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The Concourse would not be the remarkable facility it is without the support of our patrons, The Hon Robert J L Hawke AC, Australian rock icon Angry Anderson AM, renowned arts practitioner and author Renée Goossens, distinguished soprano Yvonne Kenny, internationally acknowledged Australian poet Les Murray and one of Australia’s most successful authors Matthew Reilly.
The Hon Robert J L Hawke AC (1929-2019)
The Hon Robert J L Hawke AC, Australian Prime Minister from March 1983 until December 1991 and Willoughby resident, said encouraging the growth of centres around Sydney through learning and the arts was a cause to be passionate about.
“As Patron for this ambitious project, I believe The Concourse will be a catalyst for supporting a vibrant commercial centre for Sydney – while also fostering a stronger sense of local community.”
Angry Anderson AM, Rock Icon
Australian rock icon Angry Anderson AM fronted the legendary Australian rock band, Rose Tattoo. Angry has established himself as a campaigner on social issues and has become an advocate and role model for the youth of today. In 1993 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his work with youth. As a father of four, Angry is thrilled at the opportunities The Concourse will provide for young people.
“Music is here to save our souls and can help young people find direction. Our community, our young people, will come to The Concourse to make music. They will be able to develop their skills, to create, to write, to express their ideas and their passions and to perform on the same stage as internationally renowned artists.”
Renée Goossens, Author and Arts Practitioner
Renée Goossens is an arts practitioner and author. During her extraordinary life she has been a teacher, medical researcher, community worker, lecturer, translator, language coach to many opera singers, family therapist, counsellor, administrator, editor and author.
A member of the Willoughby City Council Access Committee, her community work as a volunteer and adviser regarding access issues has not only been invaluable, but also very practical for our project.
“Built with the love and respect for a multi cultural community, this cultural and entertainment centre stimulates growth, fosters talent and excellence in performance and literature for generations to come. Accessible to all, it offers acoustical perfection and a variety of venues. It also offers the largest library in New South Wales”.
Yvonne Kenny AM, Soprano
Yvonne Kenny is one of the most distinguished sopranos of her generation. Born in Sydney, she went to London and made her operatic debut in 1975. Ms Kenny was made a Member of the Order of Australia for Services to Music in 1989, and in 1999 was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Sydney.
Now living in London, Ms Kenny has fond memories of growing up in Northbridge and Willoughby, and performing with Chatswood’s Willoughby Musical Society. She often returns to Sydney, and is thrilled an arts and cultural centre is a focus of building a ‘heart and soul’ for the North Shore in Chatswood.
“My journey as a singer began as a teenager performing in the old Willoughby Town Hall. Those early beginnings were the seed of an international career – my love of performing began there. I think it is brilliant that Willoughby City Council is taking this opportunity to really invest in the future of its children. I look forward to performing in The Concourse myself.”
More information on Yvonne Kenny can be found here.
Les Murray AO, Poet
Les Murray, internationally acknowledged as Australia’s leading poet, has been a prolific local voice for more than 40 years. Celebrated nationally and around the world, Murray’s long list of achievements include the prestigious TS Eliot Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry, and both the NSW and Victorian Premier’s Awards. A Willoughby City resident for 14 years, and long time Willoughby City Library patron, Mr Murray is honoured to serve as a patron for The Concourse.
“As a supporter and user of the Willoughby Library, I am greatly impressed by the increased size of the new library, and the breadth and quality of the additional arts and cultural facilities. Listening to descriptions of private study rooms, meeting rooms, state-of-the-art IT facilities and lovely sunny and shaded spaces for quiet reading, it sounds to me as though the new library will be a great match for the many enthusiastic visitors it receives.”
More information on Les Murray is available here.
Matthew Reilly, Author
Matthew Reilly was born in 1974 in Sydney. He started writing Contest while attending university, and finished it in 1994 at only 19 years of age.
Matthew earned degrees in both Arts and Law. During this time, he repeatedly tried to have Contest noticed by one of the major publishing houses in Sydney, but every one rejected his manuscript. Matthew published the book himself – creating 1,000 copies at $8 each.
One of Australia’s most successful young authors, Matthew Reilly researched his international bestseller Ice Station at Chatswood Library.
“For any writer, it all starts at your local library. Chatswood Library on The Concourse offers the next generation of Willoughby-born writers an opportunity to work in a marvellous state-of-the-art facility – right on their own door step.”
More information on Matthew Reilly is available here.
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The Concourse is an initiative of Willoughby City Council and proudly managed by Century Venues.
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