Celebrating your generous support
Many Convent supporters gathered in The Store at the Convent for an evening of celebration in August. This annual Thank You event is very important because without you – our supporters – we could not undertake the ongoing significant task of restoring, maintaining and activating this precious precinct that means so much to the community. Saved by the community for the community, this place needs you, and we appreciate you.
There were so many highlights of the event. We all enjoyed seeing each other and catching up, engaging with the exhibition DisGraceland by The Huxleys – who also made a delightful surprise appearance, hearing form our CEO Collette Brennan about so many impressive Convent achievements over the past year and, for many of you, meeting our new Board Chair, Gillian Franklin for the first time.
At this event, Gillian Franklin, who joined the Abbotsford Convent Board in February 2023, said: “There are so many who have come before me, and I want to take a moment to thank the visionary individuals who helped save the Convent, many of whom are with us this evening. A place of this scale, complexity, and impact, needs as many supporters as possible, and we warmly welcome you to our very special community.”
Regarding our donor community Gillian noted that: “What I have found particularly inspiring are the hundreds of individuals and families who give to the Convent’s two annual community fundraising appeals, and for this, we are extremely grateful. From lead gifts and matching challenges to monthly donations, every gift makes a difference to the everyday workings of this unique place.”
Gillian thanked our many supporters and donors: “It is because of you that we received more than $580,000 in donations and grants in the past financial year, which is so necessary to ensure the Convent remains a beloved and meaningful place for our community.”
With this incredible support from our funding partners, we have been able to present high-quality, curated programming including our Convent Kids, Convent Made, and Convent Live programs; begun works on restoring the historic Cork Oak Path; and critical preservation works across our Heritage-listed precinct, which you can read about further in this newsletter.
“We simply cannot do what we do without the philanthropy and support of people like you. We hope you can feel our deep appreciation.”
Convent supporters over the past year include:
The Federal Government’s:
- Creative Australia and Australian Heritage Grants.
The Victorian Government’s:
- Department of Jobs, Precincts, and Regions, and Creative Victoria.
- The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Australian Communities Foundation.
Pro and low-bono support, from:
- Allen’s Linklaters (legal partner).
- Colour Factory (printing and framing partner).
- dbg Projects (construction and fit-out partner).
- Ellis Jones (strategy, communications, and design partner).
- Williams Boag Architects.
Together we achieve remarkable things
As many of you know, our events partners are vital to our ongoing viability, activation, and community connection. So, we were delighted to treat our guests to food, wine and cocktails from Regional Farmers Market regulars New Order Events and Bellarine Distillers, alongside wine from the Wine and Vine Festival’s Susuro Wines.
ACF CEO, Collette Brennan, said: “We hope you can feel our deep appreciation, as we all generously gather in this stunning place, featuring the work of incredibly innovative artists, as we eat and drink delicious food from our partners! With this inspired combination of people, place, and programs, we have and will continue to achieve remarkable things.”
The Supporter Thank You was held on 17 August in The Store featuring the DisGraceland exhibition by the Huxleys.