Community and Cultural Facilities Background
- As theatre space for a theatre season that is presented by Merrigong Theatre Company.
- As a venue for hire where presenting companies can use the venue for their touring shows for a fee.
Wollongong Library is the largest library in the city, spread across two floors in the Council administration building. It hosts many successful initiatives, programs and events for the community.
Learn more about Wollongong Library here
Wollongong Youth Centre
Located on the corner of Keira and Burelli Streets, the building was originally built for the Wollongong art gallery. It now serves as Wollongong's Youth Centre, and has a number of different spaces including a music room and meeting rooms for young people to use. Many successful programs run from here for young people in the Wollongong LGA.
Learn more about the Youth Centre and services here
Pioneer Hall is centrally located in MacCabe Park.
The lease for the hall has ceased, and it is temporarily closed needing improvement. In the past it has been successfully used as a production centre for events such as Viva La Gong, and used by different community groups for events.
See more about Pioneer Hall here
Old Court House & Studios
On the corner of Harbour Street and Cliff Road, the Old court House is listed as a heritage building and offers two community spaces. The building is currently used by several different community groups to host events and activities including workshops, exhibitions and exercise classes.
Learn more about the Old Court House here
Wollongong Art Gallery
Wollongong Art Gallery is one of Australia's largest regional art museums with regularly changing exhibitions and a permanent collection. The Art Gallery program includes exhibitions and activities, and also provides a number of spaces for use by community groups. It is located in the Wollongong Arts Precinct.
Wollongong’s regional art gallery was given a purpose-built space on the corner of Burelli and Keira Streets. However, the space very quickly became too small for the purpose and was moved to the old council chambers on the corner of Burelli and Kembla Streets, where it remains today.
Council recently completed community engagement for the gallery, gaining valuable insight into community opinion. This engagement was aimed at the gallery’s interaction with local artists and the type of exhibition and arts development the community would like presented.
Learn more about the gallery here
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC)
The IPAC is located in Wollongong Arts Precinct is one of the key venues in the area for performing arts. It comprises three different performing spaces and hosts a variety of events from theatre, musical and community events.
IPAC, like many performing arts centres, was a bicentennial gift built in 1988. As with many of these gifts, local councils did not have the expertise to run them. Initially, a theatre guild was established and they set to work on presenting locally produced theatre works of well-known plays and musical theatre pieces.
Later, Council adopted the model that many councils were using, of leasing the centre to a professional theatre company. This company developed a season of touring productions and plays that they developed from new original scripts.
IPAC now works in two ways:
Learn more about the IPAC here
Wollongong Town Hall
Located within the Arts Precinct, Wollongong Town Hall is a key civic and community venue, providing several performance and meetings spaces.
The Town Hall historically functioned as a major gathering venue for the community. With changing needs and attitudes, the Wollongong Town Hall was destined to be demolished. A decision to instead upgrade the Town Hall was inspired by a well-known musician that put forward the heritage significance of Town Hall’s pipe organ and much-discussed sound qualities of the main hall.
The management of the building was handed to a Sydney-based venue management company. Their contract was eventually ceased after it was re-evaluated by Council. Merrigong was asked to take over the hall and a similar arrangement to the one with IPAC was put in place.
Under Merrigong, the Town Hall is run as an additional venue for the Merrigong season and as a hired space for presenting companies touring their shows.
There is also a large basement area that remains mostly unused.
Learn more about Wollongong Town Hall here
The Illawarra Museum is a two-storey heritage building, a former Post and Telegraph Office. It is an excellent example of late colonial architecture built between 1865 and 1882 situated on Market Street near the historic Market Square.
Operated by members of the Illawarra Historical Society, the museum houses a collection of furniture and objects and provides a wonderful insight into the history of the Wollongong area.
Learn more about the Illawarra Museum here