The Con and Gleniffer Brae

Update 29/8/18 - A note from the CEO

Help keep the Con next to the Botanic Gardens.

On ABC Radio last week, I said I was disappointed that Council’s Botanic Garden Masterplan did not specifically include the Con as part of the future, referring to the Con as “TBD”. The Lord Mayor was interviewed afterwards and said he’ll be interested in the Community’s feedback.

The public feedback closes Monday 3 September.

It can take just a few minutes (depending on how much you wish to say!)

The Con has been at Gleniffer Brae for 38 years! (Since 1980!)

Right now, around 1,400 people come each week to Gleniffer Brae because of the Con. Some of those people continue on to visit the Botanic Gardens for morning tea or lunch after their music class, and some go straight home. With improved amenity and better integration with the Botanic Garden, the Con's contribution to the vision of Council’s Botanic Garden Masterplan can be further improved.

The red brick buildings may not be great but they are our home, and the home of tens of thousands of students over those 38 years. A new multi-storey building to replace the red brick buildings is great and we want to be a part of that and work with Council in that process when the time comes. We also currently use part of the beautiful heritage Manor House but we are happy to talk with Council regarding an alternate use if required.

Please let Council know that the Con is important to the Community and must be included in their broad Botanic Gardens Masterplan.

Newsletter 24/8/18

Wollongong City Council have released a draft Wollongong Botanic Garden Masterplan for public exhibition and community feedback. The document outlines a long-range vision for the entire precinct including Gleniffer Brae. We attended a presentation from WCC Officers and the Consultants engaged to undertake the Masterplan. The Masterplan itself is a very comprehensive and broad document but our attention quickly focused on Gleniffer Brae.
 
At that presentation there was general discussion concerning the eventual removal of the older red brick school buildings and replacing them with a potential new building, described as possibly ‘multi storey, multi purpose and encompassing the Con’. This appears on the current Draft Masterplan as “Potential Function Centre”.
 
The Con currently has a lease at Gleniffer Brae until July 2023. We will be striving and working with Council to make the Con’s future in the above potential new building a firm reality. The Con has a long and proud history at Gleniffer Brae and as a leading arts organisation, and a major contributor to the arts and culture of the community, has a natural belonging in this area of the Botanic Gardens precinct dedicated to heritage and arts.
 
We would greatly appreciate if you could please take a moment to answer Council’s two-question survey about the draft Wollongong Botanic Garden Masterplan and let Council know that you support and want to see the Con’s future secured at Gleniffer Brae.

Additional information about our programs and contribution to the Illawarra can be found here.