The Substation/
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The Substation/ About/

The Substation champions contemporary and experimental arts. Housed inside a former industrial building steeped in the rich history of Melbourne’s inner west, The Substation is an arts destination unlike any other in Australia. From our local community in Newport to our national and global network of collaborators and cultural partners, we celebrate artists and ideas that encourage transformative conversations between wide-ranging audiences. Through our ever-evolving program and artist-led initiatives, we support the development of ambitious and inclusive works that defy simple categorisation.

Penny Miles, Interim CEO
Audrey Thomas-Hayes, Company Manager
Isabella Oliveria, Acting Marketing Manager / Marketing Coordinator
Rob Sowinski, Production Manager
Shae Rooke, Production Coordinator
Kori Miles, Front of House Coordinator
Emma Valente, Curator at Large
Lawrence English, Curator at Large
Phuong Ngo, Curator at Large
Nikki Lam, Curator at Large
James Lockyer, Chairperson
Susan Van Wyk, Deputy Chairperson
Hilary Sadek, Secretary
Luke Isaacs, Community Ambassador
Cr Peter Hemphill, Hobsons Bay City Council Representative
Dominic Arcaro
Joseph D’Abaco
Jocelyn Fredericks
Monica Lim
Michael Rigg

Housed within The Substation’s 100-year-old repurposed industrial building, our suite of flexible spaces are available to hire for a broad range of uses. From large ornate windows to high ceilings and natural light, original features remain throughout the building. We are committed to providing accessible venue hire to our community through reduced-cost hires to local not-for-profit and community groups by application.

Main Space: Performances, rehearsals, markets, workshops, events, fashion shoots
500 standing, 240 seated
27,495 (l) × 9,675 (w) × 8883mm (h)
Gallery: Exhibitions, performances, events, fashion shoots
500 standing
15,710 (l) × 18,580mm (w), total space across rooms
Dance Studio: Exhibitions, performances, events, fashion shoots
200 standing, 80 seated
8,685 (l) × 11,523 mm (w)
Enquire about hiring


Established over a century ago to power Melbourne’s suburban rail system, The Substation building is a landmark in the industrial history of the inner west. After ceasing operation in the 1960s and falling into disrepair for three decades, in 1996 two local residents successfully led a campaign to restore and adapt the building for artistic use. Today, as an international destination for contemporary and experimental arts, The Substation both celebrates and transcends its original context in Newport.

Built by Victorian Railways in 1915, The Substation’s iconic neoclassical brick design boasts a level of structural integrity scarcely seen in other substations of the era. While over time the original structure became derelict and gutted, the 1996 campaign resulted in the Victorian State Government granting a long-term lease to the premises and an extensive restoration ensued over the next fifteen years. These efforts, led almost entirely by a small group of dedicated community members and hundreds of volunteers, imbued in the site the local spirit that persists today.

In 2008 the reimagined site opened to the public as Hobsons Bay Community Arts Centre. Later, it would formally adopt the name The Substation and refocus the organisation as a home for contemporary and experimental arts while maintaining the strong local character on which it was founded. Today, with the ongoing support of the Hobsons Bay City Council, The Substation nurtures local artists and audiences while growing an international reputation as a cultural destination that emboldens transformative conversations and innovation in the arts.

Since 2016 we’ve welcomed over 300,000 visitors to The Substation and engaged hundreds of artists to work in our spaces. We’ve hosted sold-out shows by Xiu Xiu, Merzbow, Caterina Barbieri, Discwoman, Moor Mother and Ellen Fullman, and have presented premiere performances by The Rabble, Lee Serle, Alisdair Macindoe, Lilian Steiner, Cat Hope and Chamber Made. Our growing visual arts program has seen us commission major solo exhibitions by Steven Rhall, Phuong Ngo, Yandell Walton, Amos Gebhardt and Melanie Jame Wolf. Through this bold curatorial focus coupled with our unique suburban location, The Substation is now recognised locally, nationally and overseas as one of Australia’s top arts destinations.

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Applications closing December 11, 2022
Marketing Manager: The Substation is seeking applications for the part-time (3 days a week) role of Marketing Manager. After the holding pattern of the pandemic, the Marketing Manager role is a reintroduced and rescoped position that brings marketing into the senior leadership team to help take the organisation’s impact to the next level. The Marketing Manager position is focused on reinforcing the organisation’s brand and reach. This includes promoting the: _Artistic program (shows, exhibitions, events, installations, works in development and commissions). _Venue services and hires for the arts and affiliated sectors. _Overall profile of the organisation with key stakeholders including the local community, Melbourne audiences, and the national arts industry. _The transformative and thought-provoking opportunities of contemporary art and creating accessible entry points. Working closely with the CEO and other members of the Senior Management team, this role is supported by a Content Coordinator. The position offers the opportunity to embrace the experimental remit of the organisation to explore and understand new trends, and design prototype and next-practice approaches to campaigns, engagement and ticketing. HOW TO APPLY For more information and to receive a copy of the position description, please phone Penny Miles, Interim CEO, on 0418 253 843. To apply please email your resume with a brief covering letter highlighting your interest and suitability to Applications close 5pm, Sunday 11 December 2022 (with interviews likely to be held Friday 16 December).
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1 Market Street, Newport,
Victoria 3015, Australia

Currently closed
Wed–Sat 12–6pm

We acknowledge and recognise the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Yalukit-willam of the Kulin Nation, who are the traditional custodians of the land that The Substation is on. We extend our respects to their ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people.

We are committed to continually improving our services to ensure our events can be enjoyed by all. If you have specific access requirements (including seating arrangements for events) please get in touch.

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What's on
Lucy Guerin Inc/​ Pieces/​ 14–17 December 2022/
Diego Pizarro/​ Electric Man/​ 11 November 2022–29 January 2023/
Woke in Fright/​ 11 November–23 December 2022/
Outdoor Billboard Exhibition
Cut tree cut rock by Jaime Powell/​ 10 November 2022–19 January 2023/