Education Forum 2014

The 2014 MPA Education Forum was held in Brisbane on 30 June–1 July, and featured keynote speakers: Eric Booth, teacher, actor, arts advocate and Founding Editor of the Teaching Artist Journal, and Professor Julian Meyrick, practitioner, academic and media commentator on matters of cultural policy.

Education Forum 2014


When: Monday 30 June and Tuesday 1st July 2014

Where: Bille Brown Studio, Queensland Theatre Company,78 Montague Rd, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Supported by the Australia Council. Hosted by Queensland Theatre Company.

20 MPA delegates will also have the opportunity to attend ITAC2—the International Teaching Artist Conference—which runs from 1–3 July in Brisbane.


Please register for the forum using the survey monkey link:


If you have any questions about this event please contact:

Margie Moore (coordinator) +61 2 9799 6505, 0416 074 931

Heidi Irvine, Queensland Theatre Company (2014 Chair)


The forum is a two-day annual meeting for the Major Performing Arts (MPA) Education Network to discuss the latest crucial issues in arts education, including the latest developments in the National Arts Curriculum. It is also open to other education personnel from key performing arts companies in Queensland.


The program includes panel discussions and workshops on the following topics:

  • The role of education in Australia’s major performing arts companies
  • Developing, mentoring and supporting Teaching Artists
  • Measuring cultural impact and sharing the importance of the Arts in Education
  • How to ask the hard questions (of boards, fund-raising bodies, artists)
  • Concurrent sessions in Curriculum and Community Engagement
  • Examples of best practice—inspiring examples from within and without
  • Best practice in digital education programs both here and overseas
  • Hearing from Artistic Directors—what do they expect from their Education Programs?
  • Collaboration opportunities.

The program will include numerous opportunities for lively exchange and planning with arts education managers across the sector and in your own art form.

You will have an opportunity to attend Brisbane’s finest arts performances and The Out of the Box Festival 25 June–2 July

PROGRAM—download here.


We have secured two fabulous keynote speakers:

1. Eric Booth who has done much work in the areas for audience engagement and artist development (many of you may have his ‘Teaching Artists Bible’ at easy reach on your desk). Check out his diverse portfolio at Read his biography here.

2. Professor Julian Meyrick who will share with us his ground breaking research into measuring cultural impact. He has a background in theatre and you can find out more about him at Read his biographyhere.

3. Dr Tully Barnett is a Research Fellow in Creative Arts in the School of Humanities at Flinders University. She is Project Manager for the School’s Cultural Value Research Project, a project developing, trialling and evaluating quantitative and qualitative methods to determine ways of valuing, and articulating the value of, cultural events and institutions. Read her biographyhere.

Guest speakers’ information [tba]


A network of personnel working in education from the major performing arts companies was established in 2010 at an inaugural conference in Sydney hosted by the Australia Council.

Since then the MPA Education Network has:

  • held four forums in 2010 (Sydney), 2011 (Melbourne), 2012 (Brisbane) ad 2013 (Sydney).
  • submitted a combined response to the Australian Curriculum Shape Paper in liaison with ACARA and their writing teams.
  • devised a strategy and response to the new draft curriculum in 2012 and set positive next steps for this to occur coordinated by Kim Waldock, Head of Education, Sydney Symphony
  • set up a Facebook group with key organisations through the Australia Council using the following link

Podcasts and panel details of the 2012 Forum sessions are here:

Summaries of proceedings in the 2013 Forums sessions are here:


The 2014 forum aims to build on the achievements of the first four forums by further consolidating the network, discussing strategic plans and sharing information about continued excellence in Australian performing arts programs.

Such a forum will assist the MPA Education Network to:

  • exchange ideas in a professional learning environment
  • set further goals and guidelines for the operation of the network
  • share ideas about programming and education programs delivery to promote excellence and vibrancy
  • expand educational outreach through technology such as social media and good advocacy strategies
  • establish a benchmark of national excellence.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The Australia Council funds the forum and offers structural and administrative support. The content of the forum has been developed in consultation with the education managers of the participating MPA companies.

Check out these links before you attend the forum

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has developed a professional development program for teachers called TunED UP. It’s an intensive, five-day residential training program that equips primary school teachers with the skills, techniques and confidence they need to teach music to their students. In the inaugural program 20 teachers from public schools across NSW converged on Sydney to be trained by some of the best music educators in Australia. Here is a short video about it and what transpired during the week:

Creating cultural code-breakers- Sandra Gattenhof
Why major theatre Institutions should be left to die - Lynn Gardner


Networking within your art form

We have nominated a leader for each art form:

  1. Theatre/Circus: Toni Murphy, Bell Shakespeare— and John Saunders,
  2. Dance: Deborah Robertson, WA Ballet—
  3. Music: Bronwyn Lobb, MSO—
  4. Opera: Theresa Letitia—

They will get in touch with you soon to:

  • seek stories or examples of programs that would be great to share with others (not necessarily the most successful part of your program—it could be something you have learnt a great deal from). These stories will be shared among your group and then voted on to be presented as ‘Six-Minute Wonders’ (one from each art form) during the forum.
  • canvas the possibility of meeting up the night before the forum for art form exchange (as the Symphony network does) and/or if you would be interested in having a dinner with your art form to continue discussions and possible collaborations etc. on the middle evening.

To get people networking quickly and easily, we will distribute a form before the forum, asking for the following details. The information will then be sent to participants before the forum itself as background

Your name

Your company

Your position

How many years you have been in that position


  1. An essay by Eric Booth, The History of Teaching Artistry:
  2. Information about an exciting program at Carnegie Hall called Global Exchange that links children around the world as participants in an active project:
  3. A book on motivation and creativity by Daniel Pink, Drive:,
  4. A seminal text called Art as Experience by John Dewey:
  5. A peer reviewed Teaching Artist Journal:


Accommodation and travel will be your responsibility (travel assistance is offered to WA participants as they have to come the furthest).

Suggested local restaurants for Monday night dining will be distributed before the conference.

Brisbane is easy to get around and the best site to visit for information is

July in Brisbane is an ideal time to travel there, with average maximum day-time temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius.

Suggested accommodation

Rendezvous Studio Hotel Brisbane On George
103 George Street
Brisbane, QLD 4000

Phone: 07 3221 6044
Distance to QTC: 1.6km

Capitol Apartments
35 Peel Street
South Brisbane, QLD 4101

Phone: 07 3844 5800
Distance to QTC: 290m

West End Central Apartments
220 Melbourne Street
West End, QLD 4101

Phone: 1800 628 300
Distance to QTC: 600m

Station 16 Apartments
16 Merivale Street
South Brisbane, QLD 4101

Phone: 1300 657 041
Distance to QTC: 200m

Rydges South Bank
9 Glenelg Street
South Brisbane, QLD 4101

Phone: 07 3364 0800
Distance to QTC: 1.1km


Queensland Theatre Company, 78 Montague Rd, South Brisbane QLD 4101, map reference:



Education, Member Education, MPA Education Forum