Australia’s best artists shortlisted for inaugural Footscray Art Prize

Just over 140 works from across Australia have been shortlisted for the inaugural Footscray Art Prize from more than 800 entries.
The Prize is a unique collaboration between Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council, Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Rotary Club of Footscray with prize money totalling $17,500.

In addition to the Main Prize, there are three other categories; the Street Art Prize sponsored by Cheaper Buy Miles, the Tertiary Art Prize sponsored by Footscray Plaza, and the Young Artists Prizes for entrants 13-17 years and 12 years and under sponsored by the Rotary Club of Footscray.

The judging panel comprises some of Australia’s premier artists and gallery curators: Jason Smith, Director of Geelong Gallery; Beverly Knight, Executive Director Alcaston Gallery; internationally acclaimed Australian artist Reko Rennie; and Richard Ennis, Curator of the Incinerator Gallery in Moonee Ponds.

The panel conducted a blind shortlisting to select the works spanning photography, video, paintings, sculpture and street art. In addition, creative producer Simon Spain will judge the Young Artists Prizes.

Judge Jason Smith said the panel were moved and inspired by the range of work submitted.

“The sheer volume, diversity and exceptional merit of artists’ submissions made the shortlisting process a challenging one, some of the works generated lively discussion! We were really struck by the artists’ images of, and connections to, community and their locality.

“There is a strong representation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, and as we did not have to consider any particular theme, each work had to speak for itself. 

“We were moved and inspired by many artists whose work strongly reflects identity and social diversity; the relentless change of our urban environment; celebration but loss of familiar places in the name of progress and expansion; and the sheer intensity of human experience in a volatile world. As judges we looked for works that were rich in ideas and technically excellent in execution.”

Entrants are as diverse as they are talented; including renowned Australian photographer Jeremy Blincoe, nationally accredited taxidermy artist Julia DeVille and Robert Fielding, an award-winning multidisciplinary artist working in Mimili, a remote Aboriginal community in South Australia.

New comer Mohsen Meysami’s work draws on his early life experiences in the Iraq-Iran war through intricate bead work, and local artist Jody Haines invites viewers to move past their own personal prejudices and meet the ‘other’ face to face.

The winners will be announced on 25 May at the opening of the exhibition showcase of the shortlisted artists.

The exhibition will be held at three locations throughout the local area: Footscray Community Arts Centre 26 May – 24 June (Main Prize), VU at MetroWest 26 May – 17 June (Tertiary Prize and Young Artists), and various street locations in central Footscray (Street Art Prize).  

The Footscray Art Prize has a total value of $17,500 - categories include the Main Prize ($10,000), the Street Art Prize ($5,000), Tertiary Art Prize ($1,500), and Young Artists Prizes for entrants 13-18 years ($500) and 12 years and under ($500).

For shorlisted works see


Angus' Message, 17 March 2016

Dear Rotarians and Friends

The long weekend was District’s 9800 Bendigo Conference weekend and if you didn’t make it, you missed some great speakers.

Julie Mason and her team are to be congratulated for putting on the event. The weather was beaut, the speakers as I said were outstanding and the venue, ‘The Ulumbarra Theatre Complex’, was superb. Thank you Julie, you can now slow down a notch or three and enjoy the next final three months of your Presidency with the conference now behind you.

Our very own Allan Warrener did a magnificent job at the break-out session demonstrating and speaking about his research and practice on ‘Peak Performance Enjoyment & Wellbeing’. We sold a number of books at the Conference, however, it was a pity that Allan did not address the full house of 900 delegates as I thought would be the case. As a result we did not sell as many books as Allan had hoped. I am so proud of Allan’s presentation and the way he had his audience spellbound.

Next year’s Conference will be at Shepparton.

The major future Rotary Project now that polio has been conquered will be water and the provision of clean drinkable water. A wonderful challenge in view of the never ending expansion of the human population and the demands made on our precious water resources.

On the Monday following the Conference, as our Club’s attendees made their way back to Melbourne, a detour was taken to Fryerstown to Graeme and Joy Thompson’s little bush retreat for a delicious lunch. It was a lovely gesture by Graeme and Joy and was very much appreciated by all.

In conversations with our President Elect, Elia, I think we will be seeing some watershed ideas being put to the members, but I will leave the glory to Elia when he takes my baton.

Have a great week.

Kind Regards,
Angus Scott-Walker President
Rotary Club of Footscray

Angus' Message, 10 March 2016

Greetings Rotarians and Friends

A great week we had... and another great week ahead.

On Thursday evening, our guest speaker, Past President Peter McGrath, enlightened us with his very interesting Rotary past. I could imagine him as Rotary Jungle Jim, with his machete hacking through the jungle with one hundred native women following him with their sheets of corrugated iron on their heads, whilst he lead them into a more opportune lifestyle. I can only imagine a colourbond ad with that scenario! How about one of the local females giving his red beard a tug because she had never seen red hair before!

Rotary has given Peter opportunities and travel experiences that have enriched his life. Much of what once was and what was achieved by our Rotarians, is nowadays so much more dangerous to do. I feel sorry for the nationals who miss out on this humanitarian aid. Thanks Peter for sharing your experiences with us all.

Back to now. On Sunday Ron Hunt, Jama Farah, Kevin Field, Suzanne Zammit, Graeme Thompson and myself acquainted ourselves with sausage cooking and business enterprises. We met at the Doug Mills Reserve to cater for the Walk West Charity Walk/Run Event. Whilst we did sell a few sausages, we would have liked to see more for the time and effort everyone put in, especially the fund raising guru Ron, and I know how much extra work is involved in the preparation. Ron you are a gift to the World.

News is out that the Victorian University Art Show is to be rescheduled to next year – Our Club’s 80th birthday year, as this year’s schedule date clashes with the Newport Substation Art Show.

We are just days away from our Bendigo Conference. Allan Warnerer is all hyped up to give his talk to the flock and if we can sell enough of his books, we will be filling our cash reserves up.

Julie Mason and her team have put so much time and work into giving us a great Conference this weekend. Thank you Julie and your helpers.

Finally next week’s Board Meeting is being postponed until the following Monday the 21st March as the 14th is a public holiday.

Enjoy the week ahead and hug someone you love every day.

Angus Scott-Walker President
Rotary Club of Footscray

Angus' Message, 2 March 2016

Dear Rotarians and Friends,

Last Thursday, we enjoyed the company of Moges Wosen and his Ozet Film Production on the Vice of Drugs, Alco- hol and Domestic Violence. We enjoyed a ‘teaser’ of the film which whet our appetites on these evils, which are quite common in our society.

While we have people on the planet, we will always have problems of some sort. The final 8% of the film has to be completed but requires further funding. I will be looking forward to seeing this film on completion. It’s great to see our new migrants working hard to forge a career in filming or whatever they put their minds to.

Also last week, our Cluster Group was active on Sunday, at the Moonee Valley Festival, selling sausages, with the aim of building up a war chest for funding some of the projects that have been initiated. I delivered our Footscray mobile BBQ on Saturday and retrieved it on Sunday; it has been of invaluable assistance for these occasions. It was great catching up with some of our fellow Rotarians.

On Saturday, Rodney had the Bike Giveaway Day and that was also a success. There is no better achievement in a youngster’s life than mastering the art of balancing on a bike, then getting the gift of a bike. The beautiful smiles on their faces says it all.

The program for the Bendigo Conference is out and it looks great. I am looking forward to spending more time with the Club Secretary that weekend and on the Monday will be enjoying a BBQ at Past President Graeme Thompson’s rural retreat at Fryerstown.

On the new member front, we have an application from Greg Lagamba to join the Club. Greg will be an outstanding addition to the Club. He has his own business in textiles, supplying cloth to companies who supply corporate clients including school uniforms, police and army uniforms etc.

With a bit more hard work and focus we can build the club membership up and ensure our future. This week’s speaker, at our evening meeting, will be none other than Past President Peter McGrath, who will be reflecting on his time with Rotary and his thoughts of what this organisation must do to remain relevant and thrive. It should be very interesting to hear what he has to say.

Have a great week.

Angus Scott-Walker President 2015-2016

Angus' Message, 25 February 2016

Greetings Rotarians and Friends

It’s been another busy week and a very successful one. I am very pleased with the growing attendance at our evening meetings. The quality of the speakers is excellent and I have to acknowledge Philip Caruso for his drive and enthusiasm in finding these guests. Last Thursday’s speaker was Walter Ibbs and he informed us about his role as a mediator in Family Law. The question and answer session was excellent. I feel that evening meetings are more relaxing than lunch-time ones as work for the day has finished.

We also welcomed Tony Le into our Footscray Rotary family and I believe he will be an excellent asset to the Club.

This Thursday Jama has organised a friend of his from the film industry to present a film he has just produced. I believe it is a great heart starter.

Closer to home, Wal McCulloch’s wife, Elaine, was admitted to Intensive Care last week but on Friday she was transferred out and to date is making a good recovery. We are hoping for the best result and I have spoken to Wal to convey my thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery for Elaine. I know the whole Club is thinking of you Wal and Elaine.

On Friday afternoon I paid a visit to Bill Hogg at Andmillan House. It just about brought tears to my eyes to see a once very proud man now a shadow of himself, surrounded by people who just exist in body only waiting for father time to call them away. He appreciated me coming and I gave him our bulletin with his column in it.

Finally, Bronwyn Stephens from the Rotary Club of Melbourne South, has been nominated as District Governor for the 2018-2019 Rotary year. I have spoken to her offering our Club’s congratulations.

Have a great week.

Your President Angus Scott-Walker 2015-2016