STA 2021 Annual Report

Executive Director’s Report

2021 was a year of contrasts, a year where STA and our communities restarted many programs and events with optimism and a sense of hope only to have the pandemic continue throughout the year. A roller coaster of global proportions that no doubt we will look back on with a sense of confusing frustration. There were however still many positive outcomes…read more

President’s Report

The 2021 year started with a rebound from COVID.  We were all hopeful that the worst of it was over.  Australia was relatively COVID free and there was hope that life could return to normal.  Our optimism was short lived when we returned to lockdown conditions in June 2021….  read more

Treasurer’s Report

The year has seen STA responding to the worldwide challenge of the continuing pandemic, supporting the artistic efforts of individual members of the creative industries whose past livelihoods have not yet recovered… read more

This page is complimented by the printable 2021 Annual Report  – a double sided colour A3 that folds into a zine booklet. The video above shows you how. You can even print A4 if you want a smaller final booklet.

Alternatively you can request a printed copy be sent via post or pick up a copy from any STA Mobile Office.


The 2021 Annual report cover art was created by Jodie Monday One Nation, Many People, 2021. Commissioned from the Artist for use as the First Nations Acknowledgment that welcomes all visitors to the STA website.

Project Overview

More than 100 programs with 70+ organisations.  Check out some of our favourites below

Restart Funding
Southern Tablelands Arts received $130k Rescue and Restart stimulus funding from the NSW Government through Create NSW.  STA injected the funds directly into the creative communities of our six contributing councils. The STA Restart programs delivered direct financial benefit to creatives practitioners and cultural organisations producing a lasting legacy of content and systems with ongoing benefit. 

Creative South
Creative South gives locals and visitors a dynamic and engaging tool to uncover the hidden cultural treasures of the South. The website brings to life the vast and vibrant creativity of South Eastern NSW. Creative South is a joint project between Southern Tableland Arts and South East Arts, funded through CREATE NSW’s RESTART initiative with the aim of building cultural tourism.

STA Paparazzi
Formed in 2021 the STA Paparazzi are a group of enthusiastic volunteers that were trained by Hamish Temè. The group cover arts and cultural events across the STA region. STA curated and displayed The Captured Moment exhibition of images by the group at MENTAL Gallery in Bowral. Community organisations can request an STA Paparazzi to capture and promote arts events and programs.

STA Micro Grants – Just under $49k in micro grants to creative practitioners and community organisations to undertake cultural projects in 2021. An efficient way to support practitioners and community groups funding a wide range of projects. See the full list of recipients.

Top Spots
TheTop Spots festival is an ongoing  program of community led events. Top Spots events will surprise and delight with an electric range of performances, exhibitions, artisan markets, workshops, poetry readings and more.  Designed to restart and activate community spaces, each Top Spots event features locally determined community arts and cultural programs, many of which have been supported by the STA Top Spots grant program.

Champions of Change
Working with internationally acclaimed filmmaker Brian Rapsey for a series of filmmaking workshops to create a short environmental documentary for the Champions of Change Film Festival. The champions of Change film festival continues to develop stories focussed on the local landscape and environment in the Upper lachlan and Yass regions, working with local citizen scientists who have been regenerating the land, preserving and protecting native species and developing solutions to improve the land and ecology. Screenings in mid 2022. 

STA Kids
Our online portal for creative families now boasts more than 20 artist-led making activities and a growing list of creative
opportunities for children and families. Including a partnership with Goulburn Regional Art Gallery’s After School Art Class. STA also hosted workshops across the region in partnership with Library’s and community groups such as the Hilltops Youth Action Group, Goulburn Youth Council, Retford Park and the Vocal Muster.

Stories from the Studio
A weekly online program featuring a different artist or group every Friday evening. Stories from the Studio has grown to boast a large regular following and continues to build an online record of the creative sector in our region.

Creative Directory
A major feature of the new STA website launched in 2020 is the STA Creative Directory, a searchable database of creative practitioners across our six local government regions.

lluminate Wollondilly: Waste to Art Exhibition and Competition 
An exhibition of works created from materials that might otherwise go to landfill and part of Illuminate Wollondilly. The exhibition invites us to think differently about waste, litter and over consumption through creative thinking. Two workshops were also held prior to the exhibition. 

Virtual to Actual
The performing arts were hit hard by the shutdown and STA secured funds through the Regenerate Regional Event initiative through Create NSW to start a performance poetry program. We matched emerging poets Jacki Okot and Wynn Beard with a nationally established mentor, Andrew Galan to support them to deliver online poetry sessions for young people. The project will culminate in 2021 with performances at Jugiong Writers Festival and the Southern Highlands Writers Festival. Delivered in partnership with Eastern Riverina Arts.

The Country Arts Support Program (CASP)
Eight projects funded across the region, including the inspiring Journey Through Country, the story of Macquarie’s journey through the indigenous country surrounding Goulburn and professional development for community arts groups.

Bush Poetry
Unable to meet in person STA supported the Brush with Poetry series from Binalong also used the STA Zoom account to meet.

Connect @ Gunning Station

A new Arts and Cultural hub for the entire region. STA are working with Transport for NSW and the Gunning Community to activate the interior spaces at Gunning Train Station. Come to the open Day on May 28th. 

Share R Streets

STA in partnership with Upper Lachlan Council delivered an ambitious and innovative program of public artworks in Taralga. Includes major commissioned work by regional artists Al Phemister and Heidi McGeoch.

Culture State
The vast regions of NSW are thriving with arts and cultural experiences and Regional Arts Development Organisations (RADOs) are leading the way to connect the unique experiences and opportunities on offer for visitors and residents. Get on your bike, jump in the car, hop on a plane or put on your skates – there’s so much to explore and discover in regional NSW.

Dress Circle
Community theatre is the life blood of the performing arts in our region with healthy troupes in every one of the STA contributing council areas.
The Dress Circle is a regular collegial meeting for members of amateur and semi-professional theatres in the Southern Highlands and Tablelands.

Round the Mixing Desk in partnership with Luminous Entertainment. An invitation to all musicians and performing artists from around the STA region to join a monthly fun online meeting of musical minds hosted by Luminous Entertainment and supported by STA. Meet other artists and like minded people. Discuss album and EP launches. Talk collaboration opportunities and plan possible gigs

STA Creative Directory
A major feature of our website the STA Creative Directory in 2021 grew into a significant listing of creative practitioners
across our six local government regions.

SH Pop-Up Project More than 20 Artists open their Studio’s. An opportunity for you to meet the artist, enjoy their space and appreciate their work. Continuing in 2022.

Maisie’s Choir
Get together and sing in Yass with Heather Bullock. Maisie’s Choir is a dedicated group of venerable singers who meet and perform regularly.  Maisie’s Choir aims to improve health and reduce social isolation and is open to new members regardless of singing level or experience. Ongoing in 2022. 

Makers Commissions
Through the Restart funding STA was able to commission makers across the region. Including new cups from Win’s Creek Pottery and a Christmas Commission from Jodie Munday for the STA greeting card. STA Kids commissions– Over $10k of Restart funded the creation of 10 STA kids creative workshops. Some were delivered in person as restrictions eased others will be published over the next 12 months at the STA kids portal added to the self-led activities, art classes, holiday activities and things to explore around our region. 

The STA Gallery is a our dedicated digital display space where our visitors can experience diverse and inspiring exhibitions. The online program is curated to showcase the amazing works of art being produced across our region and the extraordinary Artists who create them. 

STA Community Bunting Project
Bunting is the perfect addition to any event, celebration or gathering. The STA Community Bunting project is a great way to turn your scrap fabric into a community resource. Once created the bunting will be available to STA members for events and celebrations.

Give-A-Little-Get-A-Little Merch Shop
Head over to the STA Give-A-Little-Get-A-Little merch shop at Redbubble. Look and feel great knowing that every purchase supports the arts across the Southern Highlands and Tablelands of NSW.  Local Artists – Unique Designs.

Professional Development for Artists in the region. More than 12 sessions for artists covering, getting started basics through to tax and insurance and so much more. 

STA Place
Explore the Southern Highlands and Tablelands rich public art and heritage. 

STA Music
Tons of tunes from talented locals. Check out the video clips and Spotify playlists. Use the STA Directory to find Regular Events for live music, open mic nights and festivals

100% Home Grown Artist of the Month
A partnership with Highland FM, MusicNSW and Southern Highland News features a local musical act every month with a live showcase gig every quarter at Bowral Bowling Club.

Waste to Art
An ongoing project of creative opportunities for our communities that demonstrates our commitment to the environment and waste reduction.

Waste to Art Exhibition & Competition. An exhibition as part of Illuminate Wollondilly. Two workshops were also held prior to the exhibition.

The STA Artist in Residence Program
In 2021 STA commenced the STA AiR program with funding from Create NSW. The project offered five residencies in partnership with five venues. 129 Submissions were received from across Australia resulting in six Artists working across five partner venues in all of our LGAs. The first residency was delivered in Yass Valley in December 2021 with the first iteration of the project set to be completed by August 2022.

Organisation Overview

Southern Tablelands Arts works with our members, makers & creative communities. Energising and supporting the living culture of the Southern Highlands & Tablelands of NSW through a program of activities and events. We support, create, educate and advocate for the arts in the region.

Our Councils are Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Hilltops Council, Upper Lachlan Shire, Wingecarribee Shire, Wollondilly Shire and Yass Valley Council. Queanbeyan Palerang Council are currently not contributing members. STA are part of the state wide Regional Arts NSW Network supported by Create NSW.

We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the lands where we create, live & work.

We are regularly in a town near you at one of our Mobile Office locations.

Funding Sources

Breakdown of Core Funding



[email protected]
0427 938 110 
Or by appointment at one of our
Mobile Office locations

PO Box 1323 Goulburn 2580
ABN 67 208 214 681

STA is a registered COVID safe business in NSW. We follow Covid safe guidelines.

We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the lands where we create, live & work. 

© Southern Tablelands Arts. All Rights Reserved

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