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The History of our Centre

The Beaudesert Community Arts & Information Centre was the vision of a few and the dream of a community. The Beaudesert Potters were looking for a home and approached the Town Councillor who suggested that an information centre incorporating local arts and crafts could be built using funds available from the Queensland Arts Council. A public meeting held at the then Beaudesert Shire Hall in 1993 was called and overwhelming support was shown for the project, including strong support from major community organisations like Quota and Lions to name but two. The Centre was opened in November 1995 and has now been operating 7 days a week, 363 days a year, for over 18 years, with many of the inaugural members and management committee still playing active roles within the association.

For the first five years the Centre was funded entirely from the sales of arts and crafts and membership subscriptions, it was a struggle in those early years. With visitor numbers to the Centre continuing to increase, on February 19th, 2002, the Centre became an accredited information centre, proudly displaying the yellow 'i' logo. Gaining accreditation also opened up opportunities for
the Centre's further growth and development.

From its first days various community and tourism groups have enjoyed the use of the facilities available at the Centre and visitors have enjoyed the gallery, tea gardens and monthly market fests. Over the years the Centre has seen a little colourful controversy as it continued to grow from strength to strength. However, it is and always has been a treasured facility and organisation, built, owned and operated by the local community.

Recently the Centre has undergone some major renovation and expansion and so for the immediate future there are plans to consolidate this growth and cultivate the opportunities these redevelopments have opened up for the local community and visitors to town.

The Arts & Information Centre in the Community

Beaudesert Community Arts and Information Centre provides a local meeting place for various community organisations and arts/crafts group. The meeting room is specifically designed as a suitable work room for arts/crafts group and has been recently renovated to upgrade the kitchen space and include a small cooking area. Regular groups that meet in the work room are provided with storage space in the store room and a lock up cupboard/drawer in the kitchen area of the work room.

The Centre supports local arts and crafts people, including specialty food producers, by providing a gallery space for the display of work for sale to visitors. Many of our volunteers are sourced from among the local arts and crafts people. The Centre also supports local arts and crafts people, specialty food producers, and others through the facilitation of a monthly market held in the adjacent parkland. This market has flow on effects for tourism, especially restaurants, as it draws many visitors from other regions in the south-east.

The Centre's tea garden not only provides a place of rest for visitors but also provides an alternative meeting place for the local community, just out of the bustling main town centre.

With a strong commitment to local business, Beaudesert Community Arts & Information Centre chooses local suppliers before other suppliers when considering purchases. Our Devonshire teas proudly feature locally produced scones from a local bakery. We stock a number of food products produced locally, for example Rathlogan Olive Oil.

We proudly support our local tourism operators by housing a large collection of information on local attractions, activities and other operations. Many of our volunteers have personally experienced the local tourism products and so can offer firsthand information to visitors to the Centre. We encourage these local businesses to become involved with the Centre to enhance the relationship between the Visitor Information Centre, tourism operators and visitors.

Acknowledgements

The Beaudesert Community Arts & Information Centre would like to acknowledge the tireless commitment and drive of the late Don Franklin OAM (President 1993-2013), in establishing, developing and promoting the Centre over the last 20 years. He provided a firm foundation on which to further develop and promote the Centre and shall be sadly missed by all.

The Committee of Management would like to acknowledge the dedication and support of our wonderful volunteers, past and present, without whom none of this would have been possible.

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