Avoca Chinese Gardens Small Town Transformation

Out of the fertile soil in Avoca a Chinese garden has been cultivated in the Old Sale Yards.

The town of Avoca has been awarded one of the $350,000 grants from Regional Arts Victoria Small Town Transformations. This is an unprecedented initiative to be offered by the Victorian Government and administrated and adjudicated by the team at Regional Arts Victoria.

Following an intensive application and shortlisting process, Regional Arts Victoria was thrilled to congratulate the five successful Small Town Transformations towns, who will each receive $350,000 for a significant artistic project with lasting legacy at their AGM on Saturday May 25, 2013. Regional Arts Victoria presents Small Town Transformations on behalf of the Victorian Government.

The Avoca Chinese Garden group was born out of a town consultation upon being made aware of the grants. A series of meetings were held and out of these meetings the idea of a Chinese Garden was organically planted by the group.

In an act of extraordinary generosity, the garden was offered a parcel of land in the town center with a view to the river. The land sits within historic sale-yards beside the first Chinese burial site but, covered with uprooted elms, currently contributes to the devastation of the site that is the community’s social Centre. This is a wonderful opportunity for Avoca to create a lasting project. The Chinese Garden, from its inception, will be the site of Avoca’s cultural activity with four seasonal ceremonies involving the local community and providing inspiration for further activities.

The project holds the potential to enrich our sense of place in a sustainable Chinese garden that will speak to our shared heritage with the Chinese people. It will create a lasting opportunity to host festivals, take tai chi classes or even quietly reflect. The goal of the project is to allow for transformation to occur through the minds and hearts of the town while offering a legacy and point of interest to our tourism sector and heritage.

The Avoca Chinese Garden Small Town Transformation will start to take form in the next few weeks with a completion date set by Regional Arts Victoria for Sept 2014.  The year will offer a chance for anyone wanting to participate to join in in a multitude of ways. 4 seasonal ceremonies will be held involving the local community and schools to name a few.

To become a Friend of the Avoca Chinese Garden Small Town Transformation please contact Lyndal Jones or Elizabeth Teal for information on all the opportunities to come and join in at avocachinesegarden@gmail.com. Press matters please contact Jennifer Ganske on 0498 055 686

The other winners of the RAV Small Towns Transformations who we extend our congrats to are:

  • The Quarry Ephitheatre – Dookie
  • The Verj – Natimuk
  • Neerim Bower: Inspired by Birds – Neerim South
  • Mallee Up In Lights  – Ouyen