Our vision: to create Australia’s first art and environmental precinct that provides moments of inspiration, brilliance, optimism, happiness, and connection to nature through experiential learning opportunities and programs rich in cultural context.
Created to inspire and enrich people’s appreciation of nature, WAMA explores the deep interconnection between art, science and nature. The centrepiece – a world-class art gallery – dedicated to environmental art and surrounded by indigenous wildlife, native botanic gardens, and bushlands.
We believe that, by engaging people to better understand, appreciate and stimulate their connection with nature, we can work together to achieve a happier more sustainable future.
Scroll the timeline to view the WAMA Project’s milestones and objectives.
The WAMA Project vision is announced. “Where Art Meets Nature’ art exhibitions are held at the Sofitel Melbourne and the Lucy McEachern Gallery, Inverleigh.
MvS Architects are appointed to design the gallery building. Tract landscape architects are appointed to design the associated landscaping and infrastructure.
WAMA, Jallukar Landcare and Greening Australia join forces to revegetate more than 2.1 hectares of the WAMA site with indigenous native grasslands.
Vermin-proof fencing installed.
Grampians Endemic Botanic Gardens plant propagation commences.
The ‘WAMA Online Gallery’ launched, presenting Nature Nurturing Art and Inspiration Wild: Foundation Artists 6 Years On art exhibitions.
Final WAMA site plan announced
Inaugural WAMA Art Prize launched.
Final building design is announced and Site Planning and Development Application approved.
A Capital Campaign is announced to raise funds to complete Stage 1.
Site planning permit approved.
$6.75M State Government RTIF funding received to build $9M Gallery building and associated infrastructure.
Stage 1 of Grampians/Gariwerd Endemic Gardens completed including:
Landscape design and garden construction.
Collecting permits obtained assisted by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
Planting of Stage 1 completed with the help of WAMA volunteers.
Introductory signs installed.
A Maintenance/Gardener is appointed.
Building construction to commence.
WAMA Gallery to be completed and open to the public.
I have long been passionate about the natural history of our ancient land.
From my childhood, I have maintained a sense of curiosity and respect for the connectedness between art and nature. This connection allows a time for reflection, learning and observation of the intricacies and roots of our sense of place in this world.
As Australia becomes more populated, urbanised and sanitized, and our world more technological, the timing is perfect for a museum that focuses on a rediscovery of the relationship between man and his natural physical and natural surroundings, raising awareness of our environment and how this has inspired artists from cave dwellers to the present day.
My hope is that this website will stimulate your curiosity about the project and explain how we plan to realize this vision of creating a museum that harnesses the beauty and uniqueness of Australia’s flora and fauna and its relation to art.
I extend a warm invitation to you, to “get involved”, through membership, volunteering in our many projects, events and activities, purchasing our beautiful Australian Geographic calendars or through donating to support WAMA.
Our success relies on your generosity and commitment to this imaginative, original, exciting initiative.
BEd (Early Child)
BE (Chem), MBA, FREng, FIChemE, FIEAust
BEd (Early Child)
Glenda has a track record of establishing and supporting successful not-for-profit organisations both locally and abroad.
Returning from Europe after 20 years, Glenda’s combined passion for education and her home in the Grampians led to not only relationships with like-minded artists and lovers of the region’s unique flora and fauna, but also the creation of the Grampians Wildlife Arts Society, which she chaired for three years.
Her involvement in the festival on Australian Botanic and Wildlife Art ignited her vision for WAMA.
BE (Chem), MBA, FREng, FIChemE, FIEAust
Greg Lewin AM has had a long and distinguished career both overseas and in Australia. In 2012, he was awarded the Order of Australia for his Service to Business and Commerce, and to Professional Organisations. In addition to his industry roles, he is currently Chairman of the WAMA Foundation and Chairman of Emerald Experiences. Greg is passionate about making the world a better place for our communities and future generations. His strong belief in the importance of economic growth, education and community spirit shapes his leadership of the teams at WAMA. His project leadership aims to promote sustainability and revitalise our connection with nature and the environment.
Ayesha is a freshwater ecologist and is passionate about connecting people to the natural world. She has been actively involved in museums since 2012, including as the Director of Collections and Research at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and has more than 20 years of experience in scientific research and project management. She is excited that WAMA will introduce visitors to some of the wonders of nature through art exhibitions and education programs.
Jill is a registered landscape architect. Her career has focussed on the environment portfolio, with work experience in the Commonwealth Government, State Government, local government and private practice in Victoria.
Jill has recently retired from 27 years at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Cranbourne Gardens where she collaborated on the design and development of the award-winning Australian Garden, as well as the development of WAMA’s Landscape Masterplan.
She believes that WAMA provides an opportunity to showcase the beauty and intrinsic nature of the Grampians region, whilst helping to safeguard the local flora and fauna for future conservation and scientific endeavour.
John recently retired with more than 45 years of experience working in Civil Engineering Consultancies (35 as a Director/Partner), specialising in major land development projects including wetlands and reconstructed brown field sites. John believes WAMA’s flora and fauna strategies will be a great example of rehabilitation of degraded farm and woodlands, and the combination of art and nature will offer a truly unique experience to the Grampians.
Dr Jacqueline Healy is the Director, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. She was the inaugural Director of Bundoora Homestead Art Centre — the public art gallery of the City of Darebin — from 2002 to 2011. Previous positions include Director of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and Director, Public Programs, National Gallery of Victoria. Jacky believes WAMA presents an opportunity to raise awareness of our environment through art and science.
Glen has spent most of his career running large, nature-based tourist attractions, including zoos and wildlife parks, across South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Appointments include the Director of Healesville Sanctuary and former Director at Werribee Open Range Zoo.
With a passion for indigenous cultures, wildlife, and conservation, Glen believes WAMA will bring something unique to Victoria, offering nature-inspired art as a tool to connect visitors with wildlife and many of the WAMA experiences.
Lynn has worked for more than 30 years in public practice in regional Victoria. She is currently Senior Partner with Findex, managing two regional Victorian offices. At Board level, Lynn served on the Stawell Regional Health Board for 10 years and chaired the Audit and Risk Committee for two of those years. Lynn is currently on the Northern Grampians Shire Council Audit Committee.
Having spent most of her life in Stawell, Lynn sees great potential in the economic viability and vibrancy in the surrounding district. She has been involved in the WAMA project from the start and seeks to give the region a tourist destination project like no other, appealing to art, nature or science lovers alike.
An experienced company director, Peter is a member of the Advisory Board of Urban Maintenance Systems Pty Ltd. He was previously a non-executive director of Fulton Hogan Limited and Fulton Hogan Australia Pty Ltd, and an executive director of Shell Australia Limited and its subsidiaries. Peter is a strong supporter of the role WAMA plays in reconnecting people to nature. He is also acutely aware of the need for organisations to be properly governed if they are to have sustained success. Peter is committed to ensuring that the development of WAMA progresses in a sound and responsible way.
Ange has over 30 years of senior experience in Australia and Europe in insights, marketing and advertising, most recently as Senior Manager Innovation for Europe and Australia with General Mills International. Currently Ange runs her own marketing consultancy, 2 CHILE, in Western Victoria, passionately focussed on bringing economic and environmental development into the region. Her expertise and experience in this area plays a valuable role in the formation and delivery of the WAMA project.
Offering $25,000 in prize money to Australian artists whose work is inspired by nature
Indigenous artists are encouraged to apply.
The major prize is an Acquisitive Prize of $15,000
Three Awards of Excellence, of $2,500 each (non-acquisitive)
The People’s Choice Award of $2,500 (non-acquisitive)