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The Communication and Customer Services Unit of Tweed Shire Council is responsible for media releases, responding to journalist, television and photo requests, and general media and industry publication related enquiries. Media organisations are encouraged to use our email subscription service to receive automatic notification of Council media releases via email. You can unsubscribe at any time by logging in to the right, then select the 'Unsubscribe' option.

Requests from media organisations for information or comment regarding Council operational matters should be directed to Council's Communications Unit on (02) 6670 2575 or email

For comments from Councillors, please contact them directly. See Councillors page for their contact details.

For more information also see Media Organisations and the Tweed Link. Please click on the relevant title below to view the full media release.

Last 10 Available Media Releases
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20 October 2016
Award-winning artist in conversation at the Gallery

Michael Cook is an award-winning Brisbane-based photomedia artist of Bidjara heritage. The Tweed Regional Gallery is the first public gallery to host the full suite of Michael Cook’s latest photographic series entitled Mother. This emotionally engaging series explores a universal theme that is crucial to the wellbeing of all. The love or absence of a mother is paramount to the development and future of each child the world over.

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6 October 2016
Gallery Playdates for small visitors
Tweed Regional Gallery Playdates media release
Young children will enjoy a fun introduction to art when a series of Playdates are held at Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre during the next three months.
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23 September 2016
Tweed Regional Gallery is among the ‘best of the best’

The people have spoken - Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is among the best of the best in the world.


Just as it did in 2015, the Gallery has taken out a Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award, the American travel website’s highest honour, based on user reviews.


The Gallery has maintained its ranking as the fourth best museum in TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice ‘Top 10 Museums – Australia’.


In an even greater honour, the Gallery was also ranked number nine in the ‘Top 25 Museums - South Pacific’ list in 2016 (it was in eighth spot in 2015). Number one spot in that category was won this year by the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) in Wellington.


The top three on TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice ‘Top 10 Museums – Australia’ list were National Anzac Centre, Albany, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Melbourne Museum.


Others in the top 10 were: Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney (five), Questacon, Canberra (six), Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin (seven), National Vietnam Veterans Museum, Newhaven (eight), Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (nine) and Defence of Darwin Experience, Darwin (10).


Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman OAM said: “This is a tremendous achievement for the Gallery, for the second year running. It is very exciting. Reviews like this from our visitors, all unsolicited, indicate how many people are visiting our region and helping drive cultural tourism for the Tweed.”


“I am thrilled for all involved in making the Gallery the vibrant destination it is – there’s really so much support from our volunteers, member of the Friends and Foundation every day, so this acclaim is a great boost for them too. It’s also terrific recognition of Council’s investment in one of the region’s most significant tourist attractions.”


Trip Advisor’s website says the “annual awards reflect ‘the best of the best’ for service, quality, and customer satisfaction, from hotels and accommodations to destinations, attractions, and even brands and products.”


“Travelers' Choice award winners are selected annually based on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor members. Travelers' Choice awards single out not just popular choices, but truly exceptional ones that keep travelers coming back.”


To view the full lists, visit



19 September 2016
Tour MOAC with awarded biographer

Rare insight into the life of cherished Australian painter Margaret Olley will be served up at an exclusive tour and dinner at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre on Saturday 29 October.


Filmmaker and journalist Meg Stewart, who wrote the award-winning biography Margaret Olley: far from a still life, will lead a tour of the Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) and its current exhibition, Margaret Olley: from the collection.


“Meg will share fascinating stories about the time she spent in Olley’s Duxford Street home studio in Sydney, interviewing Olley for the biography,” MOAC Curator and Collections Manager Ingrid  Hedgcock said.


“Gain a new perspective of MOAC’s home studio re-creation by hearing first-hand accounts from a skilled storyteller.”


Margaret Olley: far from a still life has been described as a biography that is comprehensive but also a warmly intimate profile of the deeply loved and very colourful artist.


Ms Hedgcock said Meg’s tour and shared experiences would bring a new perspective of MOAC, which faithfully re-creates the famous rooms of Olley’s Sydney home.


“More than 300,000 people have visited the home studio re-creation and enjoyed its intriguing aesthetic since MOAC was officially opening in March 2014,” Ms Hedgcock said.


“Meg’s talk will bring even more life to those rooms, the fascinating items that fill them, the artist who painted them and the equally interesting people Olley hosted at her home.”


Tweed Regional Gallery and Tweed Fusion, with sponsorship support from Tweed Shire Council, have combined to hold the tour and dinner, which will be held in the Gallery foyer with catering by the Gallery Café. Guests will enjoy drinks and canapes on arrival and, after the tour, will be treated to a dinner showcasing the Tweed Valley’s farm fresh produce.


“It will be a night of fine dining and a privileged peek further into the life of one of Australia’s most celebrated painters,” she said.


Tickets are $115 and bookings are essential before 14 October by contacting the Gallery on (02) 6670 2790 between Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.


For more information, visit

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16 September 2016
Indigenous photomedia travels around Australia

The National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) travelling exhibition Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia celebrates work made by some of the most significant Indigenous photographers, multimedia artists in the last five years.

Resolution brings together critically acclaimed artists with emerging talent reflecting the diversity and dynamism of contemporary practice.

NGA Director, Gerard Vaughan, said. “Over the last 30 years, the NGA has developed one of the world’s great collections of Indigenous photomedia.  Resolution reflects our continued engagement with this vital aspect of contemporary art,”

The foundations of contemporary Indigenous photography were laid in the late ’80s, with a generation of politicised and provocative artists documenting their experiences of the Bicentennial marking 200 years of European settlement.  The last 30 years has seen the emergence of artists who engage critically and thoughtfully with the present and the past and continue to layer their artistic identity with challenges to contemporary culture.

Resolution will be on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre from 16 September – 4 December 2016 and will travel to Australian venues over the coming 18 months as part of the National Gallery of Australia’s extensive touring program, sharing the National Collection with the wider Australian community.  Entry to the exhibition is free.

All are warmly invited to attend the official opening celebrations on Friday 16 September 2016.  At 5.15pm join us for an Exhibition Preview Floortalk by Franchesca Cubillo, Senior Curator of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia, followed by refreshments.   At 6pm (for 6.30pm) official proceedings begin with a Welcome to Country by Deidre Currie, Descendant of the Traditional Custodians of the Land, followed by the official opening by Franchesca Cubillo.

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13 September 2016
Local primary school children explore self portraiture

This year’s Les Peterkin Portrait Prize for local primary school students has broken records, with more than 3000 entries from 37 schools, four enthusiastic judges and 40 winners.


The annual Prize (LPPP) is named after legendary local artist and art teacher Les Peterkin, and this year marks its 20th anniversary.  On display at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre from 16 September to 4 December 2016, this event celebrates the enormous artistic talent of local primary school students.


Students worked on the theme Me, Myself and I, sketching, collaging and painting artworks that capture their unique personality or a special characteristic through self-portraiture.


Prize Coordinator Marianne Galluzzo said the standard of the art presented was - as usual - very high.


This year’s theme asked students to create a portrait that best describes themselves as an individual.  They were encouraged to investigate ways in which other artists depict themselves, and how to use the principles and elements of art and design to express their ideas,” Ms Galluzzo said.


The 2016 judges – a local Bundjalung Elder, Aunty Dale Williams, Education Support Officer and faithful LPPP supporter Ronalda Combo, the Gallery’s Education and Audience Development Officer, Jodi Ferrari, and primary school teacher and cartoonist Russell Hayes - were all extremely impressed with the creativity and effort of every child who entered.


First prize winners from the three age categories: Ava Ziles (5-7 years) from Dungay Public School, Charlie Wappett (8-10 years) from Byron Community Primary School, and Delta Fox (11-13 years) from Chillingham Public School.  Each of these prize winners, and the creators of 37 other prize-winning and commended works, will have the thrill of seeing their artworks professionally framed and hung in a professional gallery setting.  Another 200 outstanding works will be displayed in folios for the duration of the exhibition.


The Prize is made possible by the financial support of Tweed Shire Council and Tyalgum Public School, with assistance from the Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Arts Centre, and Derivan.


“Last but not least, the Prize would not be possible without the enthusiasm of art-loving parents, volunteers and teachers,” Ms Galluzzo said.


The Prize’s official opening and presentation ceremonies promise to be one of the biggest events at the Gallery this year and will be held on Sunday 18 September. Everyone is welcome to attend the celebrations, which begin at 10am with a fun art making activity.


The exhibition will be officially opened at 11am by Tyalgum Public School Principal Janelle Cloherty, followed by the keenly anticipated announcement of winners and prize-giving by the man himself – Les Peterkin.  Throughout the event, visitors will be entertained by wandering mime artiste Michele Jean. 

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24 August 2016
Gallery first to present Cook’s new series, on loan from Hong Kong

Michael Cook is a Brisbane-based photo-media artist of Bidjara heritage. The Tweed Regional Gallery will be the first public gallery to host the full suite of Michael Cook’s latest photographic series entitled Mother, which opens today.


This emotionally engaging series explores a universal theme that is crucial to the wellbeing of all. The love or absence of a mother is paramount to the development and future of each child the world over.


“Mother is a journey through 13 images of a woman in a deserted Australian landscape,” Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman OAM, said. “These are powerful and evocative images that possess an arrested stillness.  Each of them speaks to something dramatic, and has a sense of loss or regret.  The experience or the idea of loss and longing is something we can all connect to in some way,” Ms Muddiman said.


The ‘mother’ is always alone, her baby absent, although evidence of a child remains in the empty pram, abandoned toys on the hopscotch court, the slackness of the skipping rope.


Michael Cook has tackled subjects from the political to the historical since 2009.  In Mother we see his most intensely personal work to date.  While these images speak directly and poetically to Australia’s Stolen Generation, they also speak to a universal experience of disconnection between mother and child.


“I create artwork about Indigenous issues, past and present, about how the past relates to the present and, eventually, moulds the future.  I’m not sure whether I really need to belong anywhere.  Put simply, I’m a person of mixed ancestry – some of which is Indigenous.  I look at the big picture, I am Australian, I tell my stories to Australians of all races and also to those beyond our shores.  I am a part of the human race,” Cook said.


This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 2016 Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference hosted by Tweed Shire Council from 24 to 26 August 2016.


Mother will complemented by an engaging series of programs and events including:


Exhibition launch event

Friday 16 September, 6pm – 8pm. Free: no bookings required.  Join us for the launch of Michael Cook’s exhibition Mother along with Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia, a travelling exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia.


Artist Talk

Sunday 23 October, 2pm. Free: no bookings required.  Join Michael Cook in conversation with Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM as he reflects on Mother – a new body of work that unravels the artist’s personal history and explores broader universal ideas of motherhood, belonging and identity.


Student Enrichment Day

Tuesday 25 October, 9.45am – 2.30pm, $10 per student.  Bookings essential by phoning the Gallery on

(02) 6670 2790, Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm. Artist Michael Cook will share his expertise in digital image-making and post-production techniques with students as part of this one-day intensive focused on contemporary photomedia practice. (Bookings by school representatives only; for year 10 – 12 students only; limited to three students per school).


Also available, to secondary school teachers, is an education resource featuring an essay by Rhoda Roberts. This resource is available for downloading from the Gallery’s website at


The Tweed Regional Gallery acknowledges the generous support of Hong Kong art collectors Alan Conder and Alan Pigott in presenting this exhibition.


Michael Cook’s Mother will be on display at the Gallery from 24 August to Sunday 11 December 2016.

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16 August 2016
Girls on a Mission
Girls on a Mission media release

One thousand ceramic figurines of the female figure – that’s the target for Murwillumbah High School year 9 student Natalia Dawson.  Working with a mentor, artist Suzanne Healy, Natalia is engaging the help of the community to reach her target of creating 1000 small, ceramic female forms.

From 10am to 12 noon on Sunday 21 August, Natalia and Suzanne invite you to come along to the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah to contribute a figurine to the project.  Clay will be provided, along with tips on creating your tiny woman.

The project has been named ‘Girls on a Mission’ and aims to raise awareness of the importance of encouraging self-confidence and ambition in women.  Natalia and Suzanne are promoting recognition of women’s achievements in our community and beyond, in all areas of endeavour and particularly in the arts.

The mentorship is part of the Youth Frontiers project, delivered through the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services.  The program is aimed at students in Years 8 and 9 and focuses on leadership and civic engagement.

All are welcome to come along and contribute.  A figurine takes approximately five minutes to create, and visitors are encouraged to think about an inspiring female in their own life as they make their own contribution.

To read more about 'Girls on a Mission' visit their facebook page:

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29 July 2016
Gallery partners with Byron festival to present popular events

The partnership forged in 2015 between the Byron Bay Writers Festival and the Tweed Regional Gallery includes some exciting events for this year’s Festival.

On Sunday 7 August, the Gallery is the venue for what’s bound to be a lively and informative discussion. Archibald Prize 2015 winner Nigel Milsom and his subject, barrister Charles Waterstreet, will be in conversation with the Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Dr Michael Brand. The session will be introduced by Susi Muddiman OAM, Director of the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.

Arguably Australia’s most popular art event, the Archibald Prize never fails to capture the nation’s attention. Last year’s winning portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet captured attention as an arresting portrayal of one of Sydney’s most colourful law men. Artist Nigel Milsom won the prestigious $100,000 prize with his striking portrait of his chosen subject, whose character and antics have been suggested as being the impetus behind the popular ABC drama production Rake, starring actor Richard Roxborough. Interviewed by the Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Dr Michael Brand, this interview is one not to be missed.

The event will be held at the Gallery at 2pm on Sunday 7 August 2016.  The event is free, so be sure to come along early to secure a seat! No bookings required.

In the evening, make your way to Mullumbimby for a special ‘In Conversation’ event as part of the popular Art in the Pub series. Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said, ‘The Gallery often teams up with the dynamic teams of the Byron School of Art and c.a.s.e. – contemporary art space and education. It’s a special opportunity to share this collaboration with our partnership with the Byron Bay Writers Festival for this event. I’m looking forward to interviewing Michael Brand at the pub. What a great setting to chat with one of the leading figures in the country’s arts industry,” she said.

Dr Michael Brand is a passionate advocate for greater cultural investment, innovation and infrastructure. Canberra born, Harvard educated and Sydney based, Michael, and international art scholar, wants access to the arts for everyone – so what better setting could there be than the pub?

The event will be held at the Courthouse Hotel in Mullumbimby at 6pm on Sunday 7 August 2016. The event is free, and no bookings are required.

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27 July 2016
Gallery’s Margaret Olley treasures on show

From 17 August the Margaret Olley Art Centre will present a new exhibition Margaret Olley: from the collection curated exclusively from the Tweed Regional Gallery’s collection.


In preparation for the installation of this new exhibition, the Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) will remain open to the public, however from 10 August – 14 August visitors can enjoy the home studio re-creation only as there will not be an accompanying exhibition in the MOAC during this short period of time.


Margaret Olley: from the collection reveals stories from Olley’s eventful life and her enduring career.


“The works illustrate stylistic evolutions in Olley’s practice and reveal glimpses of some of the many places she travelled to, and some of the places she called home,” said Gallery Director Susi Muddiman.


The exhibition includes artworks by Margaret Olley (1923-2011) dating from as early as 1938 when Olley was just 15 years of age. The collection includes a substantial number of works generously gifted by the Margaret Olley Estate, following the artist’s bequest of $1 million towards the development of the re-creation of her home studio within the Margaret Olley Art Centre – the third and final stage of the Tweed Regional Gallery.


The majority of the artworks gifted by the Estate remained in Olley’s own collection from the time they were created until her death in 2011.


“Visitors will have the opportunity to see works that Olley kept in her own collection for many decades,” Ms Muddiman said. “These were works that had sentimental value to her and that have become story holders for the events of her life. Works such as Kewpie Doll 1938 and The Lands Office, Sydney (cnr Bent and Loftus) 1967 have never before been on public display.”


Other artworks in this exhibition have been acquired into the Gallery’s collection via the financial support of the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd., the Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc., the Tweed Regional Gallery Donations Fund and as gifts to the collection by generous donors.


The Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am until 5pm. For further details visit

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Last Updated: 14 October 2013