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  • Project: The Pavilion Project
  • Amount: $15,000
  • Year(s) Funded: 2019

A new social, civic and artistic space builds social cohesion in Central Victoria

The Pavilion Project offers a fresh approach to engagement, social cohesion, and employment pathways in regional settings. A mobile ‘Pavilion’, owned and managed by the community, will be installed in Bendigo’s public parks in Summer 2020, connecting members of the South Sudanese, Karen and Hazara communities with the greater community, artists and audiences. It provides for a new artistic and architectural response to how we might collectively welcome and celebrate the cultural contribution of young and older newly arrived communities.

Inside the Bendigo Art Gallery, local creators from diverse communities work together on the decorative designs which will be laser cut into the walls of the Pavilion. Photo: Diana Domonkos.

“I think it’s important to be a part of this project, to be well connected for my own personal growth and to bring out the creative talent that’s running through me. Being creative brings me such happiness.”
Hyra, local creator.

Developed as a creative response to the Bendigo anti-mosque movement, the Pavilion Project seeks to to enable members of the Hazara, South Sudanese and Karen communities to engage with established Bendigo and Castlemaine communities in positive ways, bridging cultural divides through story-telling, shared knowledge and access to local cultural institutions.


  • The Pavilion will invite dialogue and knowledge-sharing, and is designed as a safe, neutral community space for discussion, discourse and artistic expression.
  • The project aims to celebrate and profile Hazara, South Sudanese and Karen community members making artistic and cultural contributions, and will initiate exchange and understanding between members of these communities, traditional cultural institutions, and members of the greater public.
  • The program of performances, rehearsals, Pavilion events, conversation themes and events will be developed and crafted over the two-year project period with young and older members of the newly arrived communities.
  • The Pavilion itself will be a unique structure for public gatherings, in the form of a round, flat pack, lockable and ventilated space, able to be moved and set up in different locations. Modelled on the prototype for Punctum’s Cooling House, the decorative laser cut-out patterns on the walls will be designed by local creators from the communities involved.