Gawler Civic Centre Guided Tours

Sponsored by Gawler Civic Centre

When history meets innovation

Gawler Civic Centre is a dynamic community meeting place, encompassing the Gawler Public Library, Cultural Heritage Centre, Youth Space, Business Innovation Hub, The Olive Branch Café and function venues and meeting rooms.

Guided Tours of the Gawler Civic Centre provide an opportunity to be led through all areas of the centre by a local volunteer, passionate about the history of the State Heritage Listed buildings, impressive renovations and exciting exhibitions on display.

The tours are offered on a monthly basis on the second Tuesday of each month, commencing at 10.00 a.m., with the following dates remaining for the year: September 12, October 10, November 14 and December 12.

The most recent tour this month showcased how the Gawler Institute Building and the Town Hall Building have changed in both appearance and functionality when they were redeveloped in 2017-2018, to re-emerge as the modern Gawler Civic Centre.

The Gawler Institute building was opened in 1871 but the Gawler Institute as an organisation and a subscription library had been in operation since 1857.

It was originally housed in the Loyal Lodge of Oddfellows building next to what is now The National Trust.

By 1860 the Gawler Institute had opened a natural history museum, two years before the establishment of the SA Museum on North Terrace.

The Town of Gawler as an independent local government area was incorporated in 1857. 

It too operated from other venues until the Town Hall was opened in 1878.

Volunteer Kerry Dellar wanted to immerse herself in the culture of Gawler as she wasn’t raised in the region.

“I was also fascinated by the upgraded buildings,” Kerry said.

Volunteer Lorrain Kirk has roots that run deep in Gawler, “My Great Grandfather, Frederick Summerton, helped build these two buildings that are now the Gawler Civic Centre,” Lorrain said.

“He came in 1856 as a stonemason, building the Primary School and first Catholic Church in Gawler.

Volunteer Judy Ferguson shared, “I wanted to share the history of South Australia’s first country town and one of its oldest buildings, as well as the remarkable renovation.”

>> Kerry Dellar, Gawler Civic Centre volunteer
>> Sandra Winder and Judy Ferguson - Tour Guide Volunteers
>> Lorrain Kirk, Gawler Civic Centre volunteer

Sam Irrgang enjoys his role as the Gawler Civic Centre Operations Coordinator, which provides him with a great variety of work on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

“I particularly enjoy coordinating and hosting a huge variety of shows, events and exhibitions at the Gawler Civic Centre, which allows me to interact with a large number of community members,” said Sam.

“Highlights have included the Gawler Civic Centre official opening program of shows and events, including the official launch day back in April 7, 2019, which included a street party, through to various sold out shows and, ‘Santa’s Workshop’ commencing in 2020.

“This now annual, free, community event attracts over 2,500 people across four days, with huge support from Town of Gawler staff and volunteers.

“Our four extremely knowledgeable, supportive and community-oriented Tour Guide volunteers, have supported the Gawler Civic Centre since our very busy official launch day and as part of many successful shows and events, including Santa’s Workshop.

They have added a touch of community, history and knowledge to the event and the community who attend.

“Our reinstated (after a Covid-19 hiatus) monthly Guided Tours enable our wider Gawler community to appreciate our beautiful buildings, but also most importantly, through our Tour Guide volunteers’ expertise, a deeper understanding of the history of Gawler, the Town Hall and Gawler Institute and many historical stories along the way,” said Sam.

Gawler Civic Centre is a fine example of preservation, combined with innovation, with the project awarded the ‘Public Architecture’ Award at the 2019 SA Architecture Awards – awarded to MPH Architects; ‘Great Place’ and ‘Minister’s Award’ for Planning Excellence SA at the 2019 Planning Institute of Australia Awards and ‘President’s Award’ in the Great Place category at the 2020 National Planning Institute of Australia Awards – both awarded to Town of Gawler.

A guided tour of the Gawler Civic Centre takes between 45 minutes and one hour, or can be shortened or tailored to meet individual’s or group requirements.

Tickets can be purchased for $5 per person, which includes a coffee voucher from The Olive Branch Cafe, located in the  Civic Centre or free without The Olive Branch Cafe voucher.

Tickets can be purchased online or in-person at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, Lyndoch Road or the Gawler Civic Centre Library, Murray Street.

Social connection, community celebration and lifelong learning are key outcomes for this unique, regional facility.

For more information or to book a specific Group Session, please contact Sam Irrgang on 8522 9267 or email civic.centre@gawler.sa.gov.au


Spring is packed with a huge variety of entertainment on offer for the whole family.

Our Entertainment program includes:

Thursday 14 September, 11.00am

Comprising drums, bass, guitar, saxophone and voice, modern day hits and favourites from yesteryear are given an ‘unplugged’ treatment with a healthy dose of fun.

Friday 22 September, 8.00pm

Elton John Tribute by The Flaming Sambucas

‘Your Song’ is The Flaming Sambucas exciting new Elton John Tribute Show featuring the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Thursday 5 October, 11.00am

101 Ways to Annoy your Parents and other Really Old People

Winner of the Best Kids Show at Adelaide Fringe 2023.

‘101 Ways’ is a how to guide for all children no matter their age…the show is full of awesome sketches, jokes that kids love and parent love more.

Friday 27 October, 8.00pm

Neil Diamond Tribute by Greg Hart

As always, Greg Hart’s audience is treated to a quality show that sizzles from start to finish. With outstanding hits such as “I Am, I Said”, “Sweet Caroline” and “Cracklin’ Rosie”, A Solitary Man is yet another great night of entertainment crafted by Greg Hart.

Friday 24 November, 8.00pm

Peter Allen Tribute by Michael Griffiths

Australia’s Cabaret King Michael plays piano and sings songs from the Peter Allen catalogue with first class showmanship. Together with band they play the classics from “I Go To Rio” and “I Honestly Love You” through to “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and of course “I Still Call Australia Home”.

Thursday 30 November, 11.00am

The Piano Men Matinee by Emma Knights

Why is it when we think of the piano it is always men at the forefront? “Sing us a song, you’re the piano man…”


Elton John, Billy Joel, Ben Folds, Tim Minchin: But where are the piano women? An exploration into the unknown stories of historic women pianists, from a successful Australian piano woman, Emma Knights.

Tuesday 12 September, 6.30pm

Meredith Appleyard – Author Talk

Spend an evening with Author Meredith Appleyard, as she launches her new book, Daisy and Kate.

Copies available for sale and signing.

Thursday 14 September, 6.00 pm

An Evening with John Ovenden

Former ABC TV and BBC World Service presenter, John Ovenden, looks back at the lighter side of his 50+ years of radio and TV news reading, and the many interviews he has conducted with some of the world’s biggest movie stars.

Thursday 12 October, 6.00pm

Angelica A. Brewer – Author Talk

Spend an evening with Author Angelica A. Brewer, as she discusses her book, Seventy Thousand Camels.

Copies available for sale and signing.

Friday 10 November, 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start

Trivia Night

Come test your knowledge at the library trivia night! Join us for a fun, free, fabulous night!


Term 3 Youth Programs - Drama, Band, Careers 101, Entrepreneur Course

August 31 – September 21, 2023

Now Open

Skill up courses

FREE Skills Courses (14yrs +)

October 2 – October 13

October School Holidays

Youth Programs



Monday – Wednesdays & Fridays 9am-5pm, Thursdays 9am-6pm & Saturdays 9am-1pm

Down The Line:

The History of Communications in Gawler Exibition

The exhibition tells the story of the coming of the Post Office, the telegraph and finally the telephone exchange to Gawler. 

Understand how emerging technologies and transports, were critical in keeping the community connected to the wider world.


Celebrating and connecting
past, present and future communities...

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89-91 Murray Street, Gawler SA 5118

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