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2016 Presidents Report

It is with pleasure that I present the President’s report for 2016, the year representing the 21st anniversary of St Cecilia Music Scholarships

Donations and grants

During the year we received significant grants from the Eurobodalla Shire Council ($2,153), Moruya CWA ($2000) and the Rotary Club of Batemans Bay ($1000). We also received a grant from the South Coast Music Society of $200 which was devoted to a Classical Music award and a grant of $300 from PerfEx and associated persons for a number of awards. We also received donations from our patron Rafe de Crespigny, our founder Maria de Rocco, the Amici d’Italia group and donations from a number of other individuals. Grants and donations for the year totalled $7238.

We are grateful to the faithful individuals and organisations that support the St Cecilia scholarship program which enables us to provide annual awards totaling $5750 and tertiary scholarships to young musicians from the South Coast of NSW.


The 2016 Scholarship auditions were held on the weekend of 15/16 October at St Peter’s Anglican College with Craig Woodland and Lizzie Collier of Canberra Grammar school as adjudicators.

A total of 33 entries were received from young people in the Bega, Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven local government areas. Unfortunately a number of entrants withdrew due to illness and in one case the proximity of the audition to the VCE Examinations.

Performance Workshop

On Sunday 6 November a workshop was conducted for finalists by Merinda Anthill and Louise Hankinson. The workshop was conducted at St Bernard’s Church and participants enthusiastically participated in the various activities. It is my observation that the finalists developed confidence as a result of the workshop which was evident in their performances at the Concert. Evaluation feedback from participants will help improve this workshop in future years.


The compere at the concert was Jen Hunt from ABC Radio. Around 200 were in the audience and they enjoyed an hour’s worth of entertainment. The presenters were Jeannie Brewer, Henk Roubos of PerfEx, Julie Stuart, President of the South Coast Music Society, Jeff Thorpe, President of the Batemans Bay Rotary Club, Annette Chapman, President of the Moruya CWA, Maria de Rocco, and Eurobodalla Shire Deputy Mayor, Anthony Mayne.

Merinda Anthill and Louise Hankinson kindly offered to stage manage the concert which was greatly appreciated.

Awards made at the Concert were as follows:

Senior Classical
First:Luca ZiinoPiano
Second:Nikola KanizirViolin
Senior Contemporary
First:Chloe WattsPiano
Second:Bailey BriggsGuitar
Junior Classical
First:Stephanie LunnPiano
Second:Thomas DerwentDescant Recorder
Junior Contemporary
First:Jana PatriziPiano
Second:Hayley ChownPiano
Merit Awards
Saithong FafiePiano
Jessica HughesVocal
Maria de Rocco Award
Kevin O’KellyGuitar & Vocal
South Coast Music Society Classical Award
Caitlin DouglasPiano
PerfEx Roubos-Bennett Award
Tara WattsPiano

In addition to the presentations to the finalists, presentations were made to Dave Harding to recognise his eleven years as President prior to 2016 when he stood down from this role, and to Jeannie Brewer who is retiring from the committee after 14 years (ten years as Vice President).

Attendees at the concert commented on the high standard of performance and the talent of the performers. We look forward to observing the future development of these young musicians some of whom are aspiring to become professional musicians in the future.


There are a number of organisations and individuals whose support made 2016 another successful year for the Association:

  • ABC South East for publicity
  • Jen Hunt ABC for compering concert
  • The Bay Post for affording us publicity
  • St Peter’s Anglican College
  • St Bernard’s Church and its staff
  • Lynne Hughes Photography
  • Accompanists- Jan Elias, Marina Bell and Pam Larkin
  • Our piano tuner Ron Keirs
  • Louise Hankinson and Merinda Anthill (Performance Workshop and concert stage management)
  • Our donors: Moruya CWA, Batemans Bay Rotary, Eurobodalla Shire Council, South Coast Music Society, PerFex and our personal donors.
  • Our Trustees, Peter Kable, Di Edwards and Rafe de Crespigny our patron
  • Peter Rich for designing and printing the Scholarship Certificates
  • Maria de Rocco, our founder

I wish to thank all of the members of our Committee during the year – Jeannie Brewer (Vice President), Wendy Black (Treasurer), Dave Harding, Richard Edwards, Pam Larkin, Ian Duff and Caryl Haslem for their enthusiastic support and effort.

Chris Heazlewood