Change and Adaptation

02. 08. 2016

Long Lunch

Artists:  Annabelle Collett  l  Michelle Murray  l  Evette Sunset  l   Mike Tye  l  Marty McNicol

A lunch with strong artistic elements to honour the volunteers who revegetate and preserve the Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth system

The Long Lunch was held in 8 April 2014 to assist Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association (GWLAP) and South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board (SAMDBNRM) to celebrate the achievements of their volunteers who helped revegetate, monitor and preserve the Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth System.

More than 120 volunteers attended the event at the Milang Jetty Foreshore.  The locally produced food was sourced, prepared and served by the Milang Old School House Community Centre volunteers.

As part of this event artists Mike Tye and Evette Sunset were commissioned to create a sculpture trail.  These ephemeral works, sculpted from locally gathered natural materials, represented nature’s cycles of drought and recovery.

Writer Michelle Murray developed and performed a mythic poem about journeys, incorporating the community’s journey through drought and their connection with the environment. Working with Michelle, visual artist Annabelle Collett interpreted Michelle’s work in the table and marquee’s creative design elements.  Annabelle’s central installation ‘Preserving the Lakes’ paid tribute to the ‘able’ volunteers.

To obtain feedback about the event and the role of volunteering creative strategies were employed to garner a higher response rate.  During the lunch guests were asked to fill out a short questionnaire and then in keeping with the day’s theme, fold the paper sheet into a boat and place it beside Anabelle’s sculpture.

Throughout the afternoon filmmaker Marty McNicol captured interviews with the artists and volunteers and later edited these into a film about the Long Lunch and the impact of the drought to the region.

To further extend the Long Lunch experience, on Friday 26 September there was a public guided nightwalk of the lit sculpture trail followed by a screening of Marty’s Long Lunch film ‘Lake, Land and the Book About Everything’. In addition, three short films about the drought as told by the children of the Milang community, and Drawing on Country – artistic impressions of Lake Alexandrina were also shown.  The screenings at the Milang Football Club were followed by a Q&A and supper.

The day of the Long Lunch  duration 13 minutes.    To view the 40 minute version click here

Partner Outcomes

  • A unique experience for the volunteers of partnering organisations
  • An opportunity to extend and deepen community engagement
  • Written feedback from volunteers about their role
  • A film documenting the event and the social and environmental impact of drought
  • A public sculpture trail that raised community awareness about the fragility of the lake and river system

The Long Lunch emerged from the ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ project.  Click here to see the Change & Adaptation project map.


Matthew Bennett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


2011 - 2014


Artist Residencies


Country Arts SA in Partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Alexandrina Council, Government of South Australia and Medicare Local


Alexandrina Region

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.