So, for those who don’t know, Kalgoorlie is and has been centred around gold mining since an Irishman named Paddy found the stuff near here back in 1893. For well over a century this place has been known as the Wild West and upon hearing ‘Kalgoorlie’ many people think of rough miners, prostitutes and our topless barmaids known as skimpies.
But these days, Kalgoorlie is more than that and many people have worked hard to try and shirk the Wild West image.
In October, Kalgoorlie will host the biennial Regional Arts Australia Summit. Artists and people in the arts will come from all over the country for a big four day conference. It’s going to be a massive injection of culture and colour. I managed to score a spot in the Young Reference Group for the Summit, so along with doing a few projects of our own, we will speak on panels (scary!), take workshops and try to provide some meaningful input from a Gen Y perspective.
Now, not to confuse things, but before that all happens in October, a massive annual mining conference known as Diggers and Dealers will take place next week. As a bit of nod to Kalgoorlie’s association with gold, Rydges Kalgoorlie has decided to accept payment from its conference guests in the form of gold. So a couple of nights with dinner thrown in will cost you a nugget or five in gold (depending on the size).
The Arts Summit team decided to jump onboard and have a lunch at Rydges and pay with nuggets.
We started with a tasting plate.
Before moving onto mains. I had a chicken parmigiana because, well, we are in Kalgoorlie after all. Long live pub meals.
The Kalgoorlie-based team members from left to right: First Nations Creative Producer Gary Cooper, Chair of Country Arts WA Kate Fielding, Artistic Direction Ben Fox, me awkwardly holding the cupcake, Creative Producer Owen Hinton and Lisa Van Oyen:
I will have plenty of Arts Summit stuff to share soon. A very busy second half to 2014 is fast approaching!