Goolwa 2012

Kumuwuki Regional Arts Australia Kumuwuki / Big Wave, the eighth Regional Arts Australia National Conference, was held from 18-21 October 2012 in Goolwa, South Australia.

The four-day event was attended by 544 delegates, and featured seven keynote speakers, eight sub-programs, 31 panel discussions, 16 workshops, three VideoWrx screens showing a total of 40 short films, two 20/360 sessions including a total of 24 six-minute presentations based on the PechaKucha model, 15 performances and 13 exhibitions across 28 venues.

There were 46 presenters involved in the Kumuwuki / Big Wave program with a national and/or international reputation. The program included presenters and artists from regional areas in each state and the NT. The program offered 24 panel presentations that provided the opportunity for discussion and exchange between delegates and presenters.

Kumuwuki /Big Wave is a survey of the nation’s latest regional arts practice and thinking, informing us of where we are now and indicating signposts to the future. This October you’ll swap stories, exchange ideas, and re-energise your thoughts alongside the opportunity to experience some of the nation’s best work from regional artists, organisations and communities.

One of the highlights of the conference was plenary address by Ngarrindjeri elder Tom Trevorrow. Tom passed away at age 58 years on 18 April 2013. At this time he was Manager of Camp Coorong, a centre for cross-cultural learning in South Australia. Tom was Chairperson of the Ngarrindjeri Heritage Committee and a long- term advocate for restoring the health of the Murray and Darling Rivers. He was a determined and dedicated teacher and mentor to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike, generous in his sharing of knowledge and culture.

To listen to this address on sound cloud, click here.

Steve Mayhew - Artistic Director

Steve has worked extensively in the arts over the past eighteen years since graduating as a theatre director from the Drama Centre at Flinders University South Australia.

Steve began working as a freelance theatre director in the early nineties with community and youth orientated arts companies such as Urban Myth and Junction Theatre. Then over a period of eight years he took lead managerial roles as Artistic Director of Riverland Youth Theatre (1996 - 1998), Manager, Artistic Programs of Junction Theatre (1998 - 2000) and General Manager for Brink Productions (2001 – 2004).

In 2005 Steve returned to freelancing and covered broad territory as Creative Producer for the 2005 and 2006 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Special Events Program Coordinator for the Adelaide Fringe 2006. He was the recipient of the Australia Council’s 2005 Camden Head Community Cultural Development Residency and in 2006 he spent three months at the Hong Kong Fringe Club on an Asialink residency. He returned to the Hong Kong Fringe Club in 2008 to guest curate their Australia On Stage program. In 2009 Steve directed the installation performance work 'Bedroom Dancing' for Restless Dance Theatre inclusion in that year’s Come Out Festival program. The work won the 2010 National Dance Award for best Community / Youth Dance project.

Since 1996 Steve’s work in regional areas of South Australia has been broad and long-lasting. Combine this with his extensive work across the spectrum of the arts in management, the development of new theatre based works as a director, writer, designer, composer, dramaturg and creative producer Steve is often sought as an outside eye / dramaturg for self-devised multi art form works and mentor for new and developing artists. Since 1999 Steve has had the pleasure of an occasional creative and ongoing advisory relationship with performance company The Border Project and its director Sam Haren.

Previously Steve has sat on funding advisory panels for Carclew Youth Arts and Arts SA he is currently a board member for Restless Dance Theatre and he participated in the Leadership Institute of SA’s 2010 Governor Leadership Foundation Program. Steve currently sits on the Theatre Board for the Australia Council for the Arts.

He is currently Creative Producer, Regional Performance Development and Presentation at Country Arts SA developing contemporary professional performance in regional South Australia and has commissioned new works featuring regional artists for touring and festivals across the state and is the Artistic Director of the 2012 National Regional Arts Conference and Festival to be held in Goolwa, South Australia.



In conjunction with the Alexandrina Council and Country Arts SA’s Just Add Water Regional Centre of Culture Program, Back to Back’s fabulous travelling community video installation ‘The Democratic Set’ was made earlier in the year by the company and members of the Goolwa community. Ukulele players, a Jenga tower tumbles along with a couple of real life snakes appeared in this wonderful and mesmerizing portrait of the town.

To see the Democratic Set (Goolwa), click here


Seven live art works were connected by a bike ride across the town over four concurrent sessions. It was part of a unique long term investigation and experimentation by live arts organisation Punctum and Country Arts SA bringing together 10 artists from across Australia to explore live arts and civic engagement in regional settings.

Participants and delegates borrowed bicycle from ‘Coriolis Central’, Goolwa’s Old Police Station, to experience live art situated around Goolwa. It’s also where the artists collected and archived the experiences and thoughts of the participants and delegates of their freewheeling adventure upon their return.

To see the Coriolis Effect, click here.


The feel good hit of the performance program ‘I Met Goolwa’ gently took aspects of a week-long residency in Goolwa by the artists and created a live performance that was touching, joyous, intricate in its simplicity and life affirming. Theatre makers Tessa Leong and Emma Beech with visual artist James Dodd ask the people of Goolwa 'What makes your day worth it?’ And they, as The Australian Bureau of Worthiness, used some low-fi technology and their highly honed skills to connect the responses to map how our perspectives ultimately bind us, and how the place we choose to live and work in impacts upon our day and sense of worthiness.

To see the Australia Bureau of Worthiness, click here.

Regional Arts Australia acknowledges the traditional Custodians of land throughout Australia and we pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.