Creative Ambassador’s Initiative returns for 2018 after successful inaugural year
NIDA’s Creative Ambassador’s Initiative is returning this July after its successful introduction last year resulted in 15 early career teachers from around Australia developing practices and skillsets in the free professional development training at our Kensington campus.
Photo: NIDA's 2017 Creative Ambassadors
NIDA’s Creative Ambassador’s Initiative is returning this July after its successful introduction last year resulted in 15 early career teachers from around Australia developing practices and skillsets in free professional development training at our Kensington campus. Potential candidates for the 2018 cohort have until 31 May to apply (Extended).
The initiative is NIDA’s investment in the creative practice and artistry of early career teachers. The 2018 program will feature our academic staff from various disciplines leading workshops across a week-long intensive.
Connecting drama teachers from regional areas of Australia with new ideas, practices and fellow teachers and artists was one of the many successful outcomes of the 2017 offering.
Participant Hannah Eldridge, an Arts Coordinator, Drama and English Teacher at Marist College Emerald, Queensland, commented: ‘Because Emerald is a regional town in Queensland, we’re very limited in arts opportunities. This was the perfect chance to not only upskill myself but to start creating more relationships so I can begin networking more collegially with arts teachers around Australia.’
‘There’s nothing like coming away and being exposed to different artists, developing as a teacher and artists and taking that passion back to my own classroom. The workshops gave me a whole new skillset to be able to take back to other teachers and develop the practices of students and teachers alike,’ she added.
Another participant in the 2017 program from a regional location, Emily Fryer – a drama teacher in Broome in the Kimberly region of Western Australia – learned that drama teachers can look outside of their schools and into the wider community to collaborate on projects.
‘In one of my lectures with A/Prof Cheryl Stock [Head of Cultural Leadership at NIDA] we looked at collaboration. She asserted the importance of schools working with the wider community on projects collaboratively. We can come together and use a variety of art forms and culture to create some beautiful theatre and experimental pieces,’ said Emily.
In terms of the other kinds of learning experiences successful 2018 applicants can expect, Brendan Lawrence, Drama Teacher at the King’s School in North Parramatta said: ‘Director of Acting John Bashford’s session on exploring classical texts was sensational. We learnt different ways of exploring Shakespeare’s works, looking at them and unpacking the language and the text,’ he said.
‘The program has also inspired me and given me the confidence to explore creativity and see how we can foster and advocate creativity into the wider school community,’ he added.
‘From the week-long intensive, I learned that it’s really important that our drama classrooms still have an element of play,’ said Emily. ‘To make our students authentic actors they really need to have the essence of play to build on characters and develop skills overall. It was nice for me to go back to my origins and to where I started as an actor and not to get caught up in the content. It was really refreshing.’
For more information and to apply for the 2018 Creative Ambassador’s Initiative, please visit nida.edu.au/teachers