Explore past editions of NiTRO, the DDCA’s dedicated space for views and news in the tertiary creative arts community.

Past Editions

Inside Tertiary Creative Arts today: Teaching innovation and attitude change

Published August 2018

In our previous edition of NiTRO, we focused on the experiences and changes that the Dawkins Reforms brought to the creative arts.

Fast forward thirty years, we look at some of the curriculum innovations and attitudinal changes in tertiary arts in academia today that could hardly have been imagined by those experiencing the first few years following the Dawkins disruptions.

Contributors: Jenny Wilson, Clive Barstow, Leah Coutts, Jodi McAlister, Beata Batorowicz, Patrick West, Ramesh Nithiyendran, Lisa Grocott, Neil Haddon and Arlo Langham.

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The Dawkins reforms - 30 years on

Published: July 2018

In July 1988, the Commonwealth Government released ‘Higher Education: A Policy Statement 1988’. The white paper reshaped the landscape of Australian higher education and the changes it catalysed have become known as ‘the Dawkins Reforms’ after the then Minister responsible for its introduction, John Dawkins.  In this edition, we reflect upon the effect of these reforms, particularly on tertiary creative arts.

Contributors: Jenny WilsonSu BakerGwilym CroucherGlyn DavisScott BrookRichard VellaRoss WoodrowJen WebbPaul UhlmannTracy BradfordDanny ButtJenny Wilson & Kit Wise, and Jenny Wilson, Ann Schilo, Peter Roennfeldt, Michael Halliwell, Geoffrey Caban & Nick Oughton.

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The Inclusion Imperative: Tertiary creative arts and community cohesion

Published: June 2018

Whether as a powerful tool for communicating the realities experienced by citizens and communities, or a vehicle for better understanding and connection with our neighbours, creative arts play a critical role in social cohesion and community representation. In this edition of NiTRO we highlight examples of how different art forms are seeking to improve inclusion.

Contributors: Jenny WilsonSu BakerSonja PedellAlison WotherspoonJordan LaceyShaun McNiffClint Bracknell, and Natalie Lazaroo.

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The impact of tertiary and creative arts

Published: April 2018

As many Australian tertiary creative arts staff grapple with the national research assessment requirements of impact and engagement, we delve into the broader question of what impact means in the context of creative arts, and question whether measuring ‘impact’ is an accurate or even useful way of considering the value of creative arts.

Contributors: Clive BarstowJenny WilsonNatalie KingKatja FleischmannDr Nadia NiazJenny Wilson, Susan Cooper and Adrian FisherRenee CrawfordIan HaigDr Heather Skinner and Dr Nicola Williams-Burnett.


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Looking backwards, moving forwards: Global directions in tertiary creative arts

Published: March 2018

Soren Kierkegaard is credited with the observation that life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards. This is certainly true for Australian tertiary arts education where past government and institutional decisions shape our future plans for 2018 and beyond. But our disciplines and practices are also influenced by broader changes that are taking place in tertiary arts research and education internationally.

For our first edition of NiTRO for 2018 we approach our annual question of what might lie ahead for tertiary creative arts from a slightly different angle. Our contributors speak to the changes they have experienced in their individual creative arts disciplines and from working within different geographies as they consider how 2018 might shape up.

Contributors: Su BakerJenny WilsonPaul GoughCraig Batty and Bettina FrankhamWelby IngsMostyn Bramley-MooreAlfdaniels MabingoSteph HutchisonAlexander DamianischAntonia PontLéuli Eshraghi, Grace McQuilten & Marnie BadhamAubrey Mellor OAMBala StarrClive BarstowDenise Ferris and Annika Harding.

 

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Tertiary creative arts: The next generation

Published: November 2017

‘After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over’

Alfred Perlman’s quote reflects the New York Central Railroad of which he was President. However, there is a nugget of truth in his observation, even for academia where things move much more slowly. As Babyboomers and Gen X-ers prepare for well earned retirement, what might the new generation of creative arts academics and practitioners want to throw away or keep?

In this edition of NiTRO we hand over to the next generation of academics, teachers, researchers and graduates in creative arts to explore how they experience life in academia. We also include a NiTRO experimental special feature as Deakin University’s student journalists interview graduating creative artists to capture their journey from university to professional art world.

Contributors: Clive BarstowJenny WilsonNiklavs RubenisSteph KehoeErica SeccombeJames NewittBudi MillerKate HunterSam McAuliffeLienors TorreDonna FranklinDonna FranklinDonna Franklin and Jane Whelan.

 

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Tertiary creative arts and politics: Activist tiger or corporatised pussycat?

Published: October 2017

From Verdi’s compositional call to arms to the visual commentary of Gordon Bennett, art has always played an important role in political change. It captures and reports inequities and can galvanise public energy in a way that evades the written work of the statistician, however elegant their data may be presented.

Art is also deeply affected by political decisions. In Australia, many small arts organisations are still reeling from recent government funding changes. In higher and vocational education, political determinations of which courses, scholarships and research projects are worthy of national support are reshaping how creative art is taught and studied.

This edition of NiTRO considers the role and responses of creative arts disciplines to the political landscape and the influence that political decisions have upon tertiary arts education.

Contributors: Su BakerJenny WilsonEdwina Howell and Gary FoleyTony FryJulian MeyrickSusan DavisAbigail GilmoreRob GawthropJoseph ToltzDomenic Redfern.

 

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Shaping our future cultural heritage: Tertiary arts graduates and alumni

Published: August 2017

Australia’s leading arts practitioners increasingly hold undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications from our tertiary institutions. Tertiary arts graduates and alumni are pushing the boundaries of cultural understanding and shaping how we will all experience and enjoy art now and in the future. How has their educational experience helped them in their professional arts career? As educators, how do we shape our student experiences to meet the challenges ahead? And how do we then make sure that creative arts schools maintain connections with alumni to bring their experiences back into the education of the new generation of arts students?

In this edition of NiTRO, we present just a small selection to showcase how our graduates and alumni are shaping our cultural and artistic landscape and we explore how tertiary arts programs, schools and institutions are helping to ensure that they reach their potential as cultural entrepreneurs.

Contributors: Clive BarstowJenny WilsonAngie MillerDiana Blom & Dawn BennettShane StrangePaul UhlmannNicholas MarksRyan DanielJenny Wilson and Georgie MeagherLouise CrossenJo ConlonStacey SalazarRachael Haynes

 

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Sharing Common Ground: Art, Science and Technology

Published: June 2017

Contrary to popular perception, academics in art, science and technology are not isolated in separate camps. A myriad of collaborations are happening across Australia. Where these take place respectfully and inclusively, they are producing new ways of thinking, seeing and creating expressed in both artistic and scientific outcomes. In less equitable settings, creative arts risks losing its identity and independence. Evolutions in science and technology continue to shape the practice of art and, although policy frameworks have still to catch up, the contribution that art brings to science and technology development is increasingly being recognised.

In this NiTRO’s first anniversary edition, creative artists, and colleagues in other disciplines, discuss their perspectives and experiences of the connectivity between art, science and technology.

Contributors: Clive BarstowJenny WilsonRobyn SloggettFrank MillwardPatricia AufderheideOron CattsOliver SmithSvenja J. Kratz and Anita GowersJessica SeymourKim VincsKylie Pappalardo

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Creative Leadership

Published: May 2017

Leadership in tertiary creative arts is not an easy task. The environment is in a constant state of flux. Leaders need to meet evolving government and institutional policy direction, secure sustainability within shifting, and often difficult, funding environments and meet the technical and curriculum expectations of ever changing cohorts of students. In times of stress, the arts leadership represents the frontline for any dissatisfaction from staff, students, institutions and governments. As the saying goes: ‘It's a tough job but someone has to do it’.

In this edition of NiTRO, we consider what it takes to be a leader in creative arts. How can the complexity of leadership be approached? And how can we address the challenges that lie ahead?

Contributors: Su Baker, Jenny Wilson, Annika Harding, Anna Reid, Ian Howard, Professor Barbara de la Harpe and Thembi Mason, Megan Burslem and Cat Hope, Kate Cherry and Jenny Wilson, Steve Chapman

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Naturally Global: Tertiary Creative Arts in an international context

Published: April 2017

Higher education is touted as one of Australia’s leading exports.  Along with colleagues in other disciplines, creative arts schools welcome international students and staff from a myriad of different backgrounds and cultures and connect globally through a conglomeration of international exchanges, conferences and collaborations. For tertiary arts, this is not just the enactment of educational internationalisation strategy but part and parcel of creative endeavour. For art is naturally global.

Contributors: Clive Barstow, Jenny WilsonNatascha Radclyffe-ThomasCaroline McMillenMargaret Baguley and Georgina BartonJames NewittDan BendrupsAndrew TetzlaffHerman van Eyken

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Creative Arts Futures: Probable. Possible. Imagined.

Published: March 2017

Last year NiTRO posed the question ‘Watt’s next for creative arts?” Now, in the first half of 2017, despite the release of the Watt report and a flurry of consultation papers and government statements, we appear no nearer to a definitive answer. Sometimes it appears that all we can do is wait for the clouds to lift and hope that a shaft of sunlight may shine our way. In the meantime, we reprise our original question as our contributors consider what could, and should, be ahead for tertiary creative arts?

Contributors: Su Baker, Jenny Wilson Laurene VaughanSean LowryWarren BebbingtonJenny WallerSandra GattenhofTim Cahill and Julian Meyrick

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Community Connections

Published: November 2016

Creative arts has always faced outwards from academia. Its influence, whether through research or student based projects, shapes many public and specialised communities in a diversity of ways. The fourth edition of NiTRO presents just a selection of projects to showcase the community and creative arts relationships in tertiary education.

Contributors: Jenny WilsonSu BakerDeborah TerryRussell KennedyDeborah StoneAmanda StuartLucy BleachTom YoungLucas IhleinSamantha DonnellyAngela Goddard and Fiona SalmonSean MeeRuth Bereson and Caitlyn ByrneCat Hope

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Academia and Artistic Practice

Published: September 2016

In the third edition of NiTRO we focused on how academia connects, supports and influences artistic practice outside the university walls, and particularly how it prepares its existing and emerging artists for careers in their chosen profession.

Contributors: Jenny WilsonSu BakerPamela BurnardArun SharmaMalcolm GilliesTamara WinikoffEileen Siddins and Ryan DanielSue GillettTracey BensonVanessa TomlinsonIan HaigPeter KnightClive Barstow and Jenny WilsonLinda Ludwig.

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Watt's Next For Creative Arts?

Our first edition focused on the changing higher education landscape and asked: Watt’s next for creative arts?

Published: July 2016

Contributors: Jenny WilsonSu BakerMargaret Gardner AOTim Cahill and Julian MeyrickJulie HareLynn Churchill and Jill FranzDenise Ferris and Marie SierraLynda HawrylukJohn Cumming and Craig Batty

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