For half a century, adults have nurtured their creative sides during art and music workshops at the McGregor Summer School.

Story Ken Eastwood

Creative people are invited to join McGregor Summer School’s 50th celebration in January 2018 in Toowoomba, Qld. There will be workshops in visual and creative arts ranging from jewellery-making, oils, acrylics, sculpture, textiles and wood carving to song-writing and singing.

The school began in 1969 as a project of the Darling Downs Association for Advanced Education (later Darling Downs Unilink). That first school had 43 painting students. Music was introduced in 1976, and by the 1980s the Summer School had grown to attract up to 900 students from all over Australia and overseas. Currently 250–300 students join the school each year. In 1987, a winter school with an emphasis on music was added and when Unilink went into liquidation in 1996, the two schools were bought by the University of Southern Queensland. They now fall under the jurisdiction of the university’s Artsworx department.

RM Williams himself was such a keen supporter of the schools that he became McGregor’s patron from 2000 until his death in November 2003. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #113

Outback Magazine: June/July 2017