The Artful Dodger — August 2023

From the Chair

Amendment to the August Dodger

Below, in the August edition of the Dodger you were invited to a forum in the hall in October. This was to discuss the options and priorities for improvements to our buildings.

However, as you might be aware, in January next year we are planning to replace the current hall roof support system and also install a new lighting grid. Early in 2024, and subject to obtaining funding, we will also start repairing termite damage in the Pottery Studio. And before all that, we have to undertake work to prune, and in some cases, remove dangerous trees around our site.

Because of the number of major and urgent pieces of work taking place over the next 12 months, the WMIAA Executive has decided it would be prudent to postpone this forum until sometime next year.

In the meantime, if any member or friend of the Association would like to provide their thoughts on priorities for longer-term improvements to our community-owned facilities, please email me at:

Kind regards,

Bruce Turner

Invitation to Members

Warrandyte Arts Members and Friends’ Forum
Planning for the Future of our Facilities

The Mechanics’ Institute Hall has been the focus of artistic activities in Warrandyte since it was built in 1928. This activity has flourished since the formation of the Warrandyte Arts Association in 1956 and includes the Warrandyte Community Pottery which was established at the old fire station in 1981. The incorporated association, WMIAA, was born in 1986 and has been improving the facilities and promoting community and artistic endeavours in Warrandyte ever since.

With the centenary of the Mechanics Institute Hall approaching, and on the back of significant successes in gaining funding for works to maintain and improve our facilities, it is timely to ‘take stock’ and consider the priorities for further work to improve access to, and use of these by the community over the next three to five years.

All interested members (past and present) and friends of the Association are invited to a forum to:

  • Celebrate our successes to date in gaining support for vital works, and for activities of benefit to members and the wider community
  • Look at further needs and challenges we face and share our aspirations for the future of the hall, pottery and surrounds
  • Have input to deciding the priorities for further work

The forum will be held at the hall on Thursday October 19, 2023
Time: 6.45 for 7 till 9pm

Members are encouraged to invite friends who are interested in the maintenance and use of these precious community facilities.

To ensure adequate seating and refreshments, drinks and nibbles will be provided,


Note above — the Forum has subsequently been postponed to a date in 2024, to be announced

Any queries, please feel free to contact Bruce Turner, WMIAA Chair at: or 0413 626124.

We look forward to your input!

Changes to Family Membership

The present way we record family members, and the membership fee we charge, is about to change. The current way that family members are recorded by WMIAA, and the way the membership fee is applied, is inconsistent and does not allow us to comply with our legal obligations.


  • We do not record the necessary names, addresses and contact information on family members – as required by law.
  • There is only one membership fee that includes family members ($50) with no limit to the number of family members this covers
  • There is no definition of a ‘family member’, which can be cousins, aunties and uncles etc.
  • Some family members may belong to groups other than that of the primary member, but it is not possible to record this
  • In some cases, we are not provided with the names of family members.

The changes will involve:

  • Allowing us to fulfill our legal obligations, full contact details will need to be provided for each family member, including the name of the primary member, the group they belong to or a default of ‘Friend of the WMIAA’.
  • Family membership will be based on the primary member paying the full, single membership (currently $35) and additional members of that person’s family paying a nominal amount of $10 per person. There will be no limit to the number of members in any family.
  • The family members of Life Members (who do not pay a subscription) and who wish to become members, can register and will pay only $10 per person.

This will all be implemented through TryBooking

Because membership fees were set at the AGM earlier this year and as we wish the new arrangements to apply from January 1, 2024, we need to hold a short Special General Meeting (SGM) to vote on the following resolution:

That WMIAA will charge a membership fee of $10 for each family member, in addition to the membership fee payable by a primary member. This change will apply to all family membership applications made from January 1, 2024.

The SGM will be held on Zoom, at 7.30pm on Monday, September 18. Papers and proxy forms (for those who cannot attend), together with the Zoom login details were emailed to all members in mid-August.

Grant Purdy - Secretary
Noelene Cooper - Membership Coordinator

Theatre News

Sadly, due to work commitments, Lisa MacGibbon has had to step down as Chair of the Warrandyte Theatre Committee. I have taken up the reins as Committee Convenor. I will do my very best to fulfil the big boots of Lisa and Adrian.

Feel free to contact me, Lou Phelan, at

The committee has developed a vision statement that will guide our meetings and communication:

The Warrandyte Theatre Committee (WTC) is guided by the principles of respect, consultative decision-making, and inclusivity. We prioritise treating each member with dignity and consideration, valuing their input and perspectives through collaborative discussions, and ensuring an open and welcoming space where everyone's voices are heard and embraced. Through these core values, we aim to create a vibrant and inclusive theatrical community that celebrates diversity and nurtures creativity.

Theatre Workshops

WTC hosted two theatre training workshops, funded with thanks, by a grant from Manningham City Council. 

July 10: Ten people from various theatre communities attended the directing workshop facilitated by Susan Rundle. The participants learnt about:

  • Selecting and proposing scripts to direct 
  • Director’s vision - for the play set, lighting, sound, costumes, props
  • Role of the Director versus Coordinator
  • Setting up your rehearsal schedule 
  • Holding auditions and casting
  • Rehearsals and working with actors.
  • Production meetings and working with the crew and theatre company.
  • Technical rehearsal, dress rehearsals to Opening Night

July 29: Emma Wood instructed eight participants from the local community on the technical foundations of play writing. She shared what we can learn from other play writers, discussed the business end of publishing your play and performance royalties and rights. We did a practical activity at the end where we each wrote and shared a two minute sketch from a writing prompt and everyone's scripts received a good laugh.

Thanks to the WTC committee for organising the facilitators and the afternoon teas that were provided.

Show News

A Quirky Trio

Three short plays with actors playing multiple roles.

Tickets are now available – spread the news!

Cast list:

Lou Phelan, Michelle Reeves, Simone Kiefer, Pablo Robert, Mason Frost and Danielle Care

A Hit and Miss Christmas written and directed by Emma Wood

The Hit and Miss Theatre Company is in need of a good Christmas show. Bums on seats, festive cheer, moral fable. A Christmas Carol! Tick. Except there’s a new artistic director in town with new ideas, and Dickens has been done every decade in living memory. The heart and soul of the company is up for grabs as the battle wages between tried and true vs daring and new.

The Last Quiz on Earth

(Season 1, 2024)

Auditions to be held at the Mechanics’ Hall

  • 7.30pm, Thursday. November 23, 2023
  • 2.30pm, Saturday, November 25, 2023

Author: Alison Carr. Director: Bob Bramble.


More comedy than drama! The audience and actors engage in a pub trivia night, and it’s your last ever opportunity to win anything! An asteroid is earth bound, its impact imminent and nothing can prevent the collision. What better way to spend your last hour in this world than down the pub with friends, a drink and a trivia quiz.

  • Kathy Forties – Fifties pub landlady
  • Rav Twenties – barman and quiz master
  • Bobby Forties – Fifties, Kathy’s brother
  • Fran Twenties – Rav’s childhood sweetheart

All characters require British accents.

Pottery News

As many will know, in 2022 termite damage was detected in some of the wooden elements of the pottery building. A subsequent survey by Specialist Termite Control (STC) revealed the damage was extensive and involved some important elements of the structure. WMIAA self-funded some urgent repairs and commissioned STC to conduct a baiting and monitoring program, this has now led to the elimination of live termites.

WMIAA is now faced with a substantial project to repair the termite damage and has just submitted an application to the Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) to help it fund this work.

An important part of our submission to the bank is our marketing plan, this describes how we will respect our partnership with the bank. As members will know, the Community Bank has been exceptionally generous over the last couple of years and it’s important we recognise that relationship and the considerable contributions they make to the Warrandyte Community.

Our marketing plan includes, in addition to the normal ways we recognise and promote the Community Bank, an imaginative proposal for the pottery studio to create many ‘tiny doors’ for use around Warrandyte.

Brisbane and Launceston have recently started creating and installing ‘tiny doors’ throughout their cities. These have proved effective in attracting tourists and specialist tours are available in both places.

We believe our ‘tiny doors’ would benefit Warrandyte by attracting visitors and illustrating the history of buildings in the town.

The pottery team has risen to the challenge and have produced four prototype doors that we included in the submission to the bank, as shown below. One in particular, portrays the façade of the original Bendigo Bank in Bendigo and can be seen against the front of the Warrandyte Bendigo Bank.

Our intention is to include a QR code on each door that will lead to the home page of the Community Bank.

Pottery representatives: Alison Beanland and Annie Kennedy

Introduction to Life Drawing Sunday

Thanks to the Manningham Arts Grant, Life Drawing classes offered a free Sunday session of two and a half hours with tutor Emmy Mavroidis. Emmy covered the basic principles of life drawing with the 13 participants, as well as supplying materials and the model. The session covered short charcoal sketches capturing the model’s form, extending into longer poses focusing on shape and direction. Emmy showed us different techniques to draw the form quickly, producing comprehensive drawings with her ongoing encouragement. For many first timers the feedback from the session was great. Participants thought it was fun and challenging with an amazing teacher. Everyone loved the opportunity ‘to have a go’. I think an understanding of the intense concentration required was experienced, also how meditative an escape life drawing can be. Hopefully some will be encouraged to join us on a Friday. So thank you Manningham Council and thank you to those who participated. It made it a lovely session to be involved in.           

Contact Marion on:  0408 395 299 if you would like to join our Friday group.

Out and About

Tony Clayton is appearing in Malvern Theatre Company's next show, The Third Act, running from August 25 to September 9. Directed by Susan Rundle, this Emma Wood play is the story of Sue, a woman who is forced to cope with a very different future from the one she imagined.

Montsalvat 2024 Performing Arts Program

The Expressions of Interest are now open for the 2024 Performing Arts Program, and are welcomed from professional musicians, performers and ensembles across all musical genres including classical, folk, jazz, opera, who would like to present a concert at Montsalvat.

Submissions close Sunday 10 September 2023, 11.59pm.

Please visit our website to find out more and complete the form to submit your expression of interest.

If you have any questions please contact or phone (03) 9439 7712.


Question: Have they survived?
Answer: Yes and No

Being in a bush fire area is a problem. In fact many records were lost in the 1961 fire, which is why it’s important to safeguard what we do have. We actually have quite a bit of information concerning the earlier stages of WMI, before the current hall was built, WAA which started in 1955, and the amalgamated WMIAA, dating from 1986.

Currently we have boxes of stuff in various locations, and a fair bit of duplication. Quite a bit is already digitised, although some of the older newsletters are printed on foolscap size, which makes doing this awkward. Some records are on DVDs, but even these become outdated, and can we really rely on the cloud?  Above all we don’t have a systematic approach to what we keep and how we keep it.

At the August full committee meeting, we formed a task group of five members to address all this and on Saturday, October 28, we will begin the process with a special day at the hall bringing together everything we have, to sort and rationalise it, do some chucking out and making a lot of decisions on where to from there. Hopefully when the bulk of it is digitised and stored in multiple forms, we can concentrate some material that might require ready access, in a fire-proof safe at the hall.

While working on all of this, it’s worth remembering that 2028 will see the 100th birthday of our current hall - surely an event to celebrate big time - and for this numerous displays of various kinds will be needed.

Please contact Pat Anderson (0488 173 490) if you would like to be involved in this project. The more the merrier.

Thank you Adam

After the Matilda’s exciting win over Denmark to advance to the quarter finals in the FIFA Womens’ World Cup, Adam decided to show the match against France, live on the big screen, at the hall. What a great idea to share the excitement with a group of locals.

John and I went along with some friends, a couple of bottles and some nice cheeses. We were able to enjoy the event with 20 or so others. Admittedly, there were moments when the internet threatened to deprive us of critical action – something we wouldn’t have had on tele at home, but how much more fun to share the squeals (Simone and others), sharp intakes of breath etc., and the camaraderie of other people, as the match extended nil all to the end of 15 minutes extra time each way.

Even the penalty shoot out was a nail-biter.

I hope others enjoyed the match elsewhere as much as we did.

A big thank you to Adam for the inspiration.

Pat Anderson

WMIAA Membership for 2023

Subscriptions are paid by clicking this link:

Just click on ‘Book Now’.

If you have any membership queries, please contact Noelene on 0400 861 133 or