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Big Changes for Forbes Art Society in 2022

There is a changing of the guard at Forbes Arts Society. At the recent AGM Dr Karen Ritchie Chair woman of Forbes Arts Society officially quit her seat and Trudy Mallick was overwhelmingly voted in to take the chair position. Karen may have stepped down from the chair, but she has taken the role of Secretary and Dr Keith Mallette remains as the ordinary member.

Karen says,‘During my two-year term as President of the Forbes Arts Society (FAS), much effort has been expended commencing and progressing the projects of the NSW State Government Restart Grant program –‘Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy through Art Embedded in our Amazing Environment, Forbes NSW’. I would like to extend thanks and appreciation to our project partners, the NSW State Government, Forbes Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council and Evolution Mining as we all work to build increased sustainability through tourism into the communities of the Lachlan Valley region.

The funded project consists of the Sculpture Down the Lachlan Trail between Forbes and Condobolin, redeveloping the Gum Swamp area with refurbished and new bird hides, walkways and sculptures and purchasing and redeveloping the derelict, former Forbes District Ambulance Station into an art gallery and cultural hub.

The past two years have been incredibly busy but very exciting and stimulating and I would like to extend my thanks to the hard-working members of the FAS Board -Vice President Helen Hurley, Treasurer Stuart Thomas and members Warwick Rolfe, Keith Mullette, Trudy Mallick, Wendy Muffet and Joy Russell. I offer my support to incoming President Trudy Mallick and know that FAS and its major projects will thrive under her guidance.

’Karen also extends her thanks to the founders of FAS past and present and the many hard-working volunteers and friends of the gallery over the past years, without them FAS would not have survived'.

Trudy Mallick responded 'I am indebted to the work Karen has commenced as Chair of the Forbes Arts Society and look forward to completing the building and the sculpture trail in 2022.The next twelve months will be an exciting and no doubt challenging time for all of us, however the sculpture trail and bird hides will be wonderful attractions and the culture centre will be an incredible meeting place and art gallery for the townspeople and visitors to Forbes alike.

’The other big change for Forbes Arts Society isPlatypus Gallery is going into a temporary hiatus while the new culture centre is built. The centre will host a brand-new Platypus Gallery, along with a gallery for touring artwork, event rooms and a contemporary cafe. The artists and artisans of the gallery will still be working hard at their craft preparing to hang and display in the new build. Platypus Gallery closes in its present location on January 15, 2022, and all the works will still be in the shop except they will all be online. Everyone can still shop at for an easy purchase and the product will be posted or click and collect from the artists home or agreed upon location.

Trudy Mallick says ‘she encourages all of the existing artists to keep on with their craft and invites new artists and artisans to join the gallery and display their pieces on the website shop, and eventually in the new Platypus Gallery. Forbes Arts Society also have exciting new initiatives forthcoming in the new year that we think the whole town will get to participate in.

’The Forbes Cultural and Arts Centre development is part of the $7.2 million ‘Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy Art Project’, which is proudly funded by the NSW Government’s Regional Growth -Environment and Tourism Fund, the Forbes Arts Society, Forbes Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council and Evolution Mining.

The ‘Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy Art Project’ aims to foster visual arts throughout the Forbes Shire, grow the visitor economy and promote the Lachlan Valley region as a premier tourism destination. The project also includes the Gum Swamp redevelopment and extension of the Sculpture Down the Lachlan trail. For more information about the project, visit

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