Castlemaine State Festival XYZ [ED] Education Program 2018/19


The focus of the CSF Education Program 2018/19 is to build on the success of previous programs, whilst developing some fresh initiatives. The purpose of the program is to create points of contact and collaboration between young people in our community and local, national and international practising artists and thinkers. This facilitates a sense of connectedness and agency, on both a local and global level. The program is designed to create a sense of empowerment through self-directed play and exploration, whilst encouraging and supporting increasingly rigorous critical reflection.

New Initiatives

  • XYZ[ED] Media Team
  • Families as First Teachers
  • Online and print resources for families, students and teachers

Program Areas

1. The XYZ[ED] Media Team

The XYZ[ED] Media Team is a dynamic group young people aged between 12-25 who will be reporting on Festival events, with the remit of engaging their peer group directly with the CSF program. The Media Team have been meeting monthly to receive mentoring from local media professionals in areas such as camera operation, editing, sound production, radio, social media and print media. During the Festival, the team members will engage directly with artists, for example by conducting interviews, documenting events, hosting discussions. Local film-maker Lisa Mills, Director of Shebang Media is hosting the Media Team workshops at Castlemaine’s new Digital Hub. Lisa has been employed for several years at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, as a youth engagement officer and workshop facilitator.


2. Families as First Teachers

The XYZ[ED] Education Program acknowledges families’ crucial role as children’s first teachers. This new initiative is designed to encourage families to engage with the CSF program as a family unit. Free online resources will be made available, such as a Family Trail, information about the artist’s background and ideas, suggested starting points for family discussion. The program also includes some targeted subsidised ticket packages for families.

3. Kinder Program

Local sculptor Eliza-Jane Gilchrist will deliver a specialised kinder program called ‘I wonder what goes on in there…’. The artist will create an installation of strange and intriguing cardboard buildings, and children will be invited to create stories about what happens inside each of the buildings. They will add to the sculptures with drawings and objects, and record their stories as audio tracks. These recordings will be incorporated into the final exhibition which will feature in the Visual Arts program.  The program features lots of scope for discussion and story sharing, with a focus on language and literacy. The discussion is centred around active, sensory making and play. The program allows children to imaginatively explore the interwoven relationships that evolve in regional urban and suburban environments.

4. Primary Schools Program

Term Four School Incursions

A select offering of in-school workshops is being delivered in Term 4 2018. These workshops will be exclusive to Term 4, and free to schools.

  • Adam Ford will offer a zine-making workshop on the theme of his Festival project, Dance to the Anticlinal Fold
  • Deep Soulful Sweats will offer a fun dance and ritual workshop
  • Arena Theatre Company will offer a special workshop to create fantastical digital creatures that will feature in their CSF experiential installations Hidden Creatures
  • Taiwanese artist Chun-Liang Lui will offer a research workshop exploring local food and food culture

During the Festival

During the 2019 Festival there will be 3 days of performances, workshops and discussions exclusively for Primary Schools. Productions include International and Indigenous works such as Picasso and his Dog (Lemony S.), My Urrawai (Ghenoa Gela) Body Concert (Ambiguous Dance Company – South Korea). House of Muchness will deliver a special school’s performance of The Children’s Party.

Workshops include Indigenous land management expert, Bruce Pascoe, local visual artists Michael Graeve and Melinda Harper, and Melbourne based visual artist James Carey. We are currently finalising the workshop program, to offer a diverse program of visual artists and musicians, along with some of the visiting international artists.

Teachers can tailor their individual program to suit their specific curriculum focus, creating a whole day experience or a one-off performance or workshop. Teachers and students access online and print resources to support pre-performance discussion and activities, post-performance reflection and evaluation.

5. Secondary School Program

Castlemaine Secondary College students will take on the important role of ‘dance ambassadors’ in 2019s’ opening event, Equinox by Deep Soulful Sweats, encouraging and guiding audience participation. In the lead up to the Festival, students receive mentoring in organising and promoting large-scale participatory events. This will create deeper engagement and learning outcomes for students, with the potential to develop young leaders in the community.


Castlemaine Secondary College students will work with site-specific installation artist Cameron Robbins to create an installation that will be part of the Visual Art Program. Robbin’s work explores the ebb and flow of natural energies such as winds and tides through drawing, kinetic sculpture and sound.  He harnesses natural forces to create ambitiously scaled drawing ‘machines’ which generate, eerie, beautiful drawings.

We are currently finalising Secondary School workshops with Melbourne based theatre company The Rabble, and contemporary musician DD Dumbo.

Teachers and students will be supported to engage with the Festival program via online resources. These will include background information about the artists, their cultural contexts, curriculum links and starting points for additional research and enquiry.

For further information about the Education Program please contact Education Coordinator Kate Stones. Email:, mobile: 0431 998 707.