Arts & Culture

Local artist supports Annual Grants program

Published: 28 Feb 2020 12:21pm

A local artist whose inspiration and creativity is brought to life inside an old shearing shed on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga is edging her way towards national and international success.

Julia Roche moved back to Wagga Wagga three years ago with a young family after 10 years in Sydney where she studied visual arts at Sydney College of the Arts.  And the long road back to her hometown has been a tree-change with benefits for this artist.

“The move back has been refreshing on many levels – both personally and professionally,” Julia said.

“The chance to create a new studio space which aligns with my conceptual direction in a re-purposed shearing shed on our farm, as well as stage an exhibition at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery were personal milestones for me in 2019.

“New opportunities have arisen from these changes which has been terrific.”

Some of those opportunities have come on the back of a successful grant Julia received to assist grow her business through Wagga Wagga City Council’s Annual Grants Program 2019/20.

She applied for funding through the Small Business category and was successful in being awarded almost $4000 towards the promotion of her business to new audiences.

“I engaged two local photographers to produce quality images which I then used in a catalogue which I published in both print and digital form,” Julia said.

“This allowed me to promote my works to a broader audience both nationally and internationally. The majority of the works sold and were couriered to new homes and businesses in the Philippines, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and of course locally here in Wagga Wagga.

“The campaign gave me broader scope to visually display my works and it also meant I was encouraged to get out into my community and network to find other creatives to employ to pull it all together. It was well worth the effort.”

Julia said she ensured the grant funding was spent with local businesses.

“I used two talented local photographers, and the printing was also done here … I’m a strong believer in supporting local small business,” she said.

Julia recommends any local small business to investigate the Annual Grants program as a way of kick-starting or supporting their existing business model.

Each financial year, Council makes funds available under its Annual Grants Program for local non-profit community groups, individuals and small businesses within the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area. The program assists recipients to deliver a diverse range of programs, events and projects which support the community and enhance wellbeing.

“The grant also gave me a confidence that there is support for small business … it is a great initiative by Council which is working hard to assist promoting not only small business, but local community groups and events,” Julia said.

Applications open on Monday 9 March and close on 4 May, 2020. Council will also hold a grant consultation session for those thinking of applying on Tuesday 24 March between 4pm – 6pm at the Civic Centre. More information is available at