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Cheryl Fuller retires as Chair of the Board after almost 35 years of service.

Cheryl Fuller began in the early 1980’s when the Conservatorium started as the Deniliquin/Finley Instrumental Tuition Program. Cheryl then became a member of the Management Committee, the Music Camp Committee and the Concert Committee and then joined the Board. Cheryl was integral with the organisation becoming a Conservatorium which is a huge achievement in a small town. It goes without saying, Cheryl has been part of South West Music since its inception.

Cheryl’s love of music began when she was age 7. She was fortunate enough to have parents who nurtured her interests and piano was one of them. Raising her own family in Deniliquin, Cheryl was keen to ensure that her children and the children in the community had the same opportunities which she had growing up. This remains very much part of the core values of South West Music to this day.

Over the years Cheryl has been an essential part of the development seen at the Conservatorium. In the 1980’s the organisation was set up for students from the Victorian College of Arts to provide tuition on a fortnightly basis. Student numbers were less than 100. Now our teachers have provided music education for anything up to 900 students in towns stretching from Barham, to Hillston, and to Berrigan. We deliver lessons face to face and with the help of technology can deliver teaching

online. This allows us to reach remote communities and our students could continue learning through the covid pandemic. Earlier this year we were successful in our application for funding from Create NSW and have been awarded $4.3 million to purchase and renovate the space into a state of the art, fit for purpose music facility. The refurbished building will be an asset to the region and will act as a catalyst for the growth of music education in south western NSW.

Over the years Cheryl has very fond memories of her experiences with the Conservatorium. When we asked Cheryl about her fondest memories, she spoke about the joy young people display when they are performing and how heart-warming it is to see them achieve as a result of all of their hard work to get to that point. A standout memory for Cheryl was when James Morrison gave a very impromptu performance during a show which included two of his sons. This was such a generous and thrilling gesture on his part and a treat for all in attendance. The Annual Concert Series has always been dear to Cheryl’s heart. Cheryl always had a lot of fun being part of that group of people who all shared the satisfaction of bringing interesting, top-class performers to the region.

When asked about the future of South West Music, Cheryl would like to see continued growth and delivery of music education into a larger number of towns surrounding Deniliquin. There is so much more we can achieve together. Music is the perfect conduit for nurturing our wellbeing and building stronger communities.

South West Music welcomes Ray Davy as the new Chair of the board. Ray comes from Balranald and has substantial experience in economic development in regional Australia. A formal announcement will be made in the coming days regarding his appointment.

The team at South West Music would like to sincerely thank Cheryl for her years of dedication and service. Her commitment and loyalty to the organisation has been unwavering. She will be missed by many both personally and professionally.

There is an intended event to take place in February 2023 to thank Cheryl for her enormous contribution to the Conservatorium. More information to come soon…


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