Arts and Cultural Award for WollCon

WollCon is among a group of 12 residents and organisations who’ve earned Australia Day Awards for their outstanding contributions to the city of Wollongong.

Awarded the Arts & Cultural Achievement Award, the judging panel recognised that in 2022 WollCon celebrated its 50th anniversary year with the community, and has emerged from the challenges of COVID lockdowns, bigger and better than ever.

WollCon CEO David Francis was thrilled with the award because it recognised the breadth of everything staff deliver and what that brings to the educational and cultural life of the region.

“It’s true recognition of all WollCon does as a dynamic and important organisation.”

David Francis

CEO, WollCon

Junior String Performing


At the height of the pandemic, WollCon provided the majority of its teaching on-line. In 2022, under new CEO, David Francis, WollCon attracted an audience of more than 1,000 to its flagship two-day festival at Gleniffer Brae, where around 500 musicians performed.

WollCon’s in-school program serves 23 local schools, teaching over 1500 children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to live music as part of their learning. WollCon teachers support 40 vulnerable members of the community through their music therapy program. 

Launched in 2022, the Junior Strings Program is the first of its kind in NSW where young students are fully immersed in a musical experience with lessons in music theory, history and providing public performance opportunities.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM extended a hearty congratulations to each of the nominees and award recipients.

“These awards recognise exceptional individuals and groups who have shown a willingness to lend a helping hand, concern for the environment, excellence in innovation, or represented Wollongong in sporting, arts, or cultural endeavours. These individuals and organisations are truly the best of us. It’s an honour to highlight their achievements today. I thank you all on behalf of a proud city.”

Cr Bradbery

Lord Mayor, City of Wollongong

CEO David Francis accepts the award

Photo courtesy of Wollongong City Council.


Read the Wollongong City Council article listing all award winners.