Merle Hathaway

My life and career have been devoted to the arts and arts education. But lately I have become actively involved in support and action for refugees, and in the challenge to retain the Civic Hall for the community, and stop its proposed demolition.

Since the 80’s I’ve worked in just about every aspect of the arts – as arts teacher in Ballarat at several secondary schools, and at the University of Ballarat where I taught life drawing and arts education, Education Officer at Ballarat Art Gallery (1980 – 1990), Arts Officer for the City of Ballarat (1990s) and in 2012 at Golden Plains Shire, Curator / Educator at Dromkeen Children’s Literature Collection (1994), Director of Horsham Regional Art Gallery (1995 – 2008) and Executive Officer for the Public Galleries Association (2009 /9).

I’ve curated dozens of exhibitions including touring exhibitions for Horsham. The most recent is Chris Nicholls: Landscapes of the Mind, shown at the Art Gallery of Ballarat 28 September – 27 October 2013. Chris was a rather reclusive artist from the Wimmera who sadly died before his work was due to exhibit at a major Melbourne gallery. So I have been working with his widow for several years on this project to make his work better known.

I enjoy organising arts events at my place (the old Buninyong Brewery). We’ve had parties, concerts, performances – including Danny Spooner and Adam Simmons, several ukulele workshops (and a Uke festival coming up 9 & 10 November 2013) and the occasional wedding.

I'm now working as a freelance curator, arts administrator, organiser of arts events, policy writer etc. Previous roles include Director of Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Executive Officer for the PGAV, Education Officer at Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, and Arts Officer for Ballarat and Golden Plains Shire.
Anything is possible!

Contact Details

Postal address: PO Box 114, Buninyong VIC 3357
Phone number: 0419 324 042
Email address:


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Buninyong Brewery
Chris Nicholls paintings
Petition to Save the Civic Hall

Membership of Organisations

Save Civic Hall
Ballarat (Australian Refugee Association) Circle of Friends
ICOM (International Council of Museums) since 1986
Arts HUB
Art Gallery of Ballarat
World Wildlife
Australian Conservation Foundation
Amnesty International
The Greens
Measure 4 Measure (chamber music group)