The Russian Community Centre, located in Wooloongaba, Queensland, is the main central facility for the vast Australian-Russian population living in Brisbane. It is home to many specialty Russian clubs that help promote the Russian culture and traditions in Australia. The centre also has a number of its halls available for hire to the general public.
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Queensland Russian Community Centre
Brisbane, Australia

19 Lotus St.,Woolloongabba 4102
Phone +61 7 3391 3432
Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Russian Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Russian Art Festival “From Russia with Love”

Russian Art Festival “From Russia with Love” started on the 2nd of September 2012 in Queensland Russian Community Centre. Exactly one week later, the guests arrived for the celebrating dinner in honour of 40 years of QRCC. Many more events will follow this year and the next for the Russian Australians which is an indication of the vigour from the newly elected Committee of QRCC.

But let’s talk in details…

The previous QRCC Committee with the Chairman Helen Pakhomov received a grant from the Australian Government, following their application for the support. But due to the delays with the grant, the actual money arrived later than anticipated, and the previous Chairman of QRCC Elena Gosse (2010-2011) suggested to utilise it for the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Russian Community Centre.

The active member of the community Konstantin Drozdovskii volunteered to bring this idea to life. After lengthy negotiations and decisions about the format of the event, it was suggested to hold the Russian Art Festival called “From Russia with Love” instead of just one event. Konstantin’s energy and enthusiasm helped to gather some sponsorship and the new formed Committee started their preparations for the festival.

At present, the Committee consists of the following people:
1. Vladis Kosse – President of QRCC
2. Wayne Tilly – Vice President, House manager
3. Svetlana Remington – Treasurer
4. Irina Goldobina – Secretary
5. Alla Ekzarkho – Cultural coordinator
6. Elena Proskurina – Publicity
7. Gabriel Musko – Bar keeper
8. Andrew Leabourne – House keeper
9. Galina Pavlova – Management committee member

In discussions, it was decided to kick-start the Festival with the concert and the kids art exhibition, dedicated to the 200-th year of Borodino Battle and to 70 years of Australian-Russian diplomatic relationship, and to hold a few other events, such as Dinner to celebrate 40 years of QRCC, Exhibition of Russian Artists “Russian Australia”, New Year gala dinner on the 31st of December 2012 and the traditional Vladimir’s Ball.

Firstly the big spring cleaning was organised to tidy up the interior of the Centre and to make the parking space more user-friendly. Wayne Tilley, the new House Manager, called on the familiar faces and drew a strong support team: Alexii Sivolapov, Konstantin Rusakov, Eugene Laptev, Olexii Ekzarho and Viktor Tukavkin.

Pictures here

Svetlana Remington, who is an interior designer, offered her assistance in preparation of the Centre’s interior, having drawn on her previous decorating experience with the beautiful new curtains.

Together with Elena Proskurina and Olexii Ekzarho along with the other volunteers, Svetlana brought the tri-colour flags, and attached rare and interesting photos to the material. The stage was also decorated. The art works completed by the children of the Saint-Seraphims and Saint-Nicholai cathedrals was placed around the main hall. Vladis Kosse and Konstantin Drozdovskii prepared photographs for the event.

The exhibition depicting the historic events in Russia and the history of the Russian immigration to Australia was dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of the Borodino Battle and the 70 years of Russian-Australian diplomatic relationship. Many exhibits was prepared by the Russian Consulate General, some were received from the Queensland State Library and the actual archives of the QRCC.


With the preparation completed, the Committee invited prominent figures of the QLD Government, Brisbane City Council and the Ethnic Radio 4EB, along with the other ethnic communities.

Everything was on track!

On the day of September the 2nd, the QRCC was full: the attendance of guests exceeded any expectations!

Greeting the attendees, the producer Konstantin Drozdovskii spoke about the history of the Russian immigration to Australia, about the turbulent event of the start of the XX century, which forced a lot of Russians search the better grounds, about the contribution of the Russians into Australian culture, literature, science and arts.

The Honourable Russian Council in QLD Irina Brooke congratulated the guests with the dates and announced the opening of the Russian Art Festival.

The concert held on the day exceeded all expectations! Alla Ekzarho managed to organise the participants and rehearse songs and music within a short period of time – a true gigantic effort, which was much appreciated!

The participants of the concert included Youth Regional Orchestra of Brisbane, with Shawn Dorni and Rachelle Lee as conductors. The young men and women performed national anthems of Russia and Australia, and Gregory Scanlan sang a song “From Russia with Love” which was specially written for the festival. Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra played Chaikovsky “Overture to 1812” and other pieces, which was greatly received by the audience.

Then the Orthodox Choir of Brisbane, led by the Father Vladimir Bigdan, took stage for the first time. The male choir impressed the listeners the most. “Russian Anthem” was performed with strong, beautiful voices of the united choir of four Russian Orthodox Churches of Brisbane. Both male and mixed choirs left a lasting impression on the audience. The range of songs included the traditional church song-singing, well-known songs of the civil nature and following the theme of the evening – march “Borodino” on Michail Lermontov’s poem. Well-known singer Gregory Scanlan sang “Our father” with finesse.

Maximo Dance Studio also participated in the concern, led by Olga Shikina. The girls performed the “Varen’ka” dance, and Nina Sudnitcina was an unbelievable “Russian Beauty”!

The guests were charmed by the romances, performed by Elizabeth Millington and Gregory Scanlan, accompanied by Irina and Benjamin Drozdovskii.

Well-known in Brisbane and much loved Folklore Ensemble “Samotveti” also performed a few Russian songs suitable to the theme of the night.

At the end, Alla Ekzarho invited all participants to sing “Moscow Nights” from the stage, which barely fitted all, and the audience happily joined in.

But that was not it. An exhibition of the children’s art dedicated to the Borodino battle also took place within the Russian Art Festival. The art was made by the kids attending Saint-Seraphim’s and Saint-Nicholai’s Sunday’s schools. The art was judged by the visitors and guests and a few professional artists.

New Chairman of the QRCC Vladis Kosse and the producer Konstantin Drozdovskii awarded the kids with Certificates of Appreciation: Lida Yakovleva, Kseniya Leech, Tihon Semovskih, Anastasia Curly and Kate Evlashkova.

The QRCC Committee and the Russian community wants to express gratitude to teachers and parents, inspiring kids to produce such beautiful art! Special thank you goes to the teachers of the Sunday schools.

The QRCC Committee would like to also thank the guests who attended that event. It was really nice to see representatives of the Australian, Scottish and New-Zealand communities along with the members of the Ethnic Radio 4EB.

About 200 people attended the gathering. The QRCC is still receiving warm-hearted notes of appreciation for the concert and the whole event.

Pictures here

The QRCC would like to thank the sponsors of the event:
• PC Deal (Director – Gregory Scanlan);
• Basil Pty Ltd (Director – Sergei Belov);
• Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra;
• Real Estate LJ Hooker (Highgate Hill),
• Russian Standard Australia;
• Metropolitan Funerals.

Brisbane Russian Community would like to thank the organisators of the festival:
• Russian Consulate General;
• Producer – Konstantin Drozdovkii;
• Event Manager – Alla Ekzarho;
• Chairman of QRCC – Vladis Kosse;
• Vice-Chairman – Wayne Tilley;
• Sound producer – Vasily Kromin;
• Cameraman – Alexei Pavlov;
• Interior designer – Svetlana Remington;
• And all participants and organisers!

From Russia with Love – continued

On September the 9th 2012, Queensland Russian Community Centre held a special dinner, dedicated to the 40 years of the foundation of QRCC. The tickets for the night were sold far in advance. And the event as always exceeded all expectations.

“Feast for the world” – was the name of the dinner, and many meals were cooked around the theme of 1812 victory celebration: gateau Napoleon, profiteroles, Borodino bread and others. The event sponsor Russian Standard Australia offered premium Russian Standard vodka for tasting – much appreciated by the most.

As always, the entertainment program was plentiful: Gregory Scanlan, Alla Ekzarho accompanied by Benjamin Drozdovskii parcipated in the short concert. A generous raffle took place as well, with prices from the QRCC and the sponsor Russian Standard Australia.

Pictures here

Now the Committee of the QRCC is focussed on the next event under the banner of the Russian Art Festival: Russian artists Art Exhibition. This event will be held over 3 days period from the 7th of December in QRCC. Apart from the actual exhibition, the guests can taste pirozki and baked pastries from the café, have a drink and listen to the short entertainment program on the 8th of December.

Children dance studio continues their work under the leadership of Olga Shikina. The QRCC is looking for finance assistance to keep the studio going. The Centre has signed a few rental agreements for single or re-occuring events to be held in the Centre. The parking area is also leased for a year ahead to be utilised during the working week and early mornings. The money received for the lease will pay for the partial floor replacement in the bar and other areas.

The new Committee has set a goal to be compliant with the high sanitary standards set by the QLD Government.

Ahead of them, the committee planned a lot of exciting events and is looking for the volunteers to join the membership of the QRCC and assist where possible with events organising for the whole Russian Community. We need passionate and dedicated people!

Come over, call us, support us or give us your constructive criticism or your advice – we are happy to hear from you in Queensland Russian Community Centre!

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