Performing Arts Centre Official Opening



  Tony Russell was the Chairperson of the PAC Committee and acted as MC for the Opening Evening.
This is a shortened version of the history of the Performing Arts Centre that he presented during the night.



Dr Dennis Jensen - Federal Member for Tangney, Hon Tony McRae MLA - Member for Riverton, Ms Pam Moss - District Director Fremantle Peel District representing the Department of Education and Training,  Ladies and Gentlemen.


Tonight is not about the building but rather tonight is about the people !!!  Over the years the Parents and Citizens Association has a rich history of providing funding for special projects such as the air conditioning and computers at Banksia Park Primary School.


I am proud to say you have raised over $320 000 for this project - including Government Grants.  Over this time this project has involved

6 Principals, 4 Treasurers, 5 P&C Presidents and a host of other people who have donated their time and effort.


I was recently reminded that this project actually began in 1996 when Peter Sweeney was the P&C President.  At that time there was a big meeting with over 60 parents in attendance.  The group was evenly split between two factions – those supporting the band and those supporting sporting endeavours.  There was a lot of unrest but $10 000 ended up in a discretionary account which was then held for the school for some time when Bob Bader was the Principal.  Eventually, this money was used for the air conditioning project.


In 1999 Toni Young, the then Band Coordinator, put forward a recommendation that consideration be given to the development of a Performing Arts Centre and that this be placed on the Agenda for the 2000 Fundraising Committee.


In 2000 the major goal for the P&C became the Multi-Purpose Building (as it was then known) after it received overwhelming support from the P&C and the staff.  At the next P&C Meeting Shane Knapp Moved (Seconded by Helen Stout) that 50% of all fundraising be set aside for this purpose.  Patricia and Eric Crispler were our first benefactors with a donation of $200.  During that year the staff donated the lapathon money, we sent sunblock home as a fundraiser, sold phyto bears and Karen Calway sent home toothbrushes as a fundraiser.  We were on our way !!!


On 16 August 2000 Clive Pascoe (the then Principal) organized a tour of 6 schools in one day to view similar constructions.  We fell in love with design we saw at Beaumaris Primary School but there was ongoing debate about the toilets and entry.


In 2001 a Committee of 17 was formed and Phil Johnson produced a Gant Chart and indicated we could raise $80 000 and build this thing in 9 months.  We received more great donations from the Melville Glades Golf Club, the O’Connor family, the Judd Family, Michelle Cook and Mike Board.  As a result we now had $20 000 in the bank.  A Parent Survey was distributed and the overwhelming result was that the P&C was not to incur any debt with this financing of the project.


There was significant progress when Kerry Bell’s hard work and dedication paid off and in December 2001 we received ATO Tax Deductible status.  A Voluntary Levy Motion was moved by Rob Stout and we started accepting tax deductible donations.


In November 2001 a Sundowner was held to celebrate the completion of the roller doors and the exit doors on the Covered assembly Area. We had completed the first stage and thought we were fantastic!


In April 2002 the Multi Purpose Building Committee began planning for a “shell of a building” as we are told the full cost estimate was still $80 000.  Phil Johnson made a submission to Ronnie Hirst and the Melville City Council Financial Committee and a delegation of 10 people descended on them to yield $5 000.  Lisa Faulds continued with her discos and by July we had $27 000 in the bank.  A Garage sale gave us $3 000, the Lapathon contributed $4 000 and Christmas wrapping another $1 500.


Unfortunately, the cost to build now goes up.  In six months it had escalated from $80 000 for the whole thing to $105 000 for just a shell.


In 2003 there were still 17 still working hard members of the Committee.  Cathy Faithful and Jenny Barone worked on a project to get the advertising Brochure and CD out to Corporate groups and local businesses to highlight our need for donations.  We now had $38 000 in the bank and the staff again donated the Lapathon money and Suzanne Knuiman’s shopping dockets pulled in $1 000.  Bill Avery’s support continued with his can collection.  Neil Collette’s advice on the electrical was accepted and the plan put out for requoting.  The project now comes in at $170 000 for the shell only!


In November 2003, at the suggestion of John Ipsen, a “Summit” was held and there were many suggestions such as dropping the toilets and building a stage only.  But the result was to “Keep aiming high - Keep fundraising” and have a Monster Auction next year.


In 2004 John Ipsen, a man of vision, was elected P&C President.  In February there was a report about the excision of Crown land in Olsen Court to fund the project but this was dropped.  Kim Lewis was elected as Events Coordinator and Jenni Barone got the Monster Auction under way with a series of fantastic brochures.  Colleen Bentley was a keen contributor and Peter Faulds nearly lost his job for storing junk for months at his factory’s mezzanine.  The Monster Auction was held on the 31 October and was a success in every way. It was a major event that was run like clockwork.  The scone sales people, Pedersens stage that we used for the Talent Quest, the bands played and all of the teachers ran stalls with the parents.  Over $15 000 was raised.  We purchased the very generous $1000 Tiling Voucher at the auction from Gary Tucker which then assisted us with the completion of the toilets last month.


During that year Dawn Gibson wrote an article in The West Australia outlining our difficulties and we received $200 from Agnew Gold Mines.  Rhonda Russell and Sam Tranchita’s wine drives started and since then over $5 000 has been raised on clean skins.  We now we had over $85 000 in the bank.


In 2005 we received a $50 000 Capital Works Grant from the State Government and we had $135 000 - All of a sudden we can sense that we are getting closer!  The project is tendered again with the help of Gordon Roe at InfraServe and this time we are given a price of $169 000 for a shell only and $291 000 for the completed product.  This time we thought we had to “go for it” so we approved the Tender with Dalcon Constructions and we were ready for a start.  The shell only is contracted and Pat Pinkus (the then Principal) was involved in the first turning of the soil along with Tony McRae, John Ipsen and myself.


During that year the Federal Government announced its Investing in Our Schools Program and we put together our submission because, at last, we were applying for something that seemed to line up with the criteria.  We applied for the full $150 000 possible and hoped !


Fiona Forbes was the then Principal and in the last term of 2005 after many delays the site works started and the first concrete footings were poured the week before Christmas.  What was a 20 week estimate for completion has now turned into 54 weeks.


On 23 February 2006 we received the Investing in Our Schools letter confirming we have received the $150 000 we needed to complete the project.  With help from Gordon Roe the tender was altered and we looked forward to full construction.  By May we were desperately seeking a roof for the Quiz Night and Martin Humphreys (the new Principal) did all in his power to see it in place for a fantastic night.  Special thanks to Martin as by this stage he had become the building's "site manager" and key liaison person / negotiator with Dalcon (the builders) and InfraServe (the project manager). We had not received the $150 000 from the Federal Government and in June Martin “bent the rules” and assisted with progress payments to ensure the flow of work.  We eventually received the Grant money but it was so difficult to get a commitment for a completion date and sometimes 3 or 4 weeks would go by with out any building progress.


By August progress was very slow as the building boom continued.  However, we continued to plan and in August the Fit Out Committee convened for the first time.  We only had $9 000 left but with donations and hard work we able to complete the building to its current level.  A special thank you to Titus Sievright for the timber floor, Gary Tucker for the tiling, Vi Saffer for the landscaping design, Kree and Pete Jones for the grasstrees, Mark Turner for the brickpaving, Robert Hirst for great carpet price, Craig and Sue Edwards for the security door, Tiles Expo and 89 Enterprises who had looked after us with the rollerdoors and the recent modifications.


This evening’s Gala Opening has been fantastic but took much time and effort to plan, organize and action.  Thank you to the Committee (Cathy Faithful, Sonita Cutfield, Tracy Johnson, Ester Johnstone and Rhonda Russell) and to those who helped in any way to make this such a fantastic Opening Event.


Finally, so many people have contributed to this project over so many years and I thank each and every one of you.  This is a story which had to be told and I know that I have been speaking for far too long.  Finally, I sincerely apologise if I have missed anybody in my brief history of the Performing Arts Centre.


Well  -  That’s it……..$320 000 raised and spent…..…..It’s finished…..…Enjoy…..


Our community can be justly proud !!!!!.


Tony Russell

PAC Chairperson