Mike Board

Mike Board

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Richard Court

Richard Court

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    Swan Bells to benefit young Western Australians

    16/11/2000 1:25 PM
     
    16/11/00


      Creating opportunities for young Western Australian musicians and performing artists will be one of the key roles of a new non-profit foundation established to manage the operation of Western Australia’s Millennium Project, the Swan Bells.

      Premier Richard Court has released details of the Swan Bells Foundation, saying the new body will ensure that surplus funds which flow from people visiting the unique landmark are used to foster the education and advancement of youth in the fields of music and performing arts.

      “The Swan Bells has the potential to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Perth and the State Government believes it is important that funds raised are channelled back into the community,” Mr Court said.

      “This exciting initiative will particularly benefit people from the regions, as the Foundation will have to apply at least 30 per cent of its surplus monies to assisting youth from regional WA in pursuing opportunities in the performing arts.

      “The Swan Bells are themselves a musical instrument, so it is very appropriate that the proceeds which the project generates are put into music and performing arts education.”

      The Swan Bells Foundation will report to the Minister for the Arts, who is also responsible for nominating the body’s chairman, and three of its nine members.

      Arts Minister Mike Board said the foundation’s assistance for youth music and performing arts groups would be a most welcome addition to the State Government’s already significant support for young people and the arts.

      “It is wonderful to see that the creation of this tourism icon and most impressive musical instrument will also lead to a direct benefit for young musicians and performing artists,” Mr Board said.

      The 18 bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields are the largest set of change ringing bells in the world. They include 12 bells from one of London’s most famous churches, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and have a rich history - having been first cast in the 14th century.

      These bells, which were gifted to the people of Perth to commemorate the Australian Bicentennial, had rung out to celebrate British victories over the Spanish Armada, at Trafalgar and El Alamein.

      Mr Court said the inaugural Swan Bells Foundation would comprise:
      • Shane Crockett - Foundation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WA Tourism Commission;
        • Carol Day - Chairperson of the WA Youth Orchestra;
          • Bill Gillespie - Director of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts;
            • Laith Reynolds - a central figure in the Swan Bells project, who was instrumental in having the Bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields gifted to Western Australia;
              • Denise Satterley - a prominent member of the community who has been heavily involved with charitable organisations;
                • Laurie O’Meara - Western Australian president of Tourism Council Australia;
                  • Eric White - of the WA branch of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers;
                    • Martin Griffith - Executive Director (Finance and Resources) at the University of Western Australia;
                      • Councillor Tess Stroud - nominated by the City of Perth.

                      Mr Court said the membership of the foundation represented a wealth of knowledge in areas such as tourism, music and the performing arts.

                      The foundation’s duties will include:
                      • promoting the Swan Bells as a major tourist destination;
                        • preserving, displaying and interpreting the Bells of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and other objects relating to bells and bell ringing;
                          • providing music and performing arts scholarships for young Western Australians; and -
                            • encouraging liaison and co-operation between the foundation and educational institutions, and in particular the University of WA, the WA Academy of Performing Arts and other schools of music and performing arts.

                            “The establishment of the foundation will ensure that the Swan Bells operate as a viable, accessible public facility with benefits that flow through to the community - particularly the youth of our State,” the Premier said.

                            Mr Court said the opening of the Swan Bells was being planned for Sunday, December 10. The bells will be open to the public free of charge for the first four months while the ‘interior museum quality’ fit-out is being completed.
                            The historic Bells of St Martin-in-the Fields will be in full operation from the opening day and ring on a regular basis.

                            Media reference: Casey Cahill 9222 9475