We are pleased to be involved in an exciting new project in historic Queanbeyan: the evolution of Benedict House into an arts precinct celebrating local art, design and music.
One of Queanbeyan’s landmark buildings, Benedict House was originally built in 1886 as a convent and boarding school by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict, where they provided Catholic education as a ”higher school for young ladies”.
It has been said that the building had a special connection to former Prime Minister, Joseph Benedict ”Ben” Chifley. His mother, Mary Anne Corrigan, reportedly stayed with the Sisters and named her son after the building. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has also long been credited with helping to resurrect the building to its former glory and planning to convert it into a music school, along with concert pianist Geoffrey Tozer.
Benedict House was bought by Kate Shelton in 2003 and grew into a thriving hub, with high teas, art workshops, special events, markets, poetry nights, music performances and conferences.
The building was leased earlier this year to Jess and Rory Markham who are seeking to build upon its existing character and facilitate further development of the cafe and buildings into a local arts, craft and music precinct. We are very excited to be working with them towards the new vision.
As we continue the work of transforming the old kitchens for the property into our new workshop, our local arts community, the Queanbeyan Artists Shed Incorporated (QASI) has also moved into the adjoining building – the disused former Benedict Men’s Shelter.
Stay tuned for future membership and event information as QASI endeavours to help our community to connect with their arts at Benedict House and other locations.