Dr Stovepipe and Creativity

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The Four Winds Create and Inspire Education Program involves exposing children to as much quality live performance as we can organise and provide for them. Living in regional Australia may mean that these opportunities are reduced for our children, compared to their city counterparts. Four Winds hopes to do our best, to change this.  On June 26 and 27 2018 we partnered with Musica Viva to bring Dr Stovepipe and Creativity to the Windsong Pavilion. In total 415 primary students from Narooma and Bermagui primary schools attended.  Following the performance, we offer the opportunity for the children to reflect on what they have seen, discuss it together, and then develop their own creative response to it through singing, drama, dance and craft.

James Crabb Video Message – Thank you to donors and supporters

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A HUGE thank you to all who have donated to support the Four Winds Create and Inspire Education Program. We are delighted to have received donations totalling $40,000 – which will be match-funded – meaning the total value of this campaign is $80,000 which will go towards young people’s music-making and changing lives!

Plans for our Artists in Schools and inaugural Youth Music Festival, as well as professional development for teachers both in and outside the classroom, are well underway. Thank you for helping make this possible and we look forward to sharing news of their success with you.

Field Studies Day Two August 2017

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An afternoon with Warren Foster Mumbulla Falls

By Elena Delmercato, Four Winds Volunteer

On day two, the artists gathered under the trees at Mumbulla Falls to listen to Warren Foster Yuin Community Leader, share stories about his connection to place.

A gifted story teller, Warren spoke engagingly about the relationship he and the people of the Yuin nation have with the natural world. Gesturing behind the group to the tall trees along the river bank, he told the group how ‘We look for signs in the trees. They tell us things and teach us…when the wattle is flowering it tells us there are fish in the rivers. When we come to the bush we talk to the bush, we sing to the bush.”. Warren also spoke about the sense of responsibility he feels to look after the land, “We are here to protect and look after the land…we come from mother earth; we have to put back in mother earth”.

Group photo Bermagui Project Aug 2017

Mumbulla is considered the man’s mountain, and it is a special place for ceremonies to mark the passing of young boys into adulthood. Warren shared with the group how the natural environment, in particular the nearby waterfalls, form part of the ceremony, “At the top of the waterfall you are still a boy. When you slide down into the water and come out below, you are a man.”.

At one point, Warren finished talking and started singing, a song that explained his connection to his land. The group was silent, and as he sang, it was as if the sounds of the bush were accompanying him – various birds called out, trees rustled as they moved in the wind, and the sound of the river. And in the back ground, the sound of Warren’s two young boys as they jumped about on the creek bed. It was a reminder that this bush, and this place had meaning not just for Warren but his family. Just as Bithry Inlet had meaning for the Grounds family. Places, and stories about places, that connect families and honour and respect the natural environment.

As on the previous day, the session ended with a note of thanks and recognition for the natural world. This time it was Warren who told the group how he respected this place every time he visits, and encouraged them to do the same ‘Every time I come up this mountain I take a drink from the creek and say thank you’.

A special thanks to Elena Delmercato and Ben Cunningham, Four Winds Volunteers, for attending the field studies weekend as media/film crew

Field Studies Day One August 2017

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A visit with Marr and Marina Grounds at Myer House, Bithry Inlet

By Elena Delmercato, Four Winds Volunteer

Day One began with a session with Marr and Marina Grounds, son and granddaughter of Roy Grounds, the architect of Myer House, who established the property with Kenneth Myer. The artists gathered around the large wooden table in the impressive dining room of Myer House, the winter morning light streaming through the widows, to listen as Marina and Marr explained their connection to the house and to Bithry Inlet. As the morning unfolded, and Marina and Marr shared their memories with great generosity, the group witnessed the power of storytelling across generations and came to understand how this special place, and its unique natural environment, came to mean so much to their family.

The Grounds and Myer connection to the land began in the 1940’s, when, according to the story handed down in the families, the oysters in the nearby inlets were a big part of why the two friends chose this place – ‘The story goes that Ken and Roy were touring the coast sampling the oysters from all of the inlets when they discovered this land” said Marina.

The families shared a fascination and respect for the natural world. Ken was fascinated by the ecology of the marine environment, and Marina remembered that he could identify every fish, plant, animal, fungi or orchid, ‘In his room here at the house he kept detailed records and charts, including how many oysters he had caught’ recalled Marina. Her father, Marr, son of Roy, lived in the Barn from the mid 1980’s and created art there with his wife, also an artist. Marina would visit her dad, and recalled with joy the experiences of nature and the incredible freedom you get growing up in an environment like this’. Dad had one rule for me when I was growing up, she shared with the group, “If I ever left what we called ‘hearing and seeing distance’, I had to write a note and leave it under a stone”.

The place –both the buildings and the landscapes that are intertwined with them – continue to have great meaning for the descendants of Roy Grounds – “Coming here for me has always been coming home’ says Marina. While for Marr, Bithry Inlet gave him the opportunity to live ‘…the natural existence, a life lived without much infrastructure. A very simple life’. “In their great wisdom, my father and Ken Myer gave this special place to the Parks NSW”, said Marina. Asked about her feelings about the handover of the property to Parks NSW, Marina told the group, “The fact that place was no longer private, was in fact, really important. It is too special to be privately held”.

Over the course of the conversation, the group of artists came to understand how the passion of these two private families for the natural environment had helped to protect the unique and pristine land at Bithry Inlet. As Marina observes, “The ecology of the area is still intact; there are valleys full of ferns; and vines growing up the trees”.  As the group was moving to walk out towards the point and the equally distinctive external buildings, Lee Cruise, a visual artist and Yuin community member, addressed Marina and Marr and said ‘On behalf of my people, we owe you a thank you.  I come up here often with my father and grandfather; it is still its original environment. Thank you’.

A special thanks to Elena Delmercato and Ben Cunningham, Four Winds Volunteers, for attending the field studies weekend as media/film crew

From Bulgaria to Bermagui !

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James Crabb, Four Winds’ Artistic Director, recently returned from a trip to Bulgaria to have his classical accordion undergo a major service with Ukrainian, Viktor Melnyk.

Just in time for this Sunday’s Inaugural Windsong Series performance with Piers Lane (pianist) and Andrew Haveron (violinist).  1pm, tomorrow, Sunday 12 February, in the Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui.

Limited tickets are still available. Bookings essential at

& while Viktor was busy working on the accordion James got busy shoveling snow and enjoying the local delicacies like ‘Kholodets’ (which is Russian for pig’s tongue in a bouillon jelly!)

#FourWinds #BermaguiNSW #DestinationNSW #SapphireCoastNSW  #ABCSouthEastNSW  #SouthEastArts

Great vibe at Summer Sounds music festival | Narooma News

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Great vibe at Summer Sounds music festival | Narooma News

27 January 2017

By Stan Gorton

The inaugural Summer Sounds music festival by Four Winds was deemed a success bringing a new range of diverse of music and different crowd to the scenic concert venue.

The amphitheatre at Barragga Bay south of Bermagui normally rings with the sounds of classical music, but on Australia Day this year it was an eclectic mix of world music, reggae, folk, indie rock and surf tunes.

It was all pulled together by producer Frankie Madrid, with a majority female performer line-up also being something different for music festivals.

Organisers were pleased with the crowd of about 600 given it was a new venture and are hoping for even more next time round.

Highlights included a duet performance by amazingly talented pianist Ambre Hammond who took to the stage in the Windsong Pavilion together with Four Winds artistic director James Crabb playing the accordion.

Their performance generated rapturous applause to the packed crowd spilling out onto the deck.

The full day of music ended with the stunning sounds of blues sensation Alice Terry, who originally hailed from Moruya, and then all ending with surf rockers Caravana Sun.

There was a real summer vibe to the one-day festival with the crowd of all ages dancing in the amphitheatre by the end of the night.

There is lots more on at Four Winds with more diverse music coming up, including the Sounds of Tango and Flamenco on over three days this Easter.

Check out for all the upcoming music.


CLICK HERE to see the full gallery of images

Photos by Marg Hansen

Four Winds Summer Movies Under the Stars

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Four Winds Summer Movies Under the Stars

Tue 27, Wed 28, Thurs 29 & Fri 30 December 2016

Four Winds Sound Shell, Bermagui


mia-wasikowska-in-madly-2016_low-resFour magical summer nights of blockbuster family movies under the stars in the beautiful outdoor Four Winds Sound Shell amphitheatre celebrating the success of Australian talent in Hollywood. Meet Mia Wasikowska (Alice) on opening night – Tue 27th – introducing her film Alice in Wonderland. Mia will take to the stage around 8pm.

Gates open from 6.30pm each evening. A short children’s film will be played each evening at 7pm in the Windsong Pavilion prior to the featured film which will begin at dusk (8pm-ish) in the Sound Shell amphitheatre.

There will be food, bar, ice cream, tea & coffee available for sale.  BYO picnic, rugs and low seating.

Prizes for the most creative costumes!

alice-in-wonderland-2010Tuesday 27 December:

7pm – Short Children’s Film: The Lost Thing

Dusk – Feature Film: Alice in Wonderland

(meet Mia Wasikowska (Alice) in person! Mia will take to the stage around 8pm)




cinderella-2015 Wednesday 28 December

7pm – Short Children’s Film: Rabbit and Deer

Dusk – Feature Film: Cinderella





paper-planesThursday 29 December

7pm – Short Children’s Film: Room on the Broom

Dusk – Feature Film: Paper Planes




eddie-the-eagleFriday 30 December

7pm – Short Children’s Film: Lost and Found

Dusk – Feature Film: Eddie The Eagle





The show will go on! In the case of wet weather all films will be shown inside the Windsong Pavilion.


We encourage creative costumes! There will be a prize for best dressed each night.


General Admission – Adult – $18
General Admission – 5-16yrs – $15
Family Admission – 2 Adults & 2 Children – $60
Free Admission – 4yrs & Under – $0


For more information, to join the Four Winds mailing list and to buy tickets go to

Call 02 6493 3414 , Email, or visit us at the Bermagui Community Centre (Weekday mornings)


Four Winds Bermagui: Chair Sheena Boughen to step down

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Four Winds Bermagui: Chair Sheena Boughen to step down

The Board of Four Winds, Australia’s renowned fine music organisation, has today announced that Chair, Sheena Boughen, has advised she will be stepping down from the role at the AGM in December 2016.

 Ms Boughen has served as Chair for over a decade and was a founding member of the Board when Four Winds held its first Easter festival in 1991. Under Sheena’s leadership, Four Winds has developed from a biennial festival with makeshift facilities into one of Australia’s most recognised music organisations, attracting the best Australian and International artists.  Sheena has overseen the creation of the exquisite Four Winds’ site, Nature’s Concert Hall, that provides outdoor and indoor facilities of international standing and was the driving force attracting significant private philanthropic support and grants from both State and Federal Governments.

With the appointment of James Crabb as Artistic Director, Sheena believes that now is an ideal time to step away from the role and that Four Winds is in great shape. “Four Winds is now an established national arts organisation and well placed to meet the challenges which lie ahead in the next phase of our development.”

Michael Darling, who has been a Four Winds Board Director for several years, will take over as Chair.
Speaking on behalf of the Board, Michael said: “What Sheena has achieved at Four Winds, shows what is possible when someone with a vision decides that no obstacles will stand in the way of success. Sheena is driven by the desire to make a difference, and enthuses all who she meets with her warmth and generosity of spirit. Her passion for community, music and education has been at the heart of creating our exquisite, performance space, Nature’s Concert Hall.”

Under her stewardship, Sheena has led a team that has generated total income for arts and capital projects of $6.6m cash and over $1m pro bono. She has steered the organisation to generate significant partnerships including the Sydney Opera House and the Australian National Academy of Music, and with architects Philip Cox and Clinton Murray who designed Nature’s Concert Hall.  Four Winds 25th birthday has been celebrated this year, having presented 18 festivals, commissioned 16 new Australian works, contracted 330 artists and 50 ensembles to Bermagui, alongside 13 local ensembles with a total of 45,000 attendees, under the leadership of seven Artistic Directors. This has resulted in locals and visitors generating economic activity in the region, adding economic value of over $3m to the local economy.

Sheena’s attention to the highest standards of quality and to deeply caring for all who come into contact with Four Winds (artists, audiences, participants) has been at the heart of our success. Sheena will be greatly missed but her legacy of enduring care is now deeply embedded in our culture.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution, the Board has announced that Sheena has accepted a role as our first Four Winds Life Ambassador and we are delighted that she will maintain her link to Four Winds.

25 Yr + Logo Grey RoundSheena will be spending more time in her consulting business supporting leaders through her strategic facilitation and mentoring expertise, and of course, new adventures.

Four Winds Bermagui exists to provide a home for music making where the creation and performance of music (and related performing arts) fires the imagination, enriches lives and encourages active participation. Nature’s Concert Hall is now welcoming audiences all year round who are drawn to the magnificent alchemy of music and nature that is the essence of Four Winds.

Media enquiries: Jessica Taylor on 0423 689 344 or

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As part of the Four Winds & Astals of Life’s Community BioBlitz at the Four Winds site on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November…
Please join us at the …
FREE Sound Shell Concert – with FourPlay, Indie String Quartet
Saturday 12 November, 1.45 – 3pm. Food & Refreshments available from 12noon.
All welcome. Brind your low-level chairs, picnic rugs and
Friday  11 & Saturday 12 November 2016
Four Winds in partnership with the Atlas of Life and the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, is proud to announce a collaborative, free family and community event over two fun-filled days on 11 and 12 November.
Everyone is welcome to come and share in the music, nature and shared creativity by registering in any or all of the following events:
  • FREE Concert –FourPlay – Indie String Quartet will perform music inspired by rock, swing, hip hop, jazz and more, in the Sound Shell amphitheater from 1.45 – 3pm on Saturday 12 November. Food & refreshments available from 12noon or bring your own picnic.
  • Community BioBlitz – join in over 60 guided surveys including flora walks, reptile hunts, peacock spider searches, night-time moth and possum surveys and motion sensitive camera trap discoveries. Data collected will be recording a baseline of the ecological communities at the Four Winds site and surrounds, which will then allow for monitoring, and the planning of ongoing rehabilitation projects.
  • A limited number of places are also available on Saturday for Masterclass demonstrations in both photography and botanical art, hosted by the above artists. These classes only cost $20 each, and bookings are essential.
With the scientific information collected, the artists onsite will create new botanical illustrations and creative photography projects for exhibition. The Atlas of Life is also conducting a photographic competition – for details see
This exciting synthesis of science and creativity is proudly supported by Local Land Services NSW, Arts NSW, the Australian National University, the National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW, and with thanks to Cardno. It is made possible by the dedication of the Four Winds Board to the rehabilitation and protection of their Barragga Bay site and the Atlas of Life’s commitment to the preservation and celebration of the flora and fauna of the Sapphire Coast.

BLOG SPOT with The String Contingent, Artists in Residence, April 2016

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The String Contingent Live – Open Recording Sessions

6.30pm, Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April 2016

Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui

Tickets: Adults $25/Children 16 and under FREE.

Join The String Contingent in the Windsong Pavilion and be part of their creative process as they record their new CD.

Renowned acoustic chamber-folk trio The String Contingent is comprised of Australians, Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass), with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar). Over the past six years and four albums they have reached ‘the upper echelon of instrumental exploration, arrangement, composition and performance’ (Tony Hillier, Rhythms).  Their last album, ‘Facets’, features some of Australia’s most revered musicians, and showcases the stylistic flexibility of The String Contingent as they shift through baroque, classical, jazz, Indian, Celtic and Balkan elements to create a truly contemporary sound. The String Contingent are resident at Four Winds, Bermagui for one week to record their new album in the Windsong Pavilion. Be part of it by joining the live, evening recording sessions.