Melbourne UNESCO Observatory of Arts Education

The Melbourne Arts Education Observatory contributes to the development of community and identity and stimulates innovation to foster social understanding and tolerance, distinguishing the University of Melbourne, the City of Melbourne, and Australia as global cultural and educational leaders.

The Melbourne Arts Education Observatory brings together current and innovative knowledge and practice in research and the arts community. It supports the mainstreaming of the arts in formal and informal learning across the intellectual, social, emotional, cultural, aesthetic, and spiritual domains and enables the seamless flow of information between schools, governments, ministries, NGOs and individuals.

The Observatory supports UNESCO in the facilitation of international knowledge-sharing by generating, collecting and re-packaging relevant, quality research; providing access to current information, resources and best practices; advocating for the mainstreaming of arts in educational systems in the Asia-Pacific region; and influencing cultural and educational policy development and management.

Our goals aim to:

  • Facilitate innovative learning and development at all levels of education
  • Contribute to and highlight the critical value of quality tertiary education of generalist teachers, arts educators and artists
  • Develop national and international networks and partnerships to establish and engage with communities of practice
  • Undertake, collect and re-package current research and resources for arts education professionals
  • Advocate for heritage preservation and the development of cultural identity, diversity and innovation through the arts.

The Observatory was established by the first director, Dr Lindy Joubert in 2006 and operated as the UNESCO Observatory for Multidisciplinary Research in the Arts until 2011 within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. In 2012, the Observatory moved to the Faculty of Education under the Directorship of Professor Susan Wright, Chair of Arts Education from 2012-2018. In March 2017, the network of Observatories joined the UNESCO Paris International Network for Arts Education Research for Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development (UNITWIN).