Barry Wilkins OAM


Barry has been conducting choirs, bands and orchestras since he was 17. 

At Ballarat (where he was born) prior to moving to SA in 1992, he conducted the Ballarat Light and Ballarat Festival Orchestras,  Begonia Brass Ensemble and was MD for more than 50 music theatre productions for Ballarat Light Opera Company, Ballarat Lyric Theatre & the Ballarat Begonia Festival.

He is totally committed to community music development and has spearheaded numerous major choral and instrumental productions in Victoria and South Australia as both producer and MD.

He was the Musical Director of the Mount Barker District Concert Band & Stage Band in SA from 2000 - 2011; 2006 - 08 Mt Lofty Singers and in 2009 - 11, the Adelaide Hills Community String Orchestra.  For 12 years at Mt Barker he conducted a 250+ strong choir and 70+ member orchestra of Handel’s Messiah - from scratch!   In  2006 he was guest MD for the National German Choral Festival (conducting a 550 voice choir and 70 piece orchestra) and in 2008 the South Australian Country Choral Festival.  

Barry has been an active tourism and arts administrator and special events consultant, producer and director for more than 45 years - 23 of them as the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Ballarat Begonia Festival Association Ltd (from 1969 - 1992), and 15 years as Manager Tourism, The Arts, Festivals & Events at The District Council of Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills. 

In 1992 Barry was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, in the Australia Day Honours, for services to tourism, festivals, the arts and community. In 2000 in New Orleans in the USA he was the first Australian ever inducted into the International Festivals & Events Hall of Fame. In 2007 was awarded the prestigious Harry Dowling Award for Individual Contribution to Tourism in the SA State Tourism Awards. 

Barry & his partner Barbara Snibson moved to Bacchus Marsh to live in March 2012.

Barry formed the Moorabool Light Orchestra together with Robert & Fiona Wrzaszcz in February 2013.

Barry was the Foundation President of the Bacchus Marsh Arts Council Inc