Category Archives: Food

Join us for our May community lunch this Sunday

Hello all

Once again it is community lunch time this Sunday.  Full details here

If you would like to come and haven’t already booked, please do so now as it helps our volunteers with planning food purchases and room layout.  Bookings by email below.

Delicious lunch and afternoon tea during the Antique Fair

Antique fair lunch room

The Fryerstown Antique Fair weekend is a great opportunity to visit the recently refurbished community-run old Fryerstown School.  Follow the orange flags up the hill behind the Antique Fair and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the school building and historic surrounds.  A country-style cold meats and salads platter lunch with delicious local Sprout bread, cake, tea or coffee and a cold drink will be served daily from Friday 24th until Monday 27th January inclusive from 11.30am until 2pm – all for only $10 per head.  From 2pm until 4pm you can enjoy afternoon tea, with brewed coffee or tea and home-made scones or delicious cake for $6 per head.  Vegetarian and gluten free options are available.

For those who enjoy a quality coffee, hot chocolate or chai in a relaxed café-style setting, the Hey Presto Espresso coffee cart will be operating on the school verandah from 11.30am, with a share of the takings to be donated to the school.

The Fryerstown Community Reserve Management Committee was formed just over three years ago to manage and oversee the much needed repairs and refurbishment of the school buildings.  Now operating as a venue for community use and public hire for functions, music events, art and educational workshops, it is hoped that the lunches will earn enough to landscape the surrounding grounds to provide picnic, play and performance areas.

Hearing Jaara Jaara country – an acoustic celebration of box-ironbark country – Sunday 3rd November


The premiere of a new radiophonic work heard in surround sound in the bush, Jaara Jaara Seasons, will take place in Fryerstown, central Victoria, on Sunday 3rd November.

Internationally renowned Sound Artist, Ros Bandt, has been immersed recording the sounds of box-ironbark over a 12 month period, with the kind permission of Uncle Brien Nelson, Jaara Jaara Elder.  Her radiophonic work will be spread through the bush and include sound recordings from underwater, in the air and the sounds of multi-cultural musicians.

Ros’s work aims to encourage deep listening to country and to honour those who have gone before.  “Every place is an acoustic space which comes into being through listening” says Ros.  “This habitat is at once a sound lab and poetic inspiration for soundscape composition and a public performance, which will be held at the site in a specially constructed temporary soniferous garden.  Nothing beats being in place for situational listening.”

Performers include Rick Nelson (Jaara Jaara voice), Kinja – Ron Murray (didgeridoo/stories) and Sarah James (violin/voice), Mary Doumany (harp/voice), Le Tuan Hung (dan tranh), Wang Zheng Ting (sheng), and Ros Bandt (tarhu, psaltery/slide whistles/recorders).

The setting is a Jaara Jaara place of 55 acres, with a checkered history of pastoralism, gold, hobby farm and native bush. Over the past 20 years it has been land for wildlife and left to regenerate, free of intrusion, with the result of regeneration of the box ironbark habitat.  It is a natural sound sanctuary.  There is no electricity and this project is being carried out with no impact on the land, using sustainable technologies.

Ros Bandt is one of Australia’s first pioneering sound artists. Her environmental sound art comprises sound installations, original musical instruments, sound sculptures, sound playgrounds, spatial music systems and live performances. She is a composer of site specific sounding artworks worldwide. She has been commissioned by international radio stations for her electro-acoustic sounding artworks in Europe, Asia and America. Her work in sound heritage and endangered sounds, and her online sound designs in public space in Australia 2000-7, has earned her the Australian national award for sound heritage by the National Film and Sound Archive in 2012, The Fanny Cochrane Smith Award, and in 2013 she has been shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize Outstanding Musician’s award.  Her first vinyl was listed in this year’s national registry of Australian Sound by the National Film and Sound Archive.  Ros has a PhD in musicology from Monash University and is honorary fellow in the School of History and Philosophical Studies at Melbourne University.

To attend this free public event, meet at the Fryerstown School, 5 Camp Street, by 3:30pm to walk to the bush site for a 4:00 pm start.  The performance is 50 minutes duration and participants may bring a campstool if needed. No smoking or phones are permitted on site. Refreshments and CDs will be available for purchase at the Fryerstown School.   

More information about this unique event can be found at

June update

Throughout June our visitors have taken advantage of the wonderful warmth generated  by our wood heater.  We saw the Growing Abundance team run an olive processing workshop, and the Castlemaine State Festival held a patrons and donors afternoon tea, which morphed into a 97th birthday celebration for the festival founder, Berek Segan.

Mid-month we held the community Winter Warmers event which brought locals, old and new, together to share hearty soups, wonderful entertainment and a tipple or two.  Friday evenings from 5.30pm is a chance for people to come together to have a yarn about the week that was, perhaps enjoy a ‘slow’ game or two, and have a social drink (BYO).  All are welcome to attend but please check the website first in case of last-minute changes.

L-R: Graeme, Helen and Joy enjoy Winter Warmers

L-R: Graeme, Helen and Joy enjoy Winter Warmers

We are also planning a community lunch on the last Sunday of every month, commencing in July.  Details will be advised closer to the time.  This is a good opportunity to invite people to join our email list so that you are kept up to date of all our happenings.  You can sign up to receive our newsletter via our website or by sending us an email.

We have taken delivery of our gallery hanging system and are particularly delighted that their first use was a pop-up exhibition by notable local artists Robert Maclaurin, Catherine Pilgrim and David Frazer.

Robert Maclaurin, Catherine Pilgrim and David Frazer exhibition

Robert Maclaurin, Catherine Pilgrim and David Frazer exhibition

And in breaking news – we are delighted to announce that the Fryerstown School will be the venue for the Mount Alexander Shire Arts Forum to be held on Thursday 15th August as part of Art Fields, which is a month-long showcase of art works produced by Mount Alexander-based artists.  Art Fields will include visual art, performance, literature, film, music, performance nights and weekend artist’s talks.

This beautiful and peaceful facility is available for your enjoyment.  To arrange an inspection phone Denise Button on 0413 563404 or email  for more information.

May, media and mmmmmm.

During the month of May there have been numerous inspections of the facilities and several events – with more on the horizon.  “We used to bring the kids here on school camp back in the ‘80s” reminisced a former teacher from Lockwood Primary School.  We have had health and wellbeing practitioners visit – with talk of a regular one day a month event for people to rejuvenate their mind and body.  The Growing Abundance team inspected the facilities and have scheduled an olive processing workshop at the school on Saturday 8th June.

017Tim Todhunter, the leader of the school restoration project, celebrated a ‘significant’ birthday with family and friends at the school during May.  Attendees were delighted with a performance by the local Welsh Male Choir, followed by a display of dancing marionette puppets, folk music and storytelling by Marcus and Carolyn of Hunkydory Puppets.

The Mount Alexander Heritage Advisory Committee held a gathering at the school after a tour of historic sites around Fryerstown and Vaughan, and discussed the school restoration over a bowl of hearty soup by the crackling fire.

There was a great turn out to an Emergency Services community event held on the evening of Friday 24 May, with demonstrations by the various service organisations outside, followed by a delicious meal inside.  During the last week the school has been used for a sewing workshop.

The Fryerstown School has been featured in the Castlemaine Mail, the Midland Express and is also in the current Chewton Chat.

We are currently working on the programming of the ‘Winter Warmers’ community event to be held in the middle of June.  It will be a fantastic night where community members and friends can come together for delicious food (mmmmm), wonderful entertainment and warm conversation.

If you would like to arrange an inspection of the school, discuss an event, or hire the beautiful gallery space, phone Denise Button on 0413 563404, email or visit .