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Geelong Highland  Games moves to Deakins University

The Geelong Highland Gathering will be held at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds campus in 2013.
The Gathering will also change its date from the third Sunday in March to the first Sunday,March 3rd,in 2013.
The Gathering committee has been seeking a new,permanent home for the past four years with an amphitheatre ambience and the space and facilities it needs to continue its success.
The committee has also decided on a new date to ensure it does not clash with any other major local events and other gatherings on the tight Scottish events calender.
Moves are also afoot to regain the Victorian Pipe Band Championships which Geelong hosted for nearly a decade when bids open in 2014.
Gathering president,John Fraser,said committee would also work to gain the 2016 Australian Pipe Band Championships.
With the new dates and venue,Mr Fraser said the committee was now in a strong position to once again attract major pipe band and other Scottish events to Geelong.
The City of Greater Geelong,Geelong Major Events,and Geelong Otway Tourism had supported the Gathering in an unsuccessful bid for the 2014 championships,but with three years to re-group and rebuild the event,he was confident a much stronger case would be put for 2016.
He said there were plans to expand the Gathering to a full two-day event,add substantially to the programme and rebuild it as Australia's premiere Scottish event,a title it enjoyed for 52years.
Highland Gathering seeks new blood to rebuild and expand.
The Geelong Highland Gathering wants to attract new and younger people to its committee to rebuild and expand the event,which will be held on Sunday,March 3rd in 2013,at Deakin's University Waurn Ponds campus.
The Gathering's annual general meeting recently discussed the issue president John Fraser,said the executive will be making the issue one of its priorities.
Mr Fraser said the future of the event was exiting,a business plan had been completed and a vision for the future was being prepared.
"With the move to the Waurn Pond campus in 2013,new opportunities will open up as we now have a wonderful long-term home with much of the ambience of Queen's Park and we will make the most of it" Mr Fraser said.
"What we need is to attract new and younger members to our committees to enable us to exploit the opportunities that we intend following through" he said.
"We are looking at introducing many new programmes within the event and I am really exited about the future and what we can do to again make Geelong the unquestioned premiere Highland Gathering in Australia".
He said Geelong had a strong Scottish history with its first Mayor,Alexander Thomson,first clergyman,Andrew Love and first editor of the Geelong Advertiser and inventor of refrigeration,James Harrison,all being Scots.
"We have healthy pipe band and Highland and Scottish Country dance organisations and a revival of local interest in Scottish culture,with St.Andrew's Day again being observed locally," Mr Fraser said.
Close links had also been developed with umbrella groups such as Scots of Victoria.
The Highland Gathering had traditionally been supported by the wider Australian community and not simply Scottish-born or descended people.
"I hope we can attract people from both within and outside the Scottish community to help us expand the Gathering and ensure it remains one of Geelong's major events" Mr Fraser said.

Geelong Gathering adds Scottish concert in 2013

Geelong’s new-look Highland Gathering will add a major Scottish folk music concert to its growing list of attractions when it moves to Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus, on the first weekend in March next year.

The concert will be from 7.30pm at the KD Stewart Centre, at Deakin and cost will be $25 for adults and $15 for those 15 years and younger, plus booking fees.

The Gathering committee has incorporated the highly successful Concert for the Clans, held the last two years at the Potato Shed, Drysdale, under its umbrella and plans to make it a permanent feature in future years.

Concert for the Clans organiser Ade Kelly, said he believed the Gathering as a long-term expression of Scottish culture in Geelong was the appropriate venue to showcase Scottish folk music and he looked forward to helping introduce and expand the event.

“Outside the Australian Pipe Band Championships and Bundanoon, Geelong was the biggest such event in Australia and our objective is to win back our rightful place in that regard,” president of the Geelong Highland Gathering Association, Mr John Fraser said.

“The Deakin site, which has much of the ambience of Queens Park in terms of its amphitheatre surrounds, additionally has more room, easier traffic access from the Geelong Ring Road and other facilities such as the KD Stewart Centre where the Concert for the Clans will be held.

“We are looking forward to our new home at Deakin and the end of our nomadic existence of recent years,” he said.

The Concert for the Clans will feature highly-acclaimed local group Myra McRae with her band Clan, headed up by Scottish-Australian singer and musician Myra who is well-known on the Australian Celtic folk music circuit.

Two top Melbourne Scottish folk music groups, Taliska and Red Cat, will also perform and again both are widely sought after.

Taliska, a four-piece group, received rave reviews at the Port Adelaide Celtic Festival and, as with Red Cat and Myra McRae with Clan, have also performed at the National Celtic Festival, at Portarlington.

The concert will also include solo piping and drumming segments – and a stramash – all performers on stage in a full-on musical finale.

Tickets are available on-line through links on the Geelong Highland Gathering website, the Concert for the Clans website and trybooking.com.