting local playwrights in their One Act Plays season.

Lisa Upson and Tony Clayton were both nominated for awards at other theatres.

Winners of the awards will be announced on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at a ceremony at the Karralyka Centre in Ringwood.

Repair Café News

As the year draws to a close, the Warrandyte Repair Café continues to thrive, and now holds a dear place in the hearts of locals. We now have over 17 fixers, and have recently expanded services to bookbinding and bicycle repairs. 

Our procedures are improving as well, as we seek to find the most efficient way to handle monthly requests of between 40-50 items each session. It has turned out that social media is especially effective in getting the message out there about our work, and for this we thank fixers Bernadette Walsh and Sue Reni.

Of further interest is a move to improve how we record the impact of our fixes. Some Repair Café’s actually weigh goods to quantify how much landfill has been saved, and there is a worldwide movement to make clear the environmental benefits of our work.

As part of this move, the Warrandyte Repair Café is now part of a broader group called The Australian Repair Network, which is run by Griffith University. (

In 2023, we hope to improve our data collection methods so that we can help lobby for policy changes to the ‘right to repair’, and to change sustainability attitudes and behaviours.

Pottery News

The Warrandyte Arts Expo kicked off in great style with a showcase of speeches, a photographic slide show, beautiful artworks, musical entertainment, and delicious refreshments to welcome the invited guests, at the opening evening reception. The beautiful weather over the weekend certainly helped boost the numbers of locals and visitors sampling the weekend’s activities, offered by the art community of Warrandyte.

The Marjorie Beecham Pottery Studio was abuzz with guests for the open studio session. The opportunity to make an artwork from clay, then glazed and fired by the potters, was very popular. Others were keen to see what was behind the big green doors of the beautiful historic building and have a chat about what happens inside.

Congratulations to Adrian and each of the combined groups who volunteered over the Expo weekend to offer great, creative arts activities and promote the WMI&AA.

Hall Maintenance Group

This is a shout out for new volunteers that would be interested in a maintenance group to help care for our Hall. 

Tasks would be general housekeeping. We employ a cleaner, but need volunteers to do all the extra jobs that often get overlooked; sweeping paths, gardening, dusting, painting, window washing etc. 

It takes an extra arm of volunteers to care for our historic hall and pottery building and any time donated is appreciated and flexible.

Please call Marion on 0408 395 299 if you would like to have a chat about maintaining our wonderful hall and studio.

The Termite Times

Like many buildings in Warrandyte, we’ve had termites attack the Hall in the past - and they were successfully treated. Suddenly, we’ve found more damage and commissioned a complete survey of the hall and the pottery studio. 

Unfortunately, the little blighters have been at it again!!

Fortunately though the damage at the hall seems cosmetic and no live termites were found. However, the Pottery was not so lucky, with a lot of damage, particularly to the staircase leading up stairs and to the joists under the kitchen. Live termites also seemed to be present.

Ben Sawyer (who runs the Zen Do Kai group on a Tuesday night) and our Secretary, Grant Purdy, kindly donated their time and energies to repairing the staircase on Melbourne Cup day (see picture of the finished work). The specialist termite company have also now installed baits in the pottery studio and are conducting monthly motoring around the hall and the studio. We hope in this way to eliminate the pests once and for all.

The good news is that our friends at Warrandyte Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) have kindly helped with a donation towards the treatment and monitoring costs.

Support from the Warrandyte Community Bank

The arts association has banked with the Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) since it first opened in Warrandyte.

Since then, the bank has been a wonderful supporter of our organisation and of many other community groups in the local area. As examples, we've recently received contributions towards the hall renovation, to allow us to buy a tower scaffold (and avoid wobbly ladders), to protect our electrical system and to install blackout blinds. They’ve also helped us recently with the termite management. All these contributions help enhance the services we offer our community and ensure our hall and pottery studio remain important community assets for many years to come.

Adrian Rice and Grant Purdy recently attended the bank’s Grants Presentation Evening and heard that, thanks to their customers, the Community Bank Warrandyte has returned a whopping $4.45 million dollars to the Warrandyte, Park Orchards and Wonga Park areas. Can you spot Adrian and Grant in the photo?

One of the most valuable things we can all do to ensure community organisations like ours continue to have their projects funded, is for us to talk to the bank about our banking. They provide the products and services of one of Australia’s biggest banks whilst committing to the wellbeing and prosperity of our community. Most importantly, each year they return to the community up to 80% of their profit to local projects through grants, sponsorships and donations.

A New Community Defibrillator

The association recently applied to the Community Bank Warrandyte (Bendigo Bank) for a defibrillator and it has just been installed next to the entrance to the hall. The unit is available for use in the hall or by anyone nearby, as its location can be seen clearly from Yarra Street. We will be writing to nearby businesses advising them the unit is there, for their use also.

We are very grateful that the bank has chosen this location for the unit and for its continued support to the community.

We were hit by a fatberg!

On opening night of the Follies, all the toilets were blocked and flooding the floors of all four rooms! Further investigation by Bunter and H2Pro plumbing discovered a root penetration of the sewer outlet pipe adjacent to the large spotted gum at the front of the property.

Although the root had only partly obstructed the pipe, it had been enough for waste materials including sanitary pads and wet-wipes to slowly build a dam (called a fatberg, see for more details), which eventually reduced outlet flow to a trickle.

The plumbers were able to pulverise the root and clear the blockage, but it is a timely reminder to all about what things should be flushed! For your viewing pleasure, we have included a before and after picture.

WMIAA Membership for 2023 

2023 Membership Fees can be paid via this link: from January 1, 2023.

Fees remain unchanged.

  • Single: $35
  • Family: $50
  • Pensioners and students: $25
  • Half yearly: $20

Thanks to all for your support of the Warrandyte Arts Association during 2022 and best wishes to you for a happy, healthy 2023.

Contact Noelene on 0400 861 133 or email