Arts Flashback

To celebrate Arts Victoria's 40th anniversary we've hit the archives
and uncovered some choice moments in the development of
Victoria's arts sector.

Click on the images below to view the stories and photo galleries, share them with others, and find out how Victoria grew to be the arts and cultural powerhouse it is today.

St Martin's Youth Arts Centre's Bingo (Nov – Dec 1983)
St Martin's Youth Arts Centre's Bingo (Nov – Dec 1983)


St Martins Youth Arts Centre begins

The Victorian Government purchased the site of the former 'Melbourne Little Theatre' in St Martins Lane, South Yarra in 1977, to create a place for young people to get involved in the arts. St Martins Youth Arts Centre presented its first production in 1979 – The South Yarra Show was researched, written and presented by a group of 80 young people from across Melbourne.


The Centre was officially opened in 1982 by the Minister for the Arts, Race Matthews. In the decades since, St Martins has provided many young Victorians, aged five to 25, with their first taste of the performing arts, and valuable hands-on experience. Artists who made their start at St Martins in its early years include Jane Turner and Gina Riley, Frank Woodley and Colin Lane, Catherine McClements, Barrie Kosky, Noah Taylor and Ben Mendelsohn.

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