The Drama Australia Equity and Diversity Guidelines (2015): implications for all educators

Arts Education Semester 2, 2015 Colloquium Series

Presented by Richard Sallis, Jo Raphael, Carol Carter, and Meg Upton

This colloquium will look at the implications for educators of the recently released (September, 2015) Drama Australia Equity and Diversity Guidelines for the teaching and learning of drama. As the nation's peak drama/theatre educators association, Drama Australia believes that appreciation of diversity is important in order to understand and provide for the particular needs of individuals. For Drama Australia it is important that it, and its member associations, reflect on the ways in which gender (including gender identity), sexualities, disability, socio-economic status (SES) and cultural and linguistic issues and perspectives impact on drama education. The document seeks to support teachers and students involved in educational drama in Australia in these areas of diversity. It seeks to engage with contemporary thought and practice, develop understanding and awareness and offer advice to educators on ways to address these issues. 

Whilst the content of the document has been written for drama educators, its content can be applied to a broad range of subject areas. It will be presented by three of the five writers of the document along with the Drama Australia, Director of Projects. All five sections of the document will be addressed by the presenters. 

Dr Richard Sallis (editor of the policy document and writer of the sexualities policy) lectures in drama/theatre in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at The University of Melbourne. He has a background in the performing arts and Theatre for Young People (TYP). Richard is a former President of Drama Australia and the current Director of Publications for IDEA (International Drama/Theatre and Education Association). His research interests include arts education, gender and sexualities and education and methods associated with ethnography and performed research.

Dr Jo Raphael (writer of the disability section of the policy) is lecturer in drama education in the School of Education at Deakin University. She is artistic director of Fusion Theatre, an inclusive theatre company with two ensembles made up of actors with and without disability, who work alongside professional artists and directors to make original theatre. Jo's PhD study, The Disruptive Aesthetic Space (2013), focused on drama as a transformative pedagogy for challenging pre-service teachers into new ways of thinking about students with disability

Dr Carol Carter (writer of the cultural and linguistic diversity section of the policy) is currently Higher Education Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Holmesglen Institute. Her research interests include drama education and issues relating to cultural identity and cultural and linguistic diversity. Some of her most recent work involves examining ways in which the arts support cultural identities in early childhood contexts, the role of drama in affirming and supporting diversity andexploring strategies and techniques to support learning and teaching in diverse higher education contexts.

Ms Meg Upton is currently the Director of Projects for Drama Australia She lectures in Drama Education, in the M.Ed and is a Student Academic Mentor in the Teach for Australia Program at Deakin University. Meg's industry consultation work includes MTC, Malthouse, Ilbijerri, Victorian Opera, Arena Theatre, KAGE, Arts Centre Melbourne and Bell Shakespeare. She will be submitting her PhD this year, a study that investigates the pedagogies of teaching performance analysis in the VCE. Recent publications include "Education and the Arts: Creativity in the promised new order" for Currency House (2014), and "The Provocative Space. Deepening Students' Experience of Live Theatre Performance" International Yearbook for Research in Arts Education (2015).

Dr Christine Hatton, University of Newcastle, NSW (Gender policy writer) and Dr Kelly Freebody, University of Sydney (SES policy writer) will be assisting in the development of this Colloquium.


Wednesday 14 October, 5.30 – 7pm
Frank Tate Room
Level 9, 100 Leicester St
The University of Melbourne

RSVP to Andria on by Friday 9 October 2015