Applications for the 2018 Music Scholarships are now open!

Penrith Conservatorium of Music is excited to announce its prestigious music scholarship program for 2018.

Penrith Conservatorium of Music, housed at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre is driven by a passion for music that has enriched the lives of the local community for over 28 years.

Penrith and the local region are homes to a wealth of musical talent and the Conservatorium is committed to developing and nurturing this talent.

The Conservatorium is offering seven highly sought-after Scholarships through a competitive application and live audition process. The Scholarships recognise future potential and provide the chance for students to take their gift to the next level.

At the heart of the Conservatorium’s Scholarships program is a team of over 20 tutors all with outstanding qualifications as both performers and teachers offering individual tuition from beginner through to AMEB Grade 8 and beyond to concert standard. Many students go on to become musicians and music educators themselves.

Thanks to the generosity of Penrith City Council, donors and benefactors, seven scholarships are open to all instruments including voice, contemporary and classical, students of violin, viola, cello, flute, and guitar. Students and non-students of Penrith Conservatorium of Music are encouraged to apply for this coveted opportunity.

Up-coming musicians who are awarded a scholarship will work with highly qualified teachers and tutors; receive subsidized tuition; experience musicianship and ensemble activity; and, gain access to The Joan family of artists, mentors, courses and concerts – all life changing opportunities that continue to excite and engage students and provide young musicians with very exciting prospects for the future.

The Conservatorium is now calling for applicants for the 2018 scholarships!


Q LAB – A space for new ideas, projects and possibilities

CALLOUT FOR 2018 Residency Applications | Apply Now

Bananas and Coconuts – Q LAB 2017. Creative team: Joel Burrows, Disapol Savetsila, Isabel Moon. Photo: Joshua Bentley.

Q LAB is Q Theatre’s annual residency program. Projects are selected through an open callout process and are provided with financial assistance and space as well as technical and dramaturgical support for dedicated creative development.

Q LAB is based on a commitment to supporting the development of independent artists and projects in the local Western Sydney area and the vibrancy that occurs as a result.

Building on the successes of previous residency programs, Q Theatre invites artists with a passion for Creative Penrith, to apply for a Q LAB ’18 Residency.

 “Q Theatre wants to help you dream up something big” Nick Atkins, Creative Producer

Q Theatre

Growing out of the legacy of the Q Theatre Company and over 50 years of stellar ground breaking theatre-making, Q Theatre helps to make The Joan a perfect place to imagine, create, build, design and experiment, test ideas or explore new collaborations and contexts.

Q Theatre embraces new work and brings together emerging and established local talent with artists from all across Australia to make theatre for and from the people of Penrith. With a focus on contemporary theatre projects Q Theatre is home to directors, playwrights, actors, musicians, digital artists and the many creatives who find themselves somewhere in between. Based at The Joan, there is a place for dedicated creative development for theatre makers big and small.

Advocating for new voices, alternate points of view, an investigation of distinctive new forms, and consistently challenging and reinvigorating art form practice, Q Theatre helps to reimagine what theatre can be, and who it is for!

We can’t think of a better way to help you develop your creative way of experiencing the world and the story you have ready to be told.

Start a conversation with Q Theatre – Apply Now!

The Q’s Artist in Residence Program Q Lab is now open.  Successful applicants will receive:

  • $2000 in artist fees
  • 2 weeks’ space in the Allan Mullins Studio with dramaturgical and technical support

Applications close: 22 November 2017.


Be part of Penrith’s creative heart

Board & Committee Nominations Now Open

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts Ltd, operators of the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, is seeking nominations from interested Greater Western Sydney based community members to the Board of Management and to art form based advisory committees. These are volunteer positions.

PP&VA Ltd is a public company limited by guarantee and a controlled entity of Penrith City Council. It is a producer, curator, presenter and a leader in industry-led arts education experiences in the region.

BOARD DIRECTORS: 3 nominees to be appointed by Council for a 4 year term and a further 3 nominees for a 2 year term.

PERFORMING ARTS / VISUAL ARTS COMMITTEE MEMBERS: 6 nominees to be appointed to each committee by the Board for a term of 3 years.

Deadline: 16 August 2017

Information for nomination to Art Form Committees

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts welcomes the input of community members through its two art-form subcommittees, and has, since 2009, included community advisors on each art-from subcommittee.

Guiding this have been the following principles:

  • Each art-form subcommittee will include approximately six community advisors (in addition to at least 3 Board Members).
  • Community advisors are to be from the local (Penrith) and regional (Greater Western Sydney) community.
  • Community advisors are selected by the Board on the basis of professional skills, community involvement, art-form interest or experience in any of the following – programming and practice, education, community arts, collection and/or heritage management (visual arts), public programming and audience development.
  • Term of membership for community advisors is three years, however renewal or re-nomination is possible through the Board.
  • PP&VA Board art-form committees meet one evening a week at 5:30pm every second month in advance of each Board meeting (January, March, May, July etc). Current meetings are Wednesdays for Visual Arts and alternating Mondays & Tuesdays for Performing Arts based on the availability of current members.
  • The role of community advisors is advisory only.
  • Terms of Reference as attached.

Information for nomination to PP&VA Board

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts is seeking nominations from Greater Western Sydney based individuals with an active interest in cultural development in Penrith for membership of the Board of Management.

Nominees are requested to nominate for either a two-year term of for four years.  All Board Members are eligible for re-nomination.

The PP&VA Board seeks to be representative of the community and include a gender balance and diverse professional, cultural and artistic experiences and expertise within its make-up. Six community representatives will be appointed by Council to join three Councillors and the General Manager’s nominee.

Membership terms will commence following the Company’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for Wednesday 25 October 2017.

All nominees are requested to fill in a self-nomination form and attach a brief one page CV outlining relevant cultural, community and professional experience.

Board Member Job Description

As the highest leadership body of the organisation and to satisfy its fiduciary duties, the Board is responsible for:

  • determining the mission and purposes of the organisation
  • selecting and evaluating the performance of the chief executive
  • strategic and organisational planning
  • ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management
  • fundraising and resource development
  • approving and monitoring the organisations’ programs and services
  • enhancing the organisations’ public image
  • assessing its own performance as the governing body of the organisation

Each individual board member is expected to

  • know the organisations’ mission, policies, programs, and needs
  • faithfully read and understand the organisations’ financial statements
  • serve as active advocates and ambassadors for the organisation and fully engage in identifying and securing the financial resources and partnerships necessary for the organisation to advance its mission
  • leverage connections, networks, and resources to develop collective action to fully achieve the organisations’ mission
  • help identify personal connections that can benefit the organisations’ fundraising and reputational standing, and can influence public policy
  • prepare for, attend, and conscientiously participate in board meetings
  • participate fully in one or more committees
  • attend company events and activities.

Board members are expected to

  • follow the organisations’ policies and Board resolutions
  • declare any potential conflicts before meetings, and actual conflicts during meetings as they arise and update the formal disclosure register annually.
  • maintain confidentiality about all internal matters of the organisation.

Please direct queries to Hania Radvan on 4723 7609 or by email to

Click here to download the Artform Committee Application Form – Word document.

Click here to download the Artform Committee Application Form – PDF.

Click here to download the Board Nomination Form – Word document.

Click here to download the Board Nomination Form – PDF.

Expressions of Interest – Café at Lewers

Opens 26 May | Closes 18 June


Penrith Performing & Visual Arts is seeking Expressions of Interest from an experienced café operator for Café at Lewers at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest.

We are looking for a creative, commercially focussed and co-operative operator who will work with us to provide an outstanding and integrated customer experience.

Fast, friendly service coupled with a high quality menu with meals at reasonable price points will reflect the artistic, progressive and dynamic nature of the site and its patrons.  Café at Lewers is a unique offer. Housed in the grounds of an artistically significant bequest, an artist designed heritage garden and a dynamic and growing regional gallery.

Expressions of Interest open 26 May and close 18 June.

More information: Contact Dave Garner on 0414 391 971 or email

Click here to download the Information Pack



May 4, 2017


Categories: Special Events

2 Artists / 3 Companies / 4 Weeksroad

The Q at The Joan in partnership with PYT Fairfield and PACT Centre for Emerging Artists.

HIGH/WAY 234: residency is designed to strengthen creative communities across Greater Western Sydney as well as build capacity for next generation artists.

Two artists or groups of artists will be invited to complete a month long residency co-hosted by PACT, PYT | Fairfield and The Q at The Joan. Projects must be able to demonstrate a connection to Western Sydney.

Residents will work out of The Joan, Penrith for their first week, PYT | Fairfield for their second & third weeks and PACT, Erskineville for their fourth and final week. Each stage of the residency will be supported by mentorship from the companies’ Artist Mentors: Katrina Douglas, Karen Therese and Nick Atkins and each project will be given $3000 cash for the purpose of artist frees and project costs.

Selected artists will be asked to present a work in progress showing at PACT.


Applications Open Thursday 4th May — Close 23rd May, 5pm

Residency Dates: July 30 – August 27 2017



The Q is holding auditions for 16 young artists, 8 x theatre artists and 8 x musicians, (16 – 26) to take part in the 2017 ‘Originate’ project. This is a skills development project that results in a public outcome. The show will be presented in the Allan Mullins Studio at The Joan, Penrith.

PRODUCER: The Q is the resident theatre making program at The Joan.

ROLES: 16 young artists (16 – 26). Within this we’re looking for 8 theatre makers and 8 musicians.

EXPERIENCE: Performers of various levels of experience are encouraged to apply. A background or interest in devising new work will be an advantage.

OBJECTIVE: ‘Originate’ seeks to up-skill early-career artists in the areas of new work development, cross art form practice and to facilitate new collaborations.

THE SHOW: ‘Originate’ is where ideas start. Eight emerging theatre makers will collaborate with eight emerging musicians to create a new show about the here and now. Guided by Co-Directors from theatre and music the ensemble will move through a workshop process that dreams a new performance from the ground up. ‘Originate’ is a holding title for a performance that is yet to emerge and will be defined by the thoughts, beliefs, hopes and fears of the ensemble. Watch this space.

AVAILABILITY: To be considered for inclusion in the project artists must be available for the following dates:

5.00pm – 8.00pm | Thursdays 15/06/17 – 06/07/17

10.00am – 4.00pm | Sun 18/06/17

5.00pm – 8.00pm | Wednesdays & Thursdays 12/07/17 – 03/08/17

10.00am – 4.00pm | Sat & Sun 05/08/17 – 06/08/17

5.00pm – 9.00pm | Mon – Sat 07/08/17 – 12/08/17

COST: There is no charge for participation in this program.

TO AUDITION: Complete an application form by clicking here.


AUDITIONS HELD: 16/05/17 & 18/05/17

If you have any queries about your application, please email Claire.

December 21, 2016

studioQ returns for 2017!

Categories: News, Special Events


Thank you to all the parents and supporters for contributing to the success of our studioQ 2016 program! The Joan is busy preparing the studioQ program for 2017, which will include similar classes to our 2016 program:

Term 1 Classes start from Friday 17th February  and will run for eight weeks, finishing Saturday 8th April.

Rates are likely to be similar to 2016 rates and are TBC (see the individual class links above for 2016 studioQ rates.)

Registration for returning studioQ students opens on Monday 16 January, and for new students on Thursday 19 January, 2017.

For term dates and details on how to Register for studioQ2017’s classes, click here.

November 28, 2016

2017 Music Scholarships APPLY NOW!

Categories: News, Special Events

2017 Music Scholarships


Penrith Conservatorium of Music’s prestigious music scholarship applications are now open for 2017.

Apply Now » Info Kit »
The Conservatorium is again offering seven highly sought-after Scholarships through a competitive application and live audition process. The Scholarships recognise future potential and provide the chance for students to take their gift to the next level.

At the heart of the Conservatorium’s Scholarships program is a team of over 20 tutors all with outstanding qualifications as both performers and teachers offering individual tuition from beginner through to AMEB Grade 8 and beyond to concert standard.  Many students go on to become musicians and music educators themselves.

Thanks to the generosity of Penrith City Council, donors and benefactors, seven scholarships are open to all instruments including voice, contemporary and classical, students of violin, viola, cello, flute, and guitar.  Students and non-students of Penrith Conservatorium of Music are encouraged to apply for this coveted opportunity.

In 2017, seven high achieving, talented musicians will be awarded scholarships, helping set them on a pathway to professional music careers. The Conservatorium is offering the following scholarships:

The Richard Bonynge Scholarship for all instruments including voice
One Scholarship: open to all students and general public.

The Mayoral Scholarship
One Scholarship for 2017: open to all students and general public who live in the Penrith Local Government Area only.

Emerging Talent Scholarship
One Scholarship for 2017: open to people age 12-18.

Malcolm Borland Scholarship  – Piano only
One Scholarship tuition for 2017: open to all students and general public, for piano only.

Regional Talent Scholarship
One Scholarship for 2017: open to all students and the general public who live in the Penrith Local Government Area and who experience financial difficulty.

Penrith Conservatorium of Music Scholarships
Two Scholarships for 2017: open to all students and general public for voice and instrument.

A Scholarship provides aspiring musicians with the opportunity to work with highly qualified teachers; tuition, musicianship and ensemble activity, and access to the Joan family of artists, mentors, classes and concerts – life changing opportunities that will continue to excite and engage young people and adults in the joy of making music.

“Being a scholarship recipient not only provided financial assistance, it provided the opportunity for me to have my achievements as a musician recognised.  Over the years, it has given me the chance to be part of something very special – to perform in many events and concerts, to be noticed and to enjoy meeting people who know you – who have seen you perform. I have had the privilege to meet other gifted students and renowned musicians including the acclaimed Richard Bonynge.  I am extremely thankful for these opportunities and to the Penrith Conservatorium of Music.”
Diana Babajanyan recipient of the 2016 Richard Bonynge Scholarship.

Applications are now open and close at 5pm on Friday 16 December 2016.

An email confirming audition times will be sent by 5pm Friday 6 January 2017.

Auditions will be held on Wednesday 18 January 2017.

Apply Now »
You do not have to be a current student of Penrith Conservatorium of Music to apply for a scholarship.
You do need to be a resident of Greater Western Sydney.
You do need to be Grade 4 or higher for all instruments including voice.
Certain Scholarships are reserved for Penrith LGA residents only, or have age or financial hardship criteria.

Application forms are available here or call us on 4723 7611. There is a $10 non-refundable application fee. Please carefully read the Terms and Conditions attached to the application form.

An audition timetable will be sent by email by 6 January 2017.  There will be no deferred auditions.

Candidates need to prepare two contrasting pieces of music that show their musical and technical abilities. The two pieces will be performed back to back with no break, and must not exceed eight minutes length in total.

Two copies of the music must be presented to the panel at the commencement of the audition.

Candidates will need to arrange their own accompanist if required.

The audition panel will consider the applicant’s demonstration of:

  • technical ability;
  • musicality;
  • expression;
  • phrasing;
  • sensitivity; and
  • solo performance technique.

The audition panel will allocate scholarships based on individual performance and the needs of the Conservatorium (eg to build up program/instrument areas).


Kate Delkou
Ticketing Services Officer, Penrith Conservatorium of Music
T: 4723 7611 or E:

Please note that Kate works on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only

You can also download the 2016 Scholarship Information Pack here.


Q LAB is The Q’s annual residency program. Projects included in Q LAB are selected through an annual open call process and are provided with artist fees, space, technical and dramaturgical support. Q LAB is based on a commitment to supporting the development of independent artists and projects in the local Western Sydney area and the vibrancy that occurs as a result.

Successful applications will receive:

  • $2000 in artist fees
  • 2 x weeks space in the Allan Mullins Studio with dramaturgical and technical support

Start a conversation with The Q – Apply Now!

Applications open: 19 October 2016
Applications close: 25 November 2016

Successful projects will be notified December 2016

Over the first half of 2017 The Q will support four independent artists or groups of artists in the development of a new project. For a list of projects previously supported by the Q Lab program, click here.

Residency periods available in 2017 are:

  • 9 January – 20 January
  • 23 January – 3 February
  • 6 February – 17 February
  • 20 February – 3 March

If none of these residency periods are suitable for your project we encourage you to apply anyway and make a note of dates that would suit your project.

Q Lab is open to both emerging and established artists working across contemporary performance and theatre.

The Q provides:

  • $2000 cash for artist fees
  • Two weeks full time studio space during business hours within the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
  • Technical support (up to 6 hours)
  • Dramaturgical support (up to 6 hours)
  • Access to available studio lighting, sound and AV equipment
  • The opportunity for a public presentation
  • The work created and supported through Q Lab will be considered for further development with The Q


Selection Criteria:

  • Artistic rationale and process
  • Potential of project for development with The Q
  • Calibre of the artistic team and key personnel

We strongly encourage applications from artists that identify as Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, Culturally & Linguistically Diverse and/or have a demonstrated connection to Western Sydney.

Application Process:
Q lab applications should include the following:

  • Project proposal (max 2 pages)
  1. What do you want to do?
  2. How do you want to do it?
  3. Who is involved?
  4. Why do you want to do it now?
  • Names and biographies of proposed artist/ artistic teams. (max 2 pages)
  • Contact number and your current post code
  • Preferred time for your residency
  • Optional – Examples of previous work

(5 photos, 10 minute maximum show reel or web link)

  • Files total should not exceed 10mb in total. If your support material exceeds this limit please use a file sharing platform such as Dropbox or call us to troubleshoot.

Applications should be sent to Nick Atkins via email –  with the subject heading: ‘Q Lab – Insert Project Title.’

* If successful, residency dates will be subject to negotiation.

For further information you can email Nick or give him a call on (02) 4723 7623.

Black Birds was part of Q Lab in 2016 and will be presented as part of The Q’s public program in 2017.
Image – Ayeesha Ash, Photographer – Alana Dimou

Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset

Apply now!

Thanks to the support of Southlands, Penrith Performing & Visual Arts will provide $15,000 to the development of new projects by emerging artists. For the purpose of this award an emerging artist is defined as an artist regardless of age in the first five years of their professional practice.

Three breakthrough awards of $5000 each will be presented to artists working in the areas of music, visual arts or theatre. The awards are designed to support artists to develop a new idea, concept, draft, design or outcome for a project at a critical juncture in their career over a six month period.

This might take the form of the first draft of a new play, a series of works that outline a vision for an extended work or the recording of a new song or composition.  Curators, producers and directors are also encouraged to submit proposals for projects. Artists whose practice defies art form categorisation, works at the intersection of artforms or who are particularly interested in community impact and access are also encouraged to apply.

Tell us what is important for you to take the next step in your creative practice and how this Award would help you to make the leap. PP&VA will be eager to support your project in any way possible which may include creative mentorship, linkages to our programs, professional mentorship (ie support for developing CV, marketing of the project, networking, budgeting / planning advice etc) or the opportunity to work from our spaces across The Joan and Penrith Regional Gallery.

Selection Criteria:


–          Individuals

–         Artists based in Greater Western Sydney – and west to Orange


–          Project Rationale:
Successful projects proposals will be clear, viable and demonstrate artistic ambition.

–          Demonstrated Ability:
Successful artists will demonstrate a commitment to creative practice and have a track record of delivering a project.

–          Potential for Impact:
Projects where there is the potential for significant impact on the career of the emerging artist will be prioritised.

–          Relevance and Resonance:

Projects that resonate or respond to the creative context of the local area its community and potential audiencesand have an ability to connect with the artistic programming of PP&VA will also be prioritised.

Successful artists will need to be prepared to share their experience at a public event in late 2017.

To Apply:

Who – Are you?

Send us a bio (200 words max) and a resume (2 page max) that outlines your work to date.

What – Would you like to make?

A short description of what you’d like to make/do including a working title for your project (20 – 50 words max).

When – Would you make it?

A breakdown of when you envision working on your project. This might include time for workshopping material, consulting with the creative team at The Joan/Gallery or deadlines for various aspects of your project (200 words max)

How – Would you make it?

A bit of background on what process or processes you’ll be drawing on throughout your project. If you’re working with collaborators or and partners this is a great chance to let us know about who they are and why they’re important for this project. Please also think about how you’d communicate with potential audiences about the project, including during a development process as well as any proposed public outcome. If you’re going to need additional support in terms of space or mentorship this is also a chance to outline any requests.


This is your chance to tell us how this project is important in your development as an artist, how it relates to the region and to us.

Together, your responses to How? and Why? should not exceed 1000 words.

Good luck!

Please send your proposals to e:, drop it in by hand at the Box Office Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (597 High Street Penrith) or Reception at Penrith Regional Gallery (86 River Road Emu Plains) or send it by post to PO Box 2 Penrith NSW 2751

If you have any questions please call Hania on 4723 7609 or email

Proposals must be received by close of business (that is by 5pm) on Monday 12 December 2016


provides a focal point for performing arts activity in the Western Sydney Region