I am so incredibly proud to have initiated and led the development of the Australian School of the Arts (ASTA) since 2006. This program supports a thriving curriculum by value adding to the students' artistic opportunities and experiences at Sheldon College.
My days are filled with working with the most amazing group of industry professionals and educators I could find and a calibre of student that I am yet to come across anywhere else in the world.
In my early days in Education I was fortunate enough to travel to the United States on a sabbatical and see some of the most incredible Arts schools in the world in action. Whilst I had always been incredibly passionate about Arts Education I had always had an uneasy feeling that schools were failing to adequately prepare the Arts children who wanted to grow into the next generation of the Arts industry experts. During this sabbatical, my eyes were opened to what is possible with high school age children and how important a solid foundation is to establishing a career in the Arts. Before we can open the eyes of the schools we must first open the eyes of the children.
The Arts industry is such a broad and eclectic industry that covers a gamut of different job descriptions. In developing ASTA I was passionate that what needed to lie at the heart of the program was an understanding that it was not only our responsibility to produce graduates with outstanding training in their chosen Art field but most importantly students with the ability to turn that training into a contribution back to the Arts. Consequently, we are very proud to see that year after year we help develop the next generation of Arts Lawyers, Arts Journalists, Producers, Artistic Directors, Filmmakers, Singers etc. Beyond this we are incredibly passionate to see that the emotional and social well-being of each child has culminated to produce the next generation of society’s Creative Thinkers, Artists and Leaders.
As you discover more about ASTA we hope that you too, begin to appreciate the importance of Arts in an ever changing society. I am sure that as you learn more about us what will become obvious is that ASTA continues to grow and develop into the best school-based Arts program in Australia.
Mr Darren Harvey
Director - Australian School of the Arts