MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education)
Incorporated pursuant to order of Council of 7 September 2021:
I rise today to inform the house of a wonderful experience I had recently, spending time at Terang’s Commercial Hotel—an emerging creative hub in the south-west.
The hotel itself is a heritage site—the tower was built in 1866, and the main hotel building dates back to the federation era.
It’s a good old-fashioned country pub in so many ways, but now it’s also a centrepiece for music, theatre and art, incorporating the nearby renovated courthouse too.
This is the work of publican Les Cameron and his partner Rosie Knight.
In three years they have done a fantastic job in not only reviving the pub, but importantly bringing to life their vision of a haven for creative enterprise.
Les had already made a great contribution to Western Victoria, as a teacher starting off in Birchip and later in Heywood, and as a footy player and very successful coach at Koroit—and Rosie of course is a Noorat local bringing her expertise in management to the project.
In three years—the last two of which have been very challenging times for everyone, and especially for those working in creative arts—they have offered accommodation for artists, writers, musicians and performers who have simply needed to demonstrate that they have a project in train and that they need time and space to complete their work.
This is a reciprocal thing—creative people are welcomed into a small community, and in turn that community, and its culture, are enhanced.
A town of fewer than 2500 residents, Terang has enthusiastically embraced the new Commercial Hotel and its diverse initiatives.
I congratulate and thank Les and Rosie for their work.