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Six highly skilled Western Australian artists are working alongside Murdoch University student teachers and staff to develop arts programs for schools as part of the national Creative Education Partnerships: Artist-in-Residence Initiative.

Department of Culture and the Arts acting chief executive officer Alan Ferris said the project involved artists helping student teachers to deliver innovative school arts programs, develop arts education materials, and promote the public value of arts and culture to the community.

Murdoch University was given a grant to run the project and its School of Education invited artists to express interest in being part of this exciting new way of working, Mr Ferris said.

Expressions of interest were assessed by the AiR Grants Program panel comprising representatives from the Australia Council, Department of Culture and the Arts, Department of Education, and arts and education sector specialists.

Department of Education Director General Sharyn O’Neill said arts education was an important part of the school curriculum.

I am really pleased that teachers still in training are having the opportunity to work with artists to develop programs and resources for use in schools, she said.

This is an interesting development opportunity for them and I am sure they will learn so much from the close interaction with some of this State’s most talented working artists.

Most importantly, students in public schools will benefit from this project as will the wider community.

Australia Council for the Arts CEO Tony Grybowski said the Murdoch University residency was for student teachers to build their capacities and skills in the arts through close engagement with artists, so they are well equipped to teach arts subjects to their pupils.

The evidence shows that in placing artists within Schools of Education in universities there is an important flow of arts skills from professional practicing artists to new educators and through to their students, he said.

We look forward to seeing the impact of this residency, and congratulate the artists on their selection. We also recognise Murdoch University’s innovative approach in designing and undertaking this project.

The student teachers at Murdoch University are studying to become primary school teachers and secondary schools teachers in media arts.

The artists are:

  • Stefan Karlsson, White Gum Valley (Dance)
  • Caitlin Beresford-Ord, East Victoria Park (Drama)
  • Leon Ewing, Bayswater (Media Arts)
  • Kate Page, Dianella (Music)
  • Audrey Fernandes-Satar and Arif Satar, Fremantle (Visual Arts)

Creative Education Partnerships: Artist-in-Residence Initiative is a Commonwealth arts-in-education program through the Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with the WA Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and the Department of Education. It is known in WA as the AiR Grants Program.

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Media contact:

Caroline Lacy
Tel:  (08) 6552 7300

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