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ACF20 Open Day


Saturday 27 April

10am — 6pm


Kloster Abbotsford


FREE event.
Our gift to the community.


Saturday 27 April

10am — 6pm


Kloster Abbotsford


FREE event.
Our gift to the community.

27 April
10am – 6pm 

This is a FREE event. Our gift to the community.

Join us as we celebrate 20 years since the Abbotsford Convent Coalition was handed the keys to the Convent by the Victorian Government, and work began to transform it into the thriving precinct it is today. The Community Open Day invites all community members to join us as we fill the precinct to the brim with life, featuring an array of arts and cultural experiences in many wonderous forms.

Open Day Program Map hier.

Convent Kids Open Day Program hier. 

Open Studios map hier.




Dandrogyny at the Convent
Front Gate
10 – 1pm  

Light up your day with the neon dream machine that is DANDROGYNY as they bring joy, safety, love, light and laughter to our Open Day celebrations. Kick off celebrations at the front gate, with DANDROGYNY welcoming revelers and playfully guiding audiences to their destinations. 


Social History Tours
Starts at Info Hub
10am and 2pm (90 mins each) 

Join our passionate guides and discover the diverse history of the Abbotsford Convent. Explore hidden pockets of our heritage precinct.


Architecture Tour
Starts at Info Hub
1pm (45 mins) 

Convent tenant and architect Rema O’Neill takes you on a fascinating tour of the National Heritage Listed Convent Buildings and surroundings.


Open Studios Tour
Starts at Info Hub

Take a peek inside the studios of the Convent’s tenant community and be inspired by a rich tapestry of creatives, artists and wellbeing specialists.  
OR grab a map and explore our makers’ studios for yourself. 


Silent Disco Walking Tour
Guru Dudu 
Starts at Info Hub
12 – 3pm (Choose from 6 x 25min sessions) 

Get funky with Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour and be a part of spontaneous flash mobs, interpretative dance, group singing and lots of fun interactions! 


Weaving Architecture
by Slow Art Collective
Providence Lawn 

Take part in a family-friendly interactive art installation inviting you to weave and explore your sensory expression. Think environmental sustainability, material ethics, DIY culture and collaboration. 






3MBS Music Fair
Community Room  

Browse a treasure trove of CDs, vinyl records, sheet music and DVDs covering classical, jazz, pop, rock and more!   


Pagan Angels Choir
Linen Room and Convent Courtyard
11am – 12pm  

Travel through the Convent with Sue Johnson and the Pagan Angels, who have rehearsed at the Convent every week for over a decade. Follow their lead as they roam our spaces filling them with a joyous set of dusky songs, agnostic anthems, revelry and spirit. 


Art Workshops
 Linen Room  

10am Painting Workshop with Rick Matear
Brush up on your painting skills with award-winning artist and Convent tenant, Rick Matear. All ages and skill levels welcome!  

11.30am  Drawing Workshop with Eureka
Get creative in this inclusive family-friendly visual art session with queer artist, activist and Convent tenant Eureka.  

1pm  Life Drawing Workshop with Jean Luc
Merge life drawing with a homage to cinema and pop culture in a family friendly, body-positive life drawing workshop based on Alice in Wonderland with Convent regular Jean Luc.  

2.30pm  Paper Art Workshop with Custard Creative
Bring your friends and get dressed up for our Birthday Banquet! Get crafty with Convent friend Custard Creative’s Madi Van der List, at this playful paper design workshop.    


Convent Made Pop-Up
Salon and Mural Hall 

Shop original products with genuine stories, made by artists based here at Abbotsford Convent. A showcase of beautiful ceramics, bespoke fashion and jewellery, fabulous homewares, visual art and literature.  


Bohemian Nights
by The Boite
Convent Courtyard
12pm – 3pm 

Delight in a duet performance curated by Convent tenant, The Boite.  Featuring Ernie Gruner (Violin, mandolin, vocals) and Phil Carroll (accordion, vocals, ney), this soulful range of Gypsy, European jazz and tango will stir your feet and uplift your heart.  


Collect Exhibition
St Heliers Gallery 

Be inspired by the works of Tenant artists and friends of the Convent who have created eclectic artworks through a diverse range of mediums responding to the word ‘Collect’.   Exhibiting artists include Elizabeth Barnett, David Booth, Kat Chadwick, Hamish Freeman, Georgia Janetzki, Kim Lam, Ellie Malin, Klarissa Pfisterer, Danie Pout, Cat Rabbit, Jess Racklyleft, Shelley Steer and Anna Walker.   


Make a Story
with Anna Walker
St Heliers Gallery
2pm – 3pm 

Jump into a picture book workshop with Convent illustrator Anna Walker as she brings to life the world of her delightful tiny characters.  Submit your Interest.


ANAM Cohort Recital
Convent Building Level 1 
12 – 12:45pm, 1:45 – 2:30pm 

Relax, be inspired, and unwind from the outside world! Enjoy the majesty of the main Convent Building with performances, featuring musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).   


Marking the Movement – an archival journey
Abbotsford Convent x Catlin Langford
Der Laden  

Be captivated by this exhibition celebrating the power of community turning vision into action.  An uplifting reminder of how far we have come in the past 20 years, the momentum we have gained and a glimpse into what tomorrow holds for our beloved Convent. Don’t forget to leave your mark!  


with Leisa Shelton
The Store Forecourt  

Share your story about Abbotsford Convent, have it scribed by artists, added to the exhibition, and collected to become part of the Convent’s growing community archive.   


FM Air
by Jo Lloyd
Starts at The Store Forecourt
2pm – 3.45pm 

Follow a mesmerising dance performance by award-winning dance artist and Convent tenant, Jo Lloyd, with dancers, Rachel Wisby and Thomas Woodman, as they explore proximity and movement across the Convent. 




Garden Tour
Starts at Info Hub
11am (45 minutes)  

Meet some of our oldest friends: the Convent’s trees and plants. Get to know the stories behind the Heritage Gardens with our knowledgeable, green thumbed guides Sophie Cunningham (Convent tenant, writer, talker and teacher) and Leonie Wray (Convent team).


Story Making:
Wurundjeri and Polyglot
Heritage Gardens
10.30am – 3pm   

Children and their families are invited to join Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Land Council and Polyglot Theatre for an immersive celebration of the Wurundjeri Creation Story. Meet Bunjil and Waa, and experience the story through spoken word, natural materials and play. Together, we will make our own creations to fill the space.

10.30am – 12pm:  Story Making Workshop   
12.30pm:  Creation Story  featuring Uncle Bill Nicholson Jr.     
12.45pm- 3pm:  Story Making Workshop


Wurundjeri Welcome to Country
with Uncle Bill Nicholson Jr
Heritage Gardens

Participate in a powerful Smoking Ceremony on the Heritage Lawn with beloved Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Bill Nicholson Jr.  


Picnic on the Lawn
Heritage Gardens 

Grab a rug and fuel up on a variety of cuisines from some of our favourite Regional Farmers Market food trucks as you enjoy the beautiful Heritage Gardens. 





ANAM Cohort Recital
Rosina Auditorium
11am – 3pm 

Drop into a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into the day-to-day working of the musicians at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). You’ll experience 66 musicians playing instruments from across the orchestra. Stay for as little or as long as you like.   


Bellarine Distillery Gin Bar
Rosina Courtyard
12pm – 6pm 

Sample a delicious Tarty Ted gin and tonic, distilled by our friends on the Bellarine Peninsula.   





The Mavin System
by Pierre Proske

Immerse yourself in the future of art, sound and light. An innovative audio-visual installation from the cutting-edge media artist and Convent’s own Pierre Proske.   


The Magdalen Display
Wäscherei Magdalena 

Be inspired by this fashion showcase of local ateliers, directed by Convent tenant, Jack Hancock, of The System with pop-ups curated by Veils of Cirrus featuring a soundscape by Jannah Quill. (Please note this event contains nudity.) 


PopUP Tearoom Series: proximiTEA
mit Yumi Umiumare and Taka Takiguchi 滝口貴
12pm – 4pm (Break 1.30pm – 2.30pm) 

Take part in a performance and installation featuring classical and contemporary Japanese tea ceremonies. Sit down with Yumi and Taka as they invoke the Japanese notion of ‘ma’ or ‘active pause’ and serve you a bowl of ‘proximiTEA’ through intimate and playful rituals. 


Pagan Angels Choir
Sacred Heart Courtyard to Industrial school
1pm – 2pm
(See above for details)  


Complete Works Theatre
Sacred Heart Courtyard to Industrial school
1pm – 2pm
(See above for details)  





Wax’O Paradiso Live DJ Set
Mercator Lawn
4pm – 6pm  

Get your groove on at this splendid live krautback discotheque with kitsch Australian psychedelia enthusiasts Edd Fisher and Simon TK. Who better to bring our Open Day to a close! 


Bar and Food
Vollyspot and Friends
Mercator Lawn
12pm – 6pm 

Have a bevvy, barbie and boogie with our friends at the Vollyspot bar!   




Proudly presented by Abbotsford Convent.
This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and the City of Yarra.