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It's Creativity vs McDonalds in the UK

5 May 2015

Interesting to see what's happening in Education policy in the UK election campaign. It's very clearly divided. For those of us so inspired by Sir Ken Robinson, it's fascinating to see the impact of his work on policy.

If you believe in social justice, if you believe in a more equal society, the access to the arts and culture is not an optional extra, it is essential Ed Milliband, UK Leader of the Opposition. Schools would only be well credentialled if they offer a broad curriculum

In contrast, the Tories emphasis is on times tables and rote learning and the establishment of " free schools".

Read more

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Enjoy our last month of Autumn!

2 May 2015

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The arts and concentration

30 April 2015

Check this incredible performance of grace and concentration. Forgive that it's on a reality tv program and the Facebook comments.

Here's the link 

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Speak two languages, think differently in each

29 April 2015

In a fascinating article about the impact of being bilingual, one conclusion was that people think differently when they speak different languages. This follows research that has already shown that being bilingual is akin to brain training, keeping the mind flexible and protecting against dementia. 

Read the article here

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Naplan Testing Nearly Upon Us

28 April 2015

The annual tests will happen on 12, 13 and 14 May. From 2017, NAPLAN will be delivered online on an opt-in basis until 2019 when all students will take it on-line. Makes alot of sense!

In 2016, NAPLAN will be aligned with the Australian Curriculum. How novel.

Good luck everyone!

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First Woman Winner of World's Richest Short Story Prize

27 April 2015

 The UK Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award is an international award with the richest cash prize - thirty thousand pounds ($A58,243). The winner, Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and has lived in the US since 1996. The competition started in 2010 and she is the first female winner. 

Her story, A Sheltered Woman, tells the story of a Chinese-American nanny hired to spend a month and no more supporting a new mother and her baby; trying to keep detached from the emotional turmoil around her, she is also entrapped by her own past. A story of an outsider and the falseness of self-imposed isolation, it was first published in The New Yorker in March 2014.

Read the story here

Read an interview with Yiyun Li in the New Yorker

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Learn to Audition!

26 April 2015

WAAPA is offering a 3 hour masterclass for students of 15 years + on how to audition. Offered in Perth in September, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in July. Check out this and other WAAPA workshops and short courses here 

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Want to graffitti a wall?

25 April 2015

This time in Adelaide. Expressions of interest for the CANS graffiti art program thru Carclew close this Sunday 26 April. 9 places for young artists 18 - 26 to attend workshop, paint a wall and see it displayed in Victoria Square in the CBD.

Details here 

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Want to paint a tram??

24 April 2015

Part of the Melbourne Art Trams initiative - 8 Victorian residents will get a tram, including an artist under 25 years. Last year it was Year 12 school student, Callum Croker. Not only was that brilliant, but he also won The Melbourne Festival Art Trams People's Choice Award for his tram and $5000 . What a great project! That should inspire more school kids to apply!

Express your interest here. Closes Friday May 29.

Image: Emerging artist Callum Croker, and his work - Parrot Tulip Tram.

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Happy Bday Shakespeare - you chancer!

23 April 2015

Yes, he does seem to have become Saint Shakespeare and the biggest tourist attraction in the UK. There is no record of him attending school, the two daughters of this hero of the English language were illiterate and presumably he owed no books, because there were none left in his will. His contribution is actually not clear at all, but excessive claims are taken as gospel. Did he coin 8,429 new words (or is it 11,396? Or 7,298?). It's more than likely his plays were a collaborative effort and his genius could well have been as an entrepreneur (which there is evidence for), rather than being the father of the English language.

If you can cope with further sacrilege - read the article by William Leahy, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University London.

That said, I'm very pleased we have "his" work and "his" contribution to theatre and the English language!! 

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SA and ACT - enjoy your holidays!

21 April 2015

The rest of the nation's schools are now in Term 2 - except for you guys.

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Congrats to Bruce Gladwin - inaugural winner of Australia Councils' OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THEATRE

18 April 2015

Bruce is an inspired choice for the award. He is Artistic Director of Back to Back Theatre, based in Geelong, Victoria. What great work he's made in collaboration with the ensemble over the past 15 years or more. The enduring quality and challenge of their work is reflected in international demand - Ganesh versus The Third Reich has performed in over 30 cities, Small Metal Objects has been touring for 10 years. Back to Back have performed to more people than any other Australian theatre company, including the big ones!

Watch Stephen Armstrong's speech about Bruce's contribution and Bruce's reply here

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