Skip to content Skip to navigation
Open 6 days (closed Tuesdays). Weekdays: 10am to 4pm. Weekends: 10am to 5pm. Elsewhere at SAM café: 8am to 4pm.

SAM Future – The Facts

While a few members of the Greater Shepparton community have cast doubt over the future of the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), Greater Shepparton City Council is undertaking a significant amount of groundwork to secure a long-term vision for the facility.

While a few members of the Greater Shepparton community have cast doubt over the future of the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), Greater Shepparton City Council is undertaking a significant amount of groundwork to secure a long-term vision for the facility.

Key to the future of the museum will be the fundraising and investment undertaken by the yet to be established SAM Foundation.

The mandate for the Foundation is very clear, to raise funds to undertake a significant capital drive for a new expanded art museum and to grow funds to benefit the SAM collection and program.

The Foundation's facts are:
• The Foundation is yet to be fully established as appointments to the inaugural board are yet to be made.
• The trust deed of the Foundation is independent to the gallery and its purpose is to raise funds for the new SAM.
• The funds raised by the Foundation will be quarantined and cannot and will not be used to support Council operations.
• Council will contribute $545,000 to assist the Foundation in establishing their independent financial management.
• It will be at the discretion of the Foundation as to how their funds are raised and used.
• The current governance arrangements for the establishment of the Foundation are an interim measure while other governance models are being evaluated.
• A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Council and the Foundation has been developed by Herbert, Smith, Freehills who specialise in art gallery governance models. The MOU will ensure that the Foundation is compliant with the Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines (2011) and other taxation laws applicable to public ancillary funds.
• A delegation of Councillors, Council officers and key stakeholders recently visited Melbourne based galleries to review their governance arrangements. These visits will be used to inform the on-going governance structure.
• Council has been in very productive discussions with Regional Development Victoria relating to funding for a business plan for the new SAM facility. The business plan will examine in part, the most appropriate governance structure which will ensure the protection of SAM's significant assets for the benefit and enjoyment of the Greater Shepparton community.

"Comments made to the media by community members regarding the present model of governance for the SAM Foundation is extremely disappointing", suggests City of Greater Shepparton CEO Gavin Cator.

"The perception that a new SAM facility will be sold off in order to fund operational activities is incorrect and misguided. SAM's art works are a significant ratepayer asset, where from over 50 years Council has successfully managed and grown on behalf of the Greater Shepparton community. The art works are owned and have always been managed in the best interests of our Rate payers", explains Mr Cator.

The location and governance of any new facility are yet to be determined. There is still much work to be done.

"We understand that in order to achieve a visionary outcome for any potential museum, the Council will need to partner with a range of private and government stakeholders" contends Mr Cator.

"The design of any proposed new governance structure for the potential museum, whether it is a charity, trust, or company, must have Councillor involvement to ensure it is developed to protect the assets of the Greater Shepparton community. Council needs to be confident in any new governance and it will take detailed research, extensive business planning and consultation with all key stakeholders of which the Foundation will be one such group."

For more information please contact Mr Gavin Cator on 0418 338 659.

The Friends of SAM Commission by Nici Cumpston

The Friends of SAM unveil new artwork by artist Nici Cumpston.

The Friends of SAM and Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) are delighted to present the Friends of SAM Commission by Adelaide-based photographer, Nici Cumpston.

The Friends of SAM Commission invites a major Australian artist to create an artwork that engages with the Shepparton region for the SAM permanent collection. This visionary commission was initiated in 2012 to address the lack of art works in the SAM collection about the Shepparton region.

Nici Cumpston's body of work for the Friends of SAM Commission documents and honours the relationship between local Aboriginal people and country around Shepparton. The artist has produced a suite of four hand-coloured photographs: two of an Aboriginal water hole site at Whroo Historic Reserve, near Rushworth; and two of a scar-tree and creek in Barmah National Park. Cumpston produced this body of work after meeting with local Aboriginal Elders in and around Shepparton.

‘The Friends of SAM Commission brings a substantial new body of work by one of Australia's most exciting and well-respected photographers into SAM's permanent collection,' SAM Director Kirsten Paisley said. ‘Nici has been extremely generous with the work she has made for SAM and delivered four extraordinarily beautiful and haunting images. We are grateful to the artist, and also the Friends of SAM for their vision in commissioning a new work about the region.'

‘The Friends are really looking forward to seeing Nici's work exhibited on the walls at SAM,' Friends of SAM president, Barb Gray said. ‘I am sure the local community will be as thrilled with them as we are.'

The commission provides an opportunity for audiences from Shepparton and further afield to learn about aspects of the history of this region from an Aboriginal perspective and to appreciate the ongoing relationship between local Aboriginal people and country surrounding Shepparton and in North-Central Victoria.

Nici Cumpston will present a free artist talk at SAM on Friday 13 December at 5pm, which the general public are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to (03) 5832 9861.

The commission will be officially unveiled at the Friends of SAM Christmas Party and Friends Forever exhibition opening on Friday 13 December, to be held at SAM from 6pm. Tickets are $20 per person. Please phone (03) 5832 9861 or visit SAM at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton should you wish to attend.

Nici Cumpston is an Adelaide-based photographer with Aboriginal Australian, Afghan, British and Irish heritage. Her work testifies to the ongoing relationship between Aboriginal people
and country in south-east Australia, and the violent impact of European settlement on both the environment and Aboriginal people. Nici Cumpston is connected to the Murray Darling River
system through her Barkindji family.

The Friends of SAM Inc. develop and foster an active cultural community in Greater Shepparton and support Shepparton Art Museum by raising funds for the acquisition of new works amongst
other activities.

Shepparton Art Museum is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton. For general SAM enquiries and bookings please contact: (03) 5832
9861, email or visit

SAM is open 7 days from 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm), and closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday.

For more information regarding this media release and for interview and photo/video opportunities, please contact SAM Marketing Co-ordinator Amina Barolli on ph: (03) 5832
9522 E:

Image: Nici Cumpston, Budgee Creek II, Barmah National Park 2013
archival inkjet print, hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint and pencil
65 x 175 cm, image courtesy and © the artist