Cultural & Charitable Foundation

MEDIA KIT - FACT SHEET 'ASPIRE PRECINCT' ANNOUNCEMENT

 MEDIA KIT /FACT SHEET
'ASPIRE PRECINCT' ANNOUNCEMENT

17th October, 2014

 WHAT IS THE ‘ASPIRE PRECINCT’?
The $15 million ‘Aspire Precinct’ will be a vibrant learning, community and business hub for the Greater Bendigo community. It will be Australia’s first faith-based precinct that fosters inter-faith collaboration, promotes regional resilience and cohesion, provides life-long learning opportunities and supports social entrepreneurs.

WHAT WILL THE NEW DEVELOPMENT ENCOMPASS?
There will be a main interpretive centre with space for permanent and temporary exhibitions that will explore faith on the Goldfields and in the wider context. The space will also feature items of historical value from the Diocese and other local faith-based institutions. There will be indoor and outdoor areas for community gatherings and events. There will be an education and resource centre with programs for all age groups, as well as a business hub that will include a café, retail outlet, spaces for business meetings and events, parishioner and social gatherings and more.

WHAT WILL BE IN THE INTERPRETIVE CENTRE?
Like all modern interpretive centres, the experience will be digitally interactive and engaging to all age groups. It will explore the themes of ‘Faith in daily life on the Goldfields’, ‘Translation of faith into civic value’, ‘The art and ritual of faith from Gold Rush to now’, and ‘Faith in today’s community’. Aspects of the centre will be inspirational promote conversation, and others will provide moments of contemplation.

The Centre will feature audio visual and multimedia, photographs, archival documents, newspaper clippings, vestments, religious art and artefacts, contemporary art works, letters and diaries. A muniments room will provide an anthropological examination of faith on the Goldfields exploring art, architecture, practice and tradition, symbols and meaning.

The Centre will also explore the diverse people of Bendigo – then and now – that contributed to the diverse multi-cultural community, including such famous trail-blazers as Sidney Myer. In the case of Myer – it was his faith, community service and philanthropy that were indivisible and he is an excellent example of the powerful influence that Bendigo leaders in his time exerted not only in Bendigo but also into Melbourne and beyond.

The Interpretive Centre will be able to conduct joint programming with local organisations such as the highly-recognised Bendigo Art Gallery to host local and international exhibitions across the various themes. This could be exhibitions such as the famous art Blake Prize and Exhibition program which explores the themes of spirituality, religion and human justice.

WHAT WILL IT COST TO BUILD AND OPERATE?
It is expected to cost up to $15 million to build and between $1–$2 million per year to operate.

WHAT IS THE TIMING FOR THE PROJECT?
While the exact timeframes for completion of the project are not defined at this stage, it is anticipated construction will commence late 2015, with project completion in 2017.

WHO IS THE ASPIRE CULTURAL & CHARITABLE FOUNDATION?
The Foundation is lead by diverse community leaders, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The Foundation was established to help preserve and protect the heritage of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo. The Cathedral was constructed in the 19th Century, completed in the late 20th Century and is one of the world's few Gothic Revival cathedrals. The Cathedral is an icon of Bendigo and occupies a central place in the community for people of all faiths.

WHO ARE THE AMBASSADORS FOR THE PROJECT?
–    The Hon. Tim Fischer AC, Former Deputy Prime Minister, inaugural Australian Ambassador to the Holy See and Patron of the Aspire Cultural and Charitable Foundation
–     The Hon. John Brumby, Former Premier of Victoria
–     Gerry Ryan OAM, Businessman and Philanthropist

HOW WILL THE PROJECT BENEFIT GREATER BENDIGO?
An independent analysis shows that the project will deliver 49 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, and a further 39 direct and indirect jobs once operational. It will provide a $39.6 million direct and indirect impact to Greater Bendigo in the first two years of construction. For every dollar of direct output generated once operational, the broader economy will benefit by a further $0.90 in flow-on industrial and consumption effects.

HOW WILL THE PROJECT BE FUNDED?
The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst will underwrite the project in the outset. The project will seek support from both the Victorian and Federal Governments. Local and national private and corporate philanthropic trusts and foundations have already started to contribute to a new Precinct Development Endowment Fund, which will offset the future operational costs of the project.

WHO STANDS TO BENEFIT FROM THE PROJECT?
The activities and programs will be designed to provide value to the social, cultural and economic development of Central Victoria. They will be accessible to all local individuals, families and businesses (regardless of religious beliefs), as well as visiting friends and family. It will provide programs for visiting school groups, teachers and business groups, as well as domestic and international tourists.

 

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, INTERVIEWS & PHOTOGRAPHS:Jodie Artis, Progressive PR, Phone 0414 699 186, Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Julia Keady This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0412 628 036

Media

Saint Mary MacKillop statue unveiling, Sacred Heart Cathedral Bendigo, 17 October 2014 - Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst