SECCA, Cultural Hub of the South East opens to the public

Contemporary art is being reimagined in the Bega Valley, with the newly expanded South East Centre for Contemporary Art (SECCA) officially opened today by Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain MP, and Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick.

Funded as part of the Bega Valley Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure Project – which received around $2.47 million in funding from the Australian Government – the transformed art space has nearly doubled the size of the former Bega Valley Regional Gallery, creating a new cultural hub for the South East region.

The redevelopment is one component of the Bega Valley Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure Project, which also includes construction of the Pambula Squash Courts, completed in June 2022, and upgrade of the Eden Skate Park, expected to commence construction in November 2023.

This is supporting around 33 jobs during construction, and another 7 ongoing jobs on completion of all components.

The centre will open daily from 10am to 5pm, closing on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

It will also play host to the Archibald Prize 2023 exhibition, which runs from 18 November 2023 to 7 January 2024.

For ticket prices and to book – which is essential – visit:

Quotes attributable to Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain MP:

“It’s fantastic to officially open this exciting new artistic and cultural space for the Bega Valley and surrounding region – because it will have such a positive impact in our community.

“From driving economic growth in the Bega Valley through increased tourism – to bringing people together like never before, this purpose-built space will really transform how we showcase local, regional and touring art.

“That’s why we’ve injected $2.47 million to the Bega Valley Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure Project – as part of our commitment to activating diverse community infrastructure outside of our big cities.

“I encourage members of the community to come and experience SECCA and all of the exhibition and cultural activities this long-awaited enhanced facility has to offer.”

 Quotes attributable to Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Cr Russell Fitzpatrick

“SECCA is more than just a physical space; it is a platform for artistic expression in all its forms.

“Through historical exhibitions, it provides a window to our past, while contemporary programs and major talent exploration pave the way for the future.

“SECCA is already making its mark on the national art scene, having been selected as one of just six galleries in NSW and Victoria to exhibit the world-renowned Archibald Prize.

“Opening the gallery to a prestigious exhibition of this calibre is a fantastic first chapter to SECCA, and I look forward to many thought-provoking and visually stunning programs in the years to come.”

Quotes attributable to SECCA Director, Iain Dawson:

“The gallery has earned a place on Australia’s cultural calendar through its dynamic setting and a long history of engaging exhibitions as the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.

“This is a testament to the quality of our new space and our commitment to supporting contemporary art.

“We are simultaneously keeping our vision broad and ambitious while also maintaining a focus on community through working with local groups such as Tulgeen Disability Services on their wonderful Art in the Garage program.

“This is an important part of what SECCA stands for by providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in the arts.

“SECCA is a place where everyone is welcome. Our aim was to create a space where people can come to experience art and free expression, to learn about different cultures, and above all, be inspired.

“The cultural and art space was made possible through generous financial assistance from the Australian Government.

“Together with a co-contribution from Council and a $250,000 grant from Create NSW for a new workshop and project space, and a state-of-the-art collection and storage system, we have turned our vision of building a cultural hub for the South East into a reality.

“As well as the launch and exhibition, we’ll be holding a community weekend on 9 and 10 December so the whole community can check out the new gallery. There’ll be events and programs on the Saturday and free entry to the exhibition all weekend.”