Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published September 15th 2013
A place for meeting, creating and exhibiting
The Conservatory Cafe
Situated on the land of the Wurrundjeri people, this beautiful five acre historic property in Croydon boasts Tudor style buildings and a glass conservatory. Originally built by Hector Turner in 1884, the son of William Turner Croydon's European founder, this property has changed hands many times since. It has been owned by the Catholic Church and named Our Lady of the Scared Heart in 1961.
In the seventies Wyreena was going to be bulldozed until the Victorian State Government purchased the convent for $360,000 to create the Wyreena Community Arts Centre. Twenty years later the Conservatory Café was opened.
Now the Wyreena Community Arts Centre is a hive of arts and cultural experiences and activities, and a meeting place. The café, with indoor and outdoor dining, is in an ideal position in the gardens to admire the outdoor art and to keep an eye on the children on the playground. If they have time to eat, the kid's menu is very reasonably priced. It includes nuggets or fish and chips and a fruit juice drink for seven dollars.
The Conservatory Café has multi function possibilities. As well as light meals they cater for parties, weddings, engagements, twenty first and cocktail parties. They can cater for 62 inside and 59 outside and offer affordable packages. I imagine the locals would frequent this café and make good use of the coffee loyalty card (buy seven get one free).
For over fifty years the Croydon school of dance has operated at Wyreena. They offer evening and Saturday classes for all age groups, for example, in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip-hop and Stretching.
The Melbourne University School of Philosophy present twelve week evening lectures and Radio Eastern FM 98.1 broadcast from Wyreena 24 hours day, 7 days a week.
Once a month on a Friday night the Wyreena hosts a musical event featuring Victorian artists. Artists include Bohemian Nights ,Tracey Roberts (singer/songwriter) and Nick Charles (singer/guitarist). The event is located in the Conservatory Café that is fully licensed. The cost is $28 per person and includes supper and entertainment. Bookings are essential.
Visual artists can also display and sell their works at low cost with no commission. This supports local craft people. In October the painting and pottery exhibition is entitled Fifty shades of paper and clay. In November and December the Wyreena Gallery will become a marketplace for handmade artworks entitled Christmas Gift Exhibition.
And wait there's more… Wyreena Community Arts Centre has an extensive range of art courses for adult and children from five yrs old and provides disability programs. These are offered during term and the school holidays. Some examples include: painting, pottery, drawing, sculpture, and crochet. mosaics, mixed media, basket making, yoga, Tai Ch'i/Qi.
For information on their unique school holiday program click here Prices are around $26 per session including materials.
I love this place, it's perfect on a hot summer's day first thing in the morning as the playground is mostly in shade from the huge trees. Mostly fenced off too, so you don't have to worry about the kids running onto the road.