As the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Entertainment subject continues to grow in popularity across Sydney, NIDA regularly welcomes high school student groups looking to practice their skills in staging, lighting and sound as part of our customised workshops program.
In Term 2, NIDA had the pleasure of working with students from Burwood Girls and Strathfield Girls High School. The neighbouring schools teamed up to bring their Year 11 and 12 VET Entertainment students to NIDA to work with Staging lecturer John Grimau, with the aim of giving students access to industry standard equipment and knowledge.
During the three-hour customised workshop, students learnt many practical skills, including how to bump a set in and out, assemble the set safely, and tie knots and hitches – all invaluable foundational knowledge for a career in the staging and technical theatre industries.
A highlight for the students was assembling an archway as part of their set build – ‘Seeing it standing unsupported was crazy!’ commented one Burwood Girls student. ‘We hear about this type of thing in class, but actually doing it yourself is a different thing altogether and so much better.’
Schools Manager, Kellie Mackereth said she was particularly excited to hear that several of the students from both schools were considering careers in the performing arts, including Elif from Strathfield Girls who told us she hopes one day to have a career as a production manager. ‘We hope that students like Elif will consider applying to NIDA’s Vocational Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services, or the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) course when they finish high school,’ said Mackereth. ‘Elif is so clear that this is a pathway she’d like to pursue, and her experience as a VET Entertainment student is a great introduction to the skills required in the industry.’
The teachers from both schools had completed their Certificate III Live Production and Services Teacher-training qualification at NIDA, and were pleased that NIDA’s customised Staging workshop offered their students the same industry-focused experiences. ‘Having someone who can give the students firsthand stories and relevant examples of their time in the industry really helps [their learning],’ Burwood Girls teacher, Amy Jamieson explained. ‘The real industry experience and hands on, practical nature of the day is great – they loved it!’
NIDA certainly looks forward to working with the students from both Burwood Girls and Strathfield Girls High School in the future, and wish all the students well as they continue to work towards their goals in the performing arts industry.
NIDA Open Schools Team