I rise to congratulate all associated with the hugely successful SheppARTon Festival, now in its 20th year.
Shepparton-born writer and satirist Anson Cameron was the keynote speaker at the festival’s opening night, which the Minister for Creative Industries attended.
I asked the parliamentary library to find out when an arts minister last visited Shepparton, but they could not find any record of such a visit, so I thank Minister Foley for making the trip.
On the opening weekend Opera in the Orchard was sold out, with huge crowds also reported at the family-friendly Aussie Art Class and the virtual forest. The Shepparton Theatre Arts Group’s 10 in Ten performances sold out, and a zombie walk organised by youth group Word and Mouth attracted more than 500 people. This year the festival has been organised by a professional, Ros Abercrombie, in a position funded by the Victorian government. She has elevated the festival to new heights, engaged the whole community and opened up new locations for events across the greater Shepparton district. I hope the government recognises the importance of this role and continues to fund it.