New Shepparton Art Museum (SAM)

The new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) building will be an outstanding example of exciting, best-practice contemporary museum architecture designed by one of Australia’s leading architects on a remarkable site in regional Victoria.

The building

Designed by internationally renowned architects Denton Corker Marshall, the new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) will be a five-storey building housing the Museum, Visitor Centre, and the Kaiela Art Gallery and Studio.
The 5,300m2 building also houses a café and event space, with a roof top viewing deck.

A 33m x 33m cube like form, the new Museum is located on the south-eastern corner of Victoria Park Lake to maximise SAM’s greatest asset, the park setting.

Four L-shaped plates, each of different heights, make up the building’s façade. Each plate is of a different metallic finish; low sheen zinc to the southern approach; matt soft charcoal above the entry to SAM on Wyndham Street; metallic mid-grey facing the park; and rich ochre-red corten steel facing the lake and river plain.

More than an art gallery

The new Shepparton Art Museum will be more than an art gallery. It will also:

  • be an inspiring, community hub for you to meet and socialise with friends and family;
  • present contemporary, international exhibitions of relevance to the our diverse cultural communities;
  • provide opportunities for you to learn, be challenged, think about, emotionally engage with and directly make your own art;
  • provide access to the art collections and our significant ceramics collection in unique and engaging ways;
  • provide a home for Kaiela Arts to present Indigenous art and support local Indigenous artists;
  • support local artists in the development and presentation of their art;
  • provide engaging experiences of nature and art in the areas surround the Victoria Park Lake Precinct;
  • be a permanent home for the Visitor Information Centre and an exciting entrance for visitors to Shepparton


  • $15.35m – Greater Shepparton City Council (from capital works budget)
  • $10m – Federal Government
  • $10m – State Government
  • $4.5m – SAM Foundation (plus an additional $8m for future operational costs)
  • Total: $39.9m


  • February 2018: Demolition works commenced
  • March 2018: Detail design completed
  • August 2018: Construction design completed
  • December 2018: Tender endorsed at Council meeting
  • January 2019: Build commences
  • June 2020: Project completion
  • October 2020: Official opening and celebration event

*Timelines are subject to change.

Roles and responsibilities

Shepparton Art Museum Limited

Shepparton Art Museum Limited is a registered company limited by guarantee. Shepparton Art Museum Limited is the entity overseeing the Shepparton Art Museum as it moves from Council owned and operated to an independent governance body. Shepparton Art Museum Limited will enter into lease, funding and custodian agreements with Council for the operations of SAM, and will be responsible for managing the building and key stakeholder relationships with Kaiela Arts, the Visitor Information Centre, and commercial operations.

Current Shepparton Art Museum Limited Directors are John Head (SAM Foundation), Peter Harriott (GSCC CEO), and Chris Teitzel (GSCC Director Corporate Services) as company secretary. Shepparton Art Museum Limited is currently seeking six community members for the Board. The Board will comprise nine Company Directors. There will be two Greater Shepparton City Council nominated positions, and one SAM Foundation representative.

The skills based Board will include a range of the following backgrounds, expertise and experience:

  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Marketing / Tourism
  • Art Museum Management
  • Local Aboriginal
  • Professional Artists
  • Trust / Philanthropic interests

Board members will be asked to commit to serving for a minimum of two to three years. Directors can serve a maximum term of nine years. The new SAM will operate as a not-for-profit, charitable organisation and the Board positions are voluntary.

SAM Foundation

The SAM Foundation is a company limited by guarantee and its purpose is to raise funds for the new SAM and to grow funds to benefit the SAM collection and program. John Head is the Chair of the SAM Foundation.

SAM Project Board

The Council managed SAM Project Board has 16 members representing Regional Development Victoria, the SAM Foundation, Creative Victoria, Kaiela Arts and Yorta Yorta Nation. There are also representatives of Greater Shepparton City Council from SAM, Planning, Economic Development, Finance, Marketing and Communications, Business Transition, the Visitor Centre and Project Management.

The SAM Project Board has a number of subcommittees whose role is to provide in-depth information on speciality areas to the SAM Project Board. These subcommittees include Planning, Finance, Business Transition and Project Management.

The Planning subcommittee has completed site surveys, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan, flood modelling and a geotechnical report, a heritage report, traffic report and environmental assessment.

The Project subcommittee manage the overall process of the build including timelines for the project. A project manager was appointed in 2017 to manage the build stage of the project.

The Finance and Business Transition subcommittees are tasked with managing the budget for the project and the transition between the current SAM and the new SAM respectively.

A new Business Transition Manager was appointed in late 2017 to work closely with the SAM Director to manage the transition of business from the current SAM to the new SAM.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the building being paid for?

The SAM project was endorsed in May 2015 under the provision that Council would undertake a loan of $10m to fund the project. Financial modelling indicated the project could be funded through existing cash reserves rather than a loan. Council’s contribution increase to $5.35m in upfront capital, would be partially offset by an estimated $4.23m savings in loan interest expense.

The remaining funds have been contributed by the Federal government ($10M) and the State Government ($10m) and the SAM Foundation who are contributing $4.5m towards the build and another $8m in an endowment towards future operating costs.

There is a contingency built into the $39.9m project budget to allow for variations, which is standard practice for any construction project.

How will the new Shepparton Art Museum be run?

It will be run by a company limited by guarantee called Shepparton Art Museum Limited. It will be governed by a board of directors on which the Council is represented. The Board will comprise nine Directors with designated skills relevant to a significant cultural institution, able to assist the Council in its objectives.

Who will own the art collection and the new building?

The existing collection will be owned by Council as will the new Art Museum facility, and provided to the Art Museum for a peppercorn rent. The Art Museum may also accept and own works of art, which will enable gifts to the Museum which would otherwise not occur, with private donors often unwilling to give art to a local government entity.

When is work expected to commence?

Council will advertise tenders for the work in September with the approved contract going to a council meeting in December. Work should commence in January/February 2019 and is expected to be completed by June 2020.


Latest Updates