More About Us

During 2021 a group of long-time WollCon students decided to form The Friends of WollCon Community Music (FoWCM for short).

This unincorporated association aims to support community music programmes and associated activities in the Illawarra region, focussed primarily (although not exclusively) on the community music ensembles of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music (WollCon).

FoWCM has been registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and as such seeks to raise and source funds that will enhance the making of music in ensembles and groups and facilitate performances within the Illawarra community. To date funds have been raised via collection of entry donations to events staged by FoWCM and successful submissions to granting bodies, such as Wollongong City Council and Create NSW (in collaboration with WollCon).

Membership of FoWCM is free, and open to members and friends /relatives of members of each of WollCon's community music ensembles.

FoWCM has an Organising Committee which meets at least four times a year. It is comprised of the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and a minimum of 3 other people. All Committee members are registered members of FoWCM; indeed, to be elected to the Organising Committee all nominees need to be registered prior to election. Office-bearers are elected for 12 month terms.

The current Organising Committee is as follows:-

Neil Cairns - Chair (

Rod Cawsey - Secretary

Greg Costello - Financial Officer

David Curtis, John Spira, Greg Knight & Erno Van Halpen - Committee Members

Since its inception in November 2021 FoWCM has been able to financially support the establishment of WollCon's Minor Swing Guitar Ensemble, the staging of some events as part of the Honk!Oz Festival of Street Music 2022, and made a significant donation to WollCon's 50th Birthday Appeal.

FoWCM has been successful in attracting a Small Cultural Grant from Wollongong City Council to stage a workshop/performance day in early 2023, involving the Five Islands String Orchestra.