Press Centre

Department of Education,
Training and Youth Affairs


Media Release
14 June 2001

Golden Brushstrokes released in Ballarat

The life and work of artist Eugene von Guerard, a migrant from Vienna, who after failing in his search for gold on the Ballarat Gold Fields in the 1850's became one of Australia's most important painters, will be celebrated today with a special ceremony at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.

The Federal Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Hon Dr David Kemp, will officially release extensive information on Eugene von Guerard on the educational website 'In the Artist's Footsteps', which is cyberspacing the lives and works of Australia's most important painters.

The release of Eugene von Guerard and David Davies, another Ballarat painter, on the website coincides with the official launch of a Schools Project that will encourage schools throughout Australia to research and create websites about local artists.

The schools will also be encouraged to create a gallery of students' work on the Internet. The websites will then be linked to 'In the Artist's Footsteps' in a special schools section to provide a national arts resource where schools from around Australia can view and read about artists and other students work.

The schools program is supported by the Federal Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs as an associated Discovering Democracy program.

Telstra Country Wide Regional Managing Director, Mr Lawrence Paratz said Telstra Country Wide was proud to be the Principal Sponsor of In the Artist's Footsteps and part of today's Schools Project launch.

"We're delighted to help bring this important cultural resource to regional audiences. The schools project will help promote a wider appreciation by students of the contribution artists have made to Australia's history.

"This month Telstra Country Wide is also celebrating its first year of delivering local service across the country. Telstra Country Wide was established in June 2000 to return management and personalised service to regional customers", Mr Paratz said.

Mr Ron Smith, Managing Director of medialaunch Pty. Ltd., responsible for developing the concept of the program and the website said, "the use of the Internet to build a high quality national arts resource for schools and galleries is a clear demonstration of creating cost effective resources for over ten thousand schools in Australia."

Mr Smith, a former art teacher, said, "the schools program, with research advice from the Curator of the site leading Art historian Andrew Mackenzie, will provide students with an opportunity to interact with local artists and promote the importance of art within the community. It will also provide a unique opportunity for schools around Australia to view the work of other students."

Schools will be invited to register their "virtual galleries" on site by Friday 14 September. All registered web sites will be judged and the winning web site in each Telstra Country Wide region will be announced in November.

'In the Artist's Footsteps' in the past six months has released extensive information on the Heidelberg School Artists including Tom Roberts, Sir Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Walter Withers, and the Women of the Heidelberg School Jane Price, Clara Southern, May Vale, Elizabeth Parsons and Jane Sutherland.

People living in regional Australia can access this online resource anywhere, anytime for the cost of a local call through Telstra's super fast BigPond™ Broadband Internet.

™ Trade Mark of Telstra Corporation Limited

For more information, please contact:
Ron Smith, In the Artist's Footsteps Tel: (03) 9818 5700, 0417 329 201
Chris Zipf, Telstra Country Wide Tel: (07) 3898 7244 Mob: 0408 754 535

Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Copyright © Pty Ltd 2000. All Rights Reserved.
ABN 69 067 524 921
Tel: +61 3 98185700 Fax: +61 3 98185044