About the Hall
The civic hall was built for the people of Mullumbimby in 1929, 21 years after Mullumbimby was incorporated into a Municipality, and 5 years before permanent offices for the council were built in the same block in 1934.
The building is a rare and important example of a large scale country town community hall, it is the only one of its kind in the district, and was built to commemorate those of the district who gave their lives in the service of their county during WWI. It is an important element of the Mullumbimby civic precinct. It is linked with major social and cultural developments and day-to-day events for over 75 years.
Due to the deterioration of the building over a number of years, the civic hall was closed to the public on 15 October 2003. In 2004, after extensive structural and condition assessments were completed, some immediate health and safety works were undertaken and a review of the Mullumbimby Civic Precinct Plan of Management (including civic hall, old council chambers, pioneer hall, and the windows cottage) was commenced.
On review of the Draft Mullumbimby Civic Precinct Plan of Management in 2005, Council formed the Mullumbimby Civic Hall and Old Council Chambers Working Party to:
- liaise and communicate effectively with all stakeholders and interested parties;
- evaluate and advise Council on options for the financial management of the complex;
- assist Council in planning for the long term future of the complex;
- assist Council in planning for the redevelopment and/or upgrade of the complex; and
- assist Council in developing a business plan for the sustainability of the Civic Hall and Old Council Chamber
Council endorsed the Draft Mullumbimby Civic Hall Working Group Business Plan, which made the following recommendations:
To engage a professional team to design, document, and project management for the renovation and refurbishment work and to prepare a draft design for consideration by the community and council.
The design team and working group developed four redesign options, adopting option 4 as their preference. In addition to documenting repairs to the civic hall building, preferred option 4 included a commercial kitchen, green room, extended the hall size with an extension to the north side of the building, and created a multipurpose room at the front of the building. Council endorsed the preferred option in 2006, with council staff tasked to coordinate grant funding applications, design development, Place of Public Entertainment (POPE) license, authority approvals, tender process for construction, and contract administration during the construction phase of the project.
The construction contract was awarded in August 2007, and the refurbishment and alteration works commenced on site in November 2007. The transformation was completed on 25 July 2008 for a total project cost of $1.5m, with the official re-opening held on 19 September 2008.
The Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall is overseen by a Board of Management Committee, which is comprised of volunteer community members and professionals from the arts/culture industries under s.355 of the Local Government Act, and operates with the same delegations as other s.355 committees. Additionally, there is representation on the Board from the current Byron Shire Council.
The Board’s focus is primarily strategic and financial management. Daily operations are managed by a contracted part-time Venue Coordinator overseeing responsibilities including bookings, administrative functions, and volunteer coordination.
Board of Management Members:
Historically, the Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall symbolises the strong and independent community spirit of its people. Originally separated from Byron Shire, the town of Mullumbimby initially created its own water and power supply as well as creating purpose-built spaces for learning and recreational activities.
Construction on the Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall began in 1928 with the hall completed the following year in 1929. Initial discussions included the building of a suitable memorial to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the First World War began in 1919. This resulting memorial remains as a focal point for the community.
Delays were caused by lack of funds as well as controversy surrounding what suitable form the memorial should take. It was eventually decided to build a multi purpose hall with adjoining meeting rooms and public spaces. At first named the Mullumbimby School of Arts Memorial Hall it was soon renamed the School of Arts replacing a building that was burnt down in 1926. Funds came from a combination of monies raised by public subscription as well as contributions from the then local council.
The building functioned as the RSL and also contained a public library, the large event space (with stage and dressing rooms), a catering kitchen and dining hall. The original floor was built with a double layer of teak (milled locally in Mullumbimby) with the idea it could be used as a dance hall.
Possibly in the 1950’s, when the new public library was added (1956), the name of the hall was changed to the ‘Civic Hall’. It was extremely well used by a broad range of individuals and groups in the community all of which reflected the changing social needs of the times.
The hall was closed in late 2003 as a result of declining use, poorly maintained facilities and significant damage. The $1 million-plus funding for the refurbishment project came from Byron Shire Council, DOTARS and Arts NSW (formerly NSW Ministry for the Arts).
Architecturally, the hall presents the inter-war symmetrical style, a simple facade with stepped brick gable as well as including a deep-set portico at the front with simple marble columns. All have all been retained in the new refurbishment design integrating with new modern elements to compliment these features.
Now complete, the venue continues to remain a focal point for the Mullumbimby Community – bringing revitalised life and spirit through entertainment and community activities for the town.
As of October 2013, the installation of air conditioning to the Hall has been completed. The system services the Main Hall, as well as the Multi-purpose room, with a separate system servicing the Green Room.
The system works on an automatic timer, which shuts off after a two hour period, and is adjustable as well as being able to both cool and heat. The system is now available to all groups hiring the Hall.
Portable Stage System
The Civic Hall can now provide three portable/roll out stages – Dual Height 41cm or 61cm 122 x 244cm
These stages will enable more flexibility in setting up your event. You can now choose to set up your act/band on the main floor to create a more intimate showcase for your performance. The stages can also be used as stage risers. The stages are easy to assemble and roll away for easy storage. Perfect for meeting spaces, speaker risers and basic performance requirements.
We are now able to provide internet services to our clients for your next event (fees apply).
Mullumbimby Civic Hall to go Solar in 2012
The Civic Hall Board of Management are proud to announce that installation of Solar Panels will become a reality in 2012. Special thanks to the BAYCC, the Byron sector of the AYCC or the Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition , for there generous fund raising efforts.
The dream to ‘re-power’ the Mullum Civic hall started in 2011 and despite some challenges along the way, this has now been achieved with a total of $3405.00 raised towards the cost of installation.
$1900 was raised by the BAYCC with its ‘Solarshift’ event in 2011. The additional $1505 was raised by the Byron Youth Nature Consciousness and with help from the Byron Movement through the Wild Food Feast.
The festival was also awarded a grant of $1000 from Byron Shire Council, as part of the “Small Change” Grants scheme.
Nickel Energy have been awarded the job of supplying and installing the Solar Panels and are proud to be associated with the Mullumbimby Civic Hall’s Solar project. Nickel has provided a sponsorship price for a 5kW solar system with a free upgradable 6kW inverter, for further panels in the future.
This solar system will produce over 7,500 kW hours of renewable energy per year. Equivalent to removing 10.5 cars from our roads permanently. Equivalent to preventing 7.9 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide being emitted into our precious atmosphere in the future and equivalent to planting 426 trees.
Mention is also made of the Federal Governments Contribution via the renewable energy certificate scheme.