Kendall, The Poets Village, is one of the Creative Communities of the Mid North Coast. It is often described as an EVENTFUL place with so many arts activities and events during the year…and center stage is local resident Mavis Barnes. Whether it is taking phone bookings, being on the door, or taking the minutes or executive roles on various committees Mavis remains actively involved in her community today. She represents the many volunteers throughout the towns and villages of the Mid North Coast without whom so many events and arts organizations would simply not happen.
Over many years Mavis has been actively involved in all levels of education and helped form the Camden Haven Learning Exchange, now the Camden Haven Community College. In 1986 she was a founding member of Hastings Tertiary Education Association Inc. which was established with the sole aim of bringing university education to the Hastings. She was the Inaugural Campus Manager from 1991 to 2001. The first part time course element offered was in Visual Arts. This was conducted in the old Council building where the Glasshouse is now, with lecturers from Lismore.
In 1991 Mavis was a founding member of Kendall Craft Co-operative which is located in Kendall Railway Station and still operating today with Mavis involved. Mavis was also a foundation member of the Watermark Literary Society Inc. which until 2013 ran the biennial Watermark Literary Muster, for writers and readers who shared a passion for the literature of nature and place.
In 2003 Mavis joined the Committee of the Kendall National Violin Competition (KNVC) and today after a number of roles is its Treasurer. Now in its 19th year, the KNVC also presents a number of community performance projects. As part of the Finals weekend, a group of musicians present live music to local primary and preschools and at selected times of the year, a string workshop for community musicians is presented featuring some of Australia’s leading string educators. It also has a strong connection to Kendall PhiloMusica.