After a roller coaster year of pandemic changes and sporadic disruption, FY2022 proved to be an opportunity to rebuild, re-emerge, and revive the Centre. Thanks to a great team, dedicated board members, and a wonderful array of community partners—we continue on that track today while building a vision (and amazing new facilities) for our future.
Despite ongoing uncertainties and programming problems during the past year, our organisation managed to sustain operations and keep the doors open to over 20,000 visitors. We rescheduled postponed events, expanded our retail shop offerings, found creative programming partners, and increased our gallery sales and venue hire income. And in late 2021, we recruited and welcomed a new Chief Executive Officer, Eric Holowacz to take the helm. At the same time, our Board and team offered our immense thanks to Toni Coutts, for her time as Interim Chief Executive—and all the hard work she put into the Centre, people, and programming during a period of transition and uncertainty.
Last year also brought us to the final design phase of our Arts Trail expansion project—thanks to a major investment by the Northern Territory Government and work by Troppo Architects in Darwin. As we move into 2023, the team at Katherine Constructions is hard at work on our wonderful new amphitheatre, deck, administrative annex, and more.
To lay some operational groundwork for our physical expansion—made possible by a very generous strategic development grant from Arts NT—our organisation also undertook a number of capacity-building initiatives, operational research, and internal improvements in FY2022.
Following the previous major effort to develop our 2021-2025 Strategic Business Plan (guided by Helene George of Creative Economy), we engaged Katherine consultant Mim Favero to work with our Chief Executive and develop a portfolio of smaller initiatives and continuous improvement measures. That ongoing work touched on new digital systems and tools, enhanced visitor experience, a revised asset management plan, a review of governance processes, and intense planning for our future.
On the Board side, we said farewell to hard-working directors Jake Quinlivan, Naomi Hunter, and Sharon Hillen—and welcomed new Board Members Douglas Kelly and May Rosas as Dagoman Representatives, Brendan Pearce as Katherine Town Council Representative, and Toni Coutts and Siobhan Mackay as our new Community Representatives.
The past year has been about renewal—all of us working together to plan and build a bold and sustainable future. It is time to move on from the pandemic era—grateful for the growth and community support—and begin a bright new one for Godinymayin. As Chair, I am honoured to be working with all of you—the region’s artists and arts centres, civic leaders, creative partners—to ensure that we do that.
Robbie Friel, Chairman
Board of Directors
Katherine Regional Cultural Precinct