Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
People in funny hats and costumes

Minister Race Matthews Cutting the Ribbon to open AAV's new ramp, 1986

In 1985 AAV moved into a new office in Sturt St, Southbank. The state government funded a new ramp for the building. A Mad Hatters Party was held to mark the occasion. Minister Race Matthews officially opened the new ramp. The Minister got in the spirit wearing a novelty hat as part of the day.

AAV’s new office housed the Arts Access Victoria Resource Unit. This important library of material relating to Disability Arts was available for anyone to use and browse.

EASE – the Entertainment Access Service, was an accessible ticketing service developed by AAV. It helped Victorian venues give access to Deaf and Disabled audiences.

By 1989 AAV had established its own studio program. Previously AAV had run programs for people within existing institutions. This was the beginning of the many studios AAV runs today!

TWo people outside a stadium.

Two people going to a concert through the EASE program.

Woman performing on a stage

Preference shot from The Taste of Crime. 1989.

The mid- late 1980s saw many significant projects.

In 1985 Victoria marked 150 years as a state. AAV was commissioned to hold a festival, called ‘Sharing’. It was held on 7 November at the Victorian Showgrounds. Workshops, performances, exhibitions and food brought people together. Minister Race Matthews opened the day and made the first mark on a collaborative artwork.

‘Taste of Crime’ was a performance piece written and performed in 1989 by the women of Fairlea Prison.  The 90-minute show contained songs and stories written by the women. Over 1,000 people attended the performances.

a monster is held up in the air by large polls.

Community arts project in the Mansfield region with Western Theatre.

The Broadmeadows Teenage Women’s Group presented the play, ‘Mummy Wears Pigtails’. The young mothers used the play to show the stigma that they experienced in society.

Ash Wednesday devastated Victorians. In 1985 AAV collaborated on a community arts project in the Mansfield region with Neil Cameron of West Theatre. It was a healing moment.

Two hundred children from 17 sites all over Melbourne took part in Arts Access’ Bicentennial ‘Art Party’. Two programs of developmental visual arts workshops culminated in the children’s work being exhibited as part of the National Bicentennial travelling Exhibition.  

Highlights of the exhibition were the visits by the children who participated in the ‘Art Party’ Project. Their excitement at seeing their work displayed, with names and photographs, was wonderful to see. They were delighted at their work being among that of other schools and being part of the much bigger Bicentennial Exhibition.  

drawing - a dog on a horse.

A drawing from Art Party. 1989.