Melbourne Recital Centre is a vital gathering place for our city, where artists and audiences from all walks of life connect through the universal language of music. Embedded in our vision is our ongoing commitment to support and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and art.
We opened our doors to the public in 2009 with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy (Wurundjeri Elder of the Kulin Nation). Since our opening season, we have regularly presented and welcomed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians, such as Archie Roach, Frank Yamma and Emma Donovan.
Our premier performance space, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, pays respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songlines and land, through continuous lines carved into its native Australian wood panels. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories are also a focus of biennial festivals Yinga-bul and Yirramboi (City of Melbourne).
In 2019, the Centre welcomed William Barton as its artist-in-residence. William Barton opened the year with performances at the Centre’s 10th Birthday Gala, fundraising dinner and concert, returned for powerful collaborations with his friends and family, and shared his documentary,_ Kalkadunga Man_, with us.
In May 2019, Yorta Yorta woman Prof. Deborah Cheetham AO became one of the Centre’s first Life Members. A multi-talented artist and dear friend, Deborah has been instrumental in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music at the Centre, and in the creation of our Reconciliation Action Plan. I am delighted to add that the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, also confirmed the appointment of Deborah as a Board member for the Centre, effective from November 2019.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan ensures we will take steps to build on our strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and share their stories with our city.
By facilitating more opportunities to perform, participate and plan musical experiences at the Centre, we hope to play a meaningful part as advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, audiences and stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer