Back to list

A Word from Drama Victoria's New President - Andrew Byrne

Monday 16, Mar 2020

Hello Drama Victorians!

In my first communique to you all as the newly appointed President of Drama Victoria I would have loved to be able to say “I sincerely hope that your year has set off on an exciting trajectory of creativity and engagement with your students both within your classrooms and with all the amazing extra-curricular activities that you run for your students”! However, I know that for most of you this has not been the case due to the Covid-19 crisis facing our global community now. Many of you are struggling, especially VCE teachers, with navigating your curriculum expectations – excursions cancelled, professional performances cancelled, Top Class postponed, school productions in question, Unit 3 performances in question. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of an unforeseen and unknown experience.

The Drama Victoria Committee has been collating resources over the last week of stand-alone lessons and sequences of lessons to be given to our members in the event that schools are closed. The problem for us as drama educators if there is a school closure is to be able to give our students purposeful and meaningful work that is not of a practical nature. We hope that the provided resources can support you through this unprecedented time.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already affected us as at Drama Victoria who, as a not-for-profit organisation, relies on the income of the professional development workshop and seminars we offer for our members to run our organisation. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel quite a few workshops so far this year. We will be looking in to how we can continue to run workshops for our members and their students in the future through digital means or webinars. We hope that you can be patient with us through this time!

Our Committee of Management are here to support our members through this time too! If you need extra help, guidance or advice please do not hesitate to reach out to our Director of Programs, Susan, who can put you in touch with the relevant portfolio leaders.

I would like to acknowledge our amazing Committee of Management who volunteer their time and expertise to help our members. Our 2020 Committee of Management and their portfolios are:

Vice President & Drama Australia Liaison Officer: Nina Rossini
Secretary & Treasurer: Tony Walker
Co-Conference Convenors: Meg Upton and Jane Carter
Community Engagement & Membership: Zachary Alaimo
Resources: Nick Waxman and Ashleigh Phillips
Drama Victoria Theatre Festival: Danni Hradsky
VCE Drama: Tim Roach
VCE Theatre Studies: Lyndy Clarke
Victorian Curriculum: Tim Roach and Zachary Alaimo
Student Engagement: Drew Stocker

A massive thank you to the returning members of the Drama Victoria CoM: Nina, Tony, Meg, Jane, Nick, Tim, Lyndy and Drew – your tireless and energetic effort and contribution to Drama Victoria, you are truly loved and appreciated!

A massive congratulations to our newly elected CoM: Danni Hradksy, Ashleigh Phillips and Zachary Alaimo – thank you for offering your talents and expertise to the Victorian drama education community, I hope you thoroughly enjoy your new roles!

In 2020 we intend to continue our work on diversity and inclusion in Drama education. We continue to explore First Nations art as stimulus for students participating in the Drama Victoria Theatre Festival and supporting teachers through the release of the “Teaching First Nations Content and Concepts in the Drama Classroom: Advice for Teachers Document”, which has just received official endorsement and support from VAEAI (Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated). In 2020 we are committed to developing new (and free) resources for our members, please let us know what areas of interest you have and we will see what we can do! Also in 2020, we will begin exploring how we can support the health and well-being of our teachers and students in the Arts.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Susan or Suzie in the office with your questions, queries or concerns – we are there to help you! Our number one priority is always YOU – our members!

Sincerely,

Andrew Byrne