Tomerong School of Arts
The Tomerong School of Arts in one of just two public halls in the Shoalhaven that is community owned and managed. It has been serving the community of Tomerong and the Shoalhaven since 1926.
Governed by an experienced and capable committee of management, it relies on income generated through their community market, hall hire, and fundraising activities.
IRCF FUNDED Projects
Connecting Community, Building Resilience
Supported with $5,900 to enhance community connectedness through the creation and distribution of a quarterly community newsletter and new-resident welcome pack promoting community life, volunteering opportunities and events centred around the Tomerong School of Arts.
The Tomerong Hall is completely dependant on volunteer and community involvement to survive and thrive, a model that has served them since 1926. However, the Hall Committee recognised that for their continued sustainability, they needed to increase community engagement with the Hall. A small locality, Tomerong does not have their own dedicated newspaper for the Hall Committee to share their messages with the community, a problem that they decided to tackle as part of their IRCF Journey.
During Round 1* of the IRCF Grant Program, they successfully applied for a partnership grant to create a new resident Welcome Pack and the ‘Tomerong Trumpet’, a quarterly community newsletter distributed free of charge through the local Post Office.
The publication of a community newsletter had been a desired project for the Tomerong Hall for some time, but with limited volunteer capacity, the project never managed to eventuate. With their IRCF grant they were able to employ a project officer to create, publish and print four editions of the Tomerong Trumpet to the community.
Similarly, the Welcome Pack was designed as a resource for new residents providing them with information about other community NFPs, Hall activities, local services and the monthly Hall Markets. They hope that this resource will serve as a catalyst to encouraged greater community volunteer involvement and an increased community engagement for new residents.
As a result of their project to increase visibility and awareness of the Hall within the Tomerong Community, the hall has seen a number of positive increases that will help the Hall to continue to prosper. The Committee gained two new members, hall hire increased with a broader range of events being held, and a significant increase in both stall holders and attendance at the Tomerong Markets.
Leveraging their new communication channel to the community, the Hall used the Trumpet to advertise their current fundraiser where residents were invited to purchase a paver. The increased visibility of this fundraiser through the Trumpet saw them reach their fundraising goal much sooner (and with a few extra volunteers to help lay them!)
*Note that Tomerong was previously part of the Nowra cohort of NFPs participating in the IRCF program. With the inclusion of Bay & Basin in the program, Tomerong is now part of the Bay & Basin IRCF program as there is a stronger geographic and cultural alignment with the Bay & Basin community rather than Nowra.
The Policies and Procedures Project
Supported with $12,000 for a collaborative project to enable the Tomerong and the Upper Kangaroo River Progress Association to operate more effectively with the development of policies and procedures for their halls.