While he may have been a fixture on View Street for most of his Bendigo working life, it's perhaps within the corridors of Ulumbarra Theatre where David Lloyd's story will be told for decades to come.
The story of a man who went from operating a small performing arts centre to one of the biggest in the country - and bringing to life a vision for Bendigo hoped for by so many.
A man who was so proud of the theatre's connection to history, and to his beloved arts community.
But what he was most proud of was its connection to Country, and the beautiful Dja Dja Wurrung word chosen as its name. A word meaning 'gather together'.
Mr Lloyd grew up in Alice Springs, where he learnt at an early age the importance of understanding our First Nation's history.
He cared deeply about the impact of colonisation and was committed to walking alongside all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the spirit of reconciliation and healing.
This was what Mr Lloyd did best. He brought people together. And in death, he continues to do so.
The Bendigo, Victorian and Australian arts communities are supporting each other and sharing stories of Mr Lloyd, who died from a heart attack on June 9 while ill with COVID-19.
Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres executive team member and West Gippsland Performing Arts Centre manager Rob Robson worked closely with Mr Lloyd for more than a decade.
His recollection of Mr Lloyd's leadership was that 'by quiet example' he influenced and inspired not only his own community, but the wider Australian performing arts community.
"He was widely respected and loved, not only by his fellow arts centre managers, but by performers and by producers across Australia," Mr Robson said.
"I am deeply saddened to have lost an inspiring mentor, a colleague and a dear friend and I know it is a loss that will be widely felt by so many others.
"I knew David as an enthusiastic and passionate advocate and activist in creating access to the arts for his community. He contributed significantly to the development of his team and to the network of people working in the sector."
Mr Robson said Mr Lloyd's remarkable achievement in guiding the construction and opening of Ulumbarra was 'underpinned by years of preparatory work with the community'.
"David understood that the 'why' was as important as the 'how' in such projects," he said.
"David always spoke quietly, thoughtfully and with great consideration. When he spoke, people listened and appreciated the perspective he provided and the expertise he brought to the conversation.
"But David was also great fun to be with and I will truly miss sharing a laugh or together appreciating the ridiculous in some common dilemma. David Lloyd leaves an important legacy, not only in bricks and mortar, but in his contribution to his community and to our whole sector."
Mr Lloyd's contribution to Bendigo began long before the construction of Ulumbarra.
He arrived in Bendigo in 2004 after leaving a role as assistant manager of Araluen Arts Precinct in Alice Springs, and as was his quiet and humble way set about transforming the city's arts scene as then manager of the Capital Theatre.
Few knew just what Mr Lloyd's vision would look like in the years that followed.
His role soon evolved to Manager of Bendigo Venues and Events, during which time he not only shifted the programming and recreated the brand that was the 'Capital Theatre', but realised the potential of the View Street Engine Room as a performing arts space.
Mr Lloyd also ensured others were given the space to introduce what have become key drawcards on the city's events calendar, including the Bendigo Writer's Festival and Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music.
He was instrumental in the relocation of Arena Theatre Company to Bendigo, and in Ulumbarra Theatre being recognised with the Performing Arts Connections Australian Venue of the Year in 2017.
More broadly, Mr Lloyd was president of Performing Arts Connections Australia and the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres.
Former City futures Director with the City of Greater Bendigo, Stan Liacos, 'enjoyed 10 fabulous years' working with Mr Lloyd.
"Mind you we did challenge each other from time-to-time, which was good in our relationship and needed when you were on a mission to get good things done, as we were," he said.
Mr Liacos recalls plotting the development of Ulumbarra Theatre 'together with fellow musketeers' and how he and Mr Lloyd 'talked endlessly about how to put Bendigo performing arts on the map and make locals feel proud about where they lived'.
"David was articulate, eloquent, charming and had a ripping vocabulary - I loved that about him," Mr Liacos said.
"But what I loved most was his conviction, and his greatest conviction for me was his respect and leadership on acknowledgement of Indigenous Australians."
When Mr Lloyd left his role with the city in 2021, he noted:
"During my time at the City I am most proud of contributing to strengthening the organisation's relationship with the Dja Dja Wurrung community and know this will be continued through the new dedicated First Nations Art Officer role."
But there is little doubt that what Mr Lloyd was most proud of in life, was his family.
Mr Lloyd is survived by his adult children Aidan, Celeste and Rory and grandson, Augustus - along with his extended family Angela, mother Maeve, sister Maree and brother Greg.
They know they shared Mr Lloyd with the community, but remember him as a man who loved their friends, always volunteered to do the 'little extra things', gave much to others and brought the family together through food and his love of music.
"He brought a little bit of brightness to people," they said this week.
Mr Lloyd's greatest legacy was his family.
Vale, David Lloyd.
Nicole Ferrie was a friend of Mr Lloyd and his family. She is a former editor of the Bendigo Advertiser.
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