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Strathdon Community Art Exhibition

Home > Melbourne > Galleries | Exhibitions | Community Events | Community Centres | Art
by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Event: -
Meet the artists, see their art & take one home with pride
Matheson Family Strathdon Property - Photo Tricia Ziemer
Matheson Family Strathdon Property - Photo Tricia Ziemer


If you live in the area of South East Melbourne, you may be familiar with the name of the Matheson Family and their Strathdon property. It is a long legacy which I will speak about later in this article. But of more importance is the Strathdon Aged Care Centre, managed by the Uniting AgeWell branch of the Uniting Church, who proudly continue using this historical name.

Strathdon Aged Care Centre - Photo by Tricia Ziemer
Strathdon Aged Care Centre - Photo by Tricia Ziemer


This facility is a wonderful care facility that is dedicated to helping the ageing and their families with ongoing care and rehabilitation programs. And a big part of this is in house care as well as in your own home care.

Rare Off Lead Dark Park in Vermont South - Photo Tricia Ziemer
Rare Off Lead Dark Park in Vermont South - Photo Tricia Ziemer


The original historical home of the Mathesons is a small cottage that still resides just a few blocks from this centre on the remaining Strathdon property. You can easily stroll past the cottage off Davies Lane, and then stroll to the Strathdon Centre at 17 Jolimont Road, Forest Hill.

Strathdon 13th Annual Art Exhibition - Photo Tricia Ziemer
Strathdon 13th Annual Art Exhibition - Photo Tricia Ziemer


And this centre continues to make history with an annual Art Show which is in its 13th year and is a key event in Melbourne. Basically, Strathdon is renowned for their art shows. So you don't want to miss this next one that runs from April 14 to April 17, 2016.

Key Art Exhibition in Melbourne
Key Art Exhibition in Melbourne - Courtesy of Strathdon


Event coordinator Madelin McGrath says, "We are excited to have Lorraine Wigraft and Zhong Hua Fan as this year's guests artists, who are both accomplished and award-winning artists".

Lorraine has been drawing and painting for more than 50 years. From my liking that is truly refined expertise. Lorraine reflects, "Art is like good medicine and has helped me cope through traumatic experiences in my life".

Exceptional Art with a difference - Courtesy of Strathdon
Exceptional Art with a difference - Courtesy of Strathdon


Meet the artist - Courtesy of Strathdon
Meet the artist - Courtesy of Strathdon


I have it from Madelin, that artist Hua Fan discovered his love of painting as a child in Inner Mongolia, where he painted still life, portraits and the vast landscapes of his home country. He believes the Strathdon Community Art Exhibition is a wonderful place to be challenged and inspired. He states, "It not only raises money for the community's senior lifestyle program, but will provide me with valuable feedback from the art industry and help me improve my style," he said. And he is looking forward to the Grand Opening.

The exhibition will kick off with an Opening Night Cocktail Party on Thursday, April 14 with live jazz entertainment, canape's and drinks. All art will be judged by the renowned artist, Christine Cafarella-Pearce, as a welcome guest. And Winners of the Exhibition's awards will also be announced at this Gala Event.

Artwork will be judged and winners announced at the Grand Opening Event - Courtesy Strathdon
Artwork will be judged and winners announced at the Grand Opening Event - Courtesy Strathdon


As to the Strathdon name and its history, according to local council, "Jack Frankhauser cleared eight hectares of virgin bush in the early 1890s to build a home for himself and his family. The homestead was built of brick and timber and surrounded by fruit trees. In 1914, Charles Matheson, a master mariner, purchased the house and land and named it 'Strathdon' after a ship on which he sailed as an apprentice. The Matheson family worked this land until 1988." Now "Strathdon" is the only orchard remaining in the City of Whitehorse. The original cottage still stands today in one of the few "off lead" dog walking parks in the area with its windmill overhead. It also is home to the local cricket players, the EFL, and the dog training society. It is lovely to stroll past the cottage to see it at least from the outside.

Old World Charm at Strathdon - Photo Tricia Ziemer
Old World Charm at Strathdon - Photo Tricia Ziemer


I spoke personally to his daughter a few times on strolls in that park and she told me, " My father sold the cottage to the local council with the land to be restored, and when my father passed away he left all the antiques inside, in his will, to the local council for the cottage to be opened to the public for all to enjoy." This has not happened to date. The antiques were stored away by the council. His daughter continued to plead with council to honour her father's wishes and to have the cottage opened and used and returned into its former glory. Her father and she wanted it to become a wonderful historical place to be visited and enjoyed by everyone. She has since passed away as well. But still the cottage sits with its outbuildings closed and empty.

Rumors abound in the area, that it will be turned into a gathering place for the community. Hope runs eternal. It has so much potential to be a community centre, a local cafe, or U3A hub. And there is finally hope in sight. Recently the Whitehorse Council did a feasibility study and survey and found most people wanted it as a Arts/Crafts hub, meeting/training room facility or cafe. It may be extended to include outdoor toilets, BBQ facilities and historical walks might be held. Too late for the Matheson Family but wonderful for the rest of us.

Original Windmill on the Property - Photo Tricia Ziemer
Original Windmill on the Property - Photo Tricia Ziemer


It would be so lovely if in the future the Strathdon Annual Art show could be held in the Strathdon Cottage. Now, that would be nirvana.

Easy to find, just follow the signs
Easy to find, just follow the signs - Photo Tricia Ziemer


But I digress, what is of more importance is to put April 14, 2016 in your diary and have a wonderful stroll past the cottage through the park to this outstanding Annual Art Show. Just follow the sounds of the Jazz. And bring your debit card, as all artworks are available for purchase.
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Why? You love art exhibitions of local talent and this is one the best in Melbourne every year
When: 14 April to the 17th of April 2016
Where: Strathdon Community
Cost: $8
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