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.

Council handed keys to the new SAM building

Greater Shepparton City Council is excited to announce that the new SAM building was completed on 22 January 2021, with a certificate of occupancy issued on 2 February 2021.

With the keys handed to Council, this gives the green light for tenants, SAM Limited, Kaiela Arts and the Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre, to commence moving in.   

“We’ve all watched the new SAM building take shape with great anticipation over the past 18 months and finally moving day is here!” said Greater Shepparton Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe. “The new SAM building is already iconic, and we are looking forward to inviting in the community and visitors to make the most of all the experiences that will be on offer. It’s been compelling to see how the design has transformed into this unique, grand building, but just wait to see what will be on offer inside!”

SAM, Kaiela Arts and the Visitor Centre will commence transitioning to the new site from March 1. It is anticipated that the new SAM building will open its doors to welcome visitors as of March 31, with Kaiela Arts and the Visitor Centre likely to be fully operational at that time, along with the SAM gift shop. While the ground floor will be open to the public in late March, levels one to four will remain closed until closer to the Opening Launch in October to enable SAM to complete the installation of its collection and upcoming exhibition program.

“Our artists have missed being able to make work for some weeks while we’ve been packing and are eagerly waiting to work in their studio space overlooking the lake, on Country”, explains Kaiela Arts Manager, Angie Russi. “We’re very excited to open doors in our new space to welcome people to our new home.”

“The SAM team is excited to commence the move to new SAM from 1 March”, explains SAM CEO and Artistic Director Dr Rebecca Coates. “The collection is comprised of 4,000+ unique and priceless artworks which will be carefully relocated to the purpose-built facilities over the next few months. Moving an entire museum including its collection is a major operation, as is setting up the opening exhibitions and projects once the artworks arrive at their new home. We’re are very much looking forward to reopening in our new spaces to share collections and exciting new exhibitions with our community and visitors. It will definitely be well worth the wait!”

In working towards opening on March 31 the new building will be opened in a staged, soft reveal, in line with COVID-19 restrictions. A grand opening weekend is planned for 15 -17 October 2021 once SAM’s collections, exhibition installations and programs are in place. Further details regarding the opening celebrations will be made available in the lead up to the event.  

While reaching the physical completion stage, along with the moving in of the tenants, there are still some elements that are being finalised. This includes SAM Limited appointing a successful tenderer to operate the new SAM café and function space. Applications for this opportunity close on February 26. Also to be completed is the recently funded indigenous healing garden that will form part of the SAM landscaping.

The first stage of the intersection works are also completed having provided much improved traffic flow for visitors to new SAM, Victoria Park Lake and surrounding residents, however there are still roadworks in progress. Intersection works still being undertaken include undergrounding of the power lines on the south west approach, rail signal sequencing with the traffic lights and installation and commissioning of the actual traffic lights. It is anticipated these works will be completed this May.

“New SAM provides the opportunity for the Shepparton Art Museum, Kaiela Arts and our Visitor Centre to work together to further strengthen how we recognise and celebrate Greater Shepparton, particularly our Indigenous heritage and the role it plays in our past, present and future”, suggests Mayor O’Keeffe. “Having our Visitor Centre located in new SAM – the gateway to Greater Shepparton, will also enhance the way in which we welcome visitors to our region.”

Key Dates:

22 JanuarySAM building completion
2 FebruaryCertificate of Occupancy issued to Greater Shepparton City Council
1 MarchKaiela Arts, The Visitor Centre, SAM office and non-collection items commence moving in
31 March (will be officially confirmed closer to the date)  New SAM ground floor open to public – Kaiela Arts, Visitor Centre and SAM Shop
12 -19 AprilSAM Collection commence relocation – move approximately five weeks
31 May  SAM commence install of exhibitions due to exhibit on 6 or 9 July
15 to 17 October    Grand Opening Weekend

Shepparton Art Museum Appoints New Development Team

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) Limited and SAM Foundation are thrilled to announce the appointment of former GV Health Foundation Director Carmel Johnson, as the new SAM Head of Development.

Carmel will join the SAM team to take the reigns on the highly successful building capital campaign and manage SAM’s ongoing fundraising. She will be supported in the role by Ardmona resident Anna Turnbull.

SAM Artistic Director and CEO Dr Rebecca Coates welcomed Carmel and Anna to the team.

“We are delighted to welcome Carmel and Anna at this exciting time with the new building nearly complete,” Rebecca said.

“The pair will bring a deep understanding of our community’s values and, draw on their extensive networks to ensure we engage with a cross section of our community.

“I look forward to working with them to nurture opportunities for local businesses, develop partnerships with wider networks keen to contribute to a great arts and cultural story for regional Victoria.”

SAM Foundation Chair John Head, also welcomed Carmel and Anna to the SAM family.

“It’s exciting to have top quality professionals joining the Foundation and we look forward to working with them to finalise the building capital campaign and continue securing program and endowment funding for SAM,” John said.

“The pair will build on the work of an already successful campaign which has raised more than $7.5 million in pledges so far.

“We are inviting the community to continue to embrace this opportunity and to continue to give to the building capital campaign and SAM’s programs more broadly.

“The building is nearing completion and we are getting closer to an exciting opening of a cultural icon of national significance that will positively add to the local economy and put Shepparton on the map as a major destination to work, live and visit.”

Carmel said SAM would be game changing for the Greater Shepparton community.

“The new SAM is providing the community with a unique opportunity. This aspirational building is a reflection of what our community is capable of, a place to celebrate and immerse ourselves in our diverse culture and rich Indigenous history.

“SAM will stimulate participation in the arts and all things creative, it will generate pride and a true sense of place.”

In coming weeks, the SAM team will begin the enormous undertaking of moving the art collection to the new building and start installing exhibitions. The building will open later in 2021.

Carmel Johnson has led major projects and fundraising campaigns on behalf of the Greater Shepparton community for the past three decades.

She is an enthusiastic advocate for the region and is actively involved in numerous organisations including serving in the inaugural role as Chair of the SheppARTon Festival.

Anna is a former journalist and communications specialist. She lives with her family on an orchard in Tatura.


SAM Offers Exciting new Hospitality Opportunity

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is offering an exciting new hospitality opportunity to operate a café, a separate roof top bar and multifunction area. SAM is one of Australia’s leading art museums located in Greater Shepparton, recognised for its ceramics and Indigenous art collections and engagement programs.

SAM is getting ready for the biggest move in its history, as Shepparton Council’s largest building project nears completion. The new purpose-built art museum and community spaces is designed by internationally acclaimed Australian architects Denton Corker Marshall.

The new SAM building will be home to Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), Kaiela Arts, and the Visitor Centre, offering community, visitors and the region a new arts and culture space to experience, share and enjoy. For Shepparton and north central Victoria, it’s a game-changer. Contemporary, indigenous, inclusive, art and ideas, kids and families, exciting experiences, great food and wine are just some of the experience and ideas that underpin the new spaces and opportunities. Subscribe via the SAM website to get up to date information on our plans for a Grand Opening Weekend, which will be held in the second half of 2021.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM Limited) will be managing the lease for the hospitality opportunity in the new building. To join them on this exciting journey, SAM is seeking to partner with an experienced and entrepreneurial hospitality operator to deliver an exceptional and mutually beneficial café and bar experience to museum and other visitors. SAM is seeking a café operator with style, flair and business acumen who can maximise this rare and unique opportunity to create a high-quality café and bar experience that complements and enhances the visitor experience offered at SAM.

Great coffee, food and friendship, or a spectacular location to hold one of those major events, is part of the new SAM experience. How many of us remember that great meal, or fabulous view, when we visited great cultural destinations on those far-off overseas and interstate travels?

The café and roof top bar are in central positions in the new purpose-built SAM building. The café and fully furnished kitchen are on Level 1 with an adjoint deck/grass area and is accessible through the building and the grass area leading to the walking path at the lake. The roof top bar and multifunction area are on the Level 4, with a roof top viewing deck. The café and the bar must be conceptually sympathetic with SAM, ensuring a steady flow of cultural tourists.

While the SAM team wait for the building to be ready, they have been busy. They are preparing for the move of their collection of over 4,000 artworks; their offices, shop and operations; and developing over seven major new exhibitions and art projects that will attract visitors of all ages from near and far.

A move of this scale does not happen overnight. On completion, over the next months SAM and their co-tenants will settle into the new building and get things ready for the community and a Grand Opening Weekend later in the year. In the meantime, share some of these experiences via SAM’s socials, and join SAM’s mailing list through the SAM website to keep up to date with the move, and watch out for announcements around opening programs, sneak peeks, and what’s to come.

Expression of Interest applications are to be submitted electronically via Tender Search. (

Applications open on 4 February 2021 and close on 26 February 2021. The question period ends on 20 February 2021.