Willaura, 6 March 2024

Willaura Memorial Hall, VIC, Eastern Maar Country 

Willaura Memorial Hall stands on the traditional lands of the Eastern Maar People.

The Willaura Memorial was funded and built by the local community in 1957 to remember those who served in war. Its classic cream brick walls, with glass, steel and stone facia echoed the architecture of the day, and for its time it was strikingly modern. For nearly sixty years it has hosted weddings, parties, and everything in between. Plenty of old-time dances and balls, raised funds for local projects and there were the occasional movies.

The Fleece and Floral Show was a regular feature for many years, there were school concerts, and the polished wooden floor still has the squash court lines painted on it. The Hall is a much-loved community hub and one that has been well looked after by generations of Willaura residents.

Festival of Small Halls returns to Willaura on Wednesday, 6 March 2024 with Svavar Knútur and The Maes.

Opening the show will be The Karen Community of Ararat Choir!

The Karen community from Ararat will perform, and its members are looking forward to singing traditional songs from their homeland.

‘K’nyaw’, also known as ‘Karen’, is one of the largest ethnic groups in Myanmar. Due to civil war in their homeland many Karen people fled their homes and sought asylum in Thai- Myanmar Border refugee camps in Thailand. From there many have come to Australia seeking a new life here.

After COVID-19 in 2022 and due to the labour force shortage in Ararat, the Ararat Rural City Council launched a New Settlement Program & Work Force Pilot Program, which has supported Karen families relocating to Ararat.

The Karen community will wear traditional dress and sing songs from their homeland. In addition, they will present a mini traditional ‘Done Dance’. The audience will no doubt be inspired by their music and enjoy the opportunity to learn a little of the Karen culture.

Tickets are priced at:
Full Admission – $35
Child Admission (Aged 15 and Under – Must Be Accompanied By An Adult) – $10
Click here to purchase tickets.
Alternatively, you can purchase tickets locally at Community Bank Willaura and Lake Bolac.

Doors Open 7.00pm
Show Starts 7.30pm

Willaura Memorial Hall has accessible entry (ramp access) and has accessible bathrooms (accessible bathrooms, shower and baby change table).

BYO drinks and nibbles. There will be tea and coffee provided and a raffle with proceeds going to the Willaura & District Community Development Group.

This show is supported by Willaura & District Community Development Group Inc and Ararat Rural City Council. 

Festival of Small Halls events take place in venues operating under an approved VIC Health Covid Safe Event Checklist, and has stringent Workplace Health and Safety requirements for all travelling artists and crew. Under the terms and conditions of all events, you must not attend if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.

Please do your bit to protect others and keep your community safe.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body.

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