Great people doing great things

Pat Thwaites, Bendigo Artists Inc with Maree Tonkin, Coordinator Arts and Culture, City of Greater Bendigo

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the launch of The Avenue Studios – a new artists collaborative working space in Bendigo. It was a thrill to see this great idea / passion of Bendigo Artists Inc realised.

Members of Bendigo Artists Inc saw the need to create a space that artists could use – individual studio space, a place to meet, a space for running workshops and sharing equipment and a place where ideas for collaboration could be created.

This vision was accelerated following an initiative run by Make a Change in 2015 called Outside the Square Creative Communities.  Drawing on inspiration from Pop Up Art, Creative Communities created buzz and raised awareness to the broader community about the creative talents in Bendigo. Stories were shared of different people pursuing different aspects of creativity and an event was held where creatives and supporters came together, shared their work, their visions, their needs.

It would be safe to say that Pat Thwaites, one of the drivers behind the Avenue Studios idea, came away completely inspired. That night he created a survey to gather interest and build momentum for the idea. He got 50 responses which was enough to keep them going.

Working with the City of Greater Bendigo, Bendigo Artists Inc started searching for a space to realise their vision.


In April 2016, Make a Change ran Let’s Nut it Out in Bendigo – a professional development workshop for changemakers to share their projects with their peers and receive advice from skill mentors, with the aim to nut out solutions, networks and ideas to create new momentum and overcome challenges.  

It’s the ripple effect that we so often see through our work:

Pat came to Let’s Nut it Out and met John from Matchworks. Pat wanted space, John was looking for initiatives for his work for the dole participants. John had space in need of utilisation.  Months of conversations, support and input from others, The Avenue Studios was born in the upstairs space of Matchworks.

Imagine, create, inspire is certainly the case for this great outcome!