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Shepparton art and health gets $3 million boost

Shepparton's Copulos family has donated $3 million to go towards a new art museum for the city and improved hospital and cancer services.

JOHN LEWIS August 8, 2014 3:58am

Stephen and Peter Copulos next to the Shepparton Art Museum Foundation Tree of Giving yesterday following the announcement the Copulos family was donating $3 million to the arts and health causes in Shepparton.


Shepparton has received a huge boost for arts and health, with a $3million donation from the Copulos family announced yesterday.

 

The vision for a new Shepparton Art Museum became a reality with the pledge of $1.5 million for the facility’s foundation board formed in April.

Copulos Group managing director Stephen Copulos also announced $1.5 million to be donated to health services in the Goulburn Valley.

Mr Copulos said the recipients ‘‘may include the hospital and cancer services’’.

The total $3 million will be spread across a 10-year period.

 

The Copulos Group has investments in property development, fast food, manufacturing, mining, and hospitality.

Mr Copulos, a Shepparton Art Museum Foundation board member, said the $1.5 million was being pledged in the hope a new museum would be built at the southern end of Victoria Park Lake to become a major tourism attraction for the city.

He congratulated Greater Shepparton City Council for developing the lake into a ‘‘magnificent showpiece entrance’’ to the city.

‘‘Our vision is to complete this picture with a significant structure at the southern end of the lake wrapping around the waterway,’’ Mr Copulos said.

He said he hoped the site would include tourist information, cafes and restaurants with a commercial element to generate income.

 

‘‘It would be fantastic if we could establish a self-sustaining museum development within 10 years. It could be the first museum in the world that can pay its own way,’’ Mr Copulos said.

As a kickstart to the pledge, Mr Copulos donated $20000 to the Shepparton Art Museum Foundation Tree of Giving situated in the art museum’s entrance. Supporters can buy a gold, silver, or bronze leaf for $100 to $300 or buy a lapel badge for $20.

 

He said hoped the tree would be filled within a year and that it had the potential to raise $500000 for the foundation.

Copulos Group founder Peter Copulos said his family had lived in Shepparton for nearly 70 years and had developed their businesses from the 1960s to employ about 5000 people across Australia.

‘‘This community gave us our start and we are conscious of the benefits of giving back to the community, in appreciation of the support it has given us and our business,’’ he said.

Shepparton Art Museum Foundation board chairman Peter Quinn said he was ‘‘overwhelmed’’ by the size of the Copulos donation.

‘‘The commitment to the new SAM shows the Copulos family shares the vision of the foundation — and together we can play a game-changing role in the future of Shepparton,’’ Mr Quinn said.

A $250000 feasibility study into site and building options for a new Shepparton Art Museum Foundation facility is due to start in October.

Mr Quinn said the southern end of Victoria Park Lake was one of several site options being considered.

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