The VCA is in Danger

Posted by webmaster on October 1st, 2009

A Large Puppet Attends The SaveVCA Rally

A Large Puppet Attends The SaveVCA Rally


“The configuration of the VCA is a source of envy among international art schools. Nowhere else in the world are the six creative art forms taught together on the one campus, in the heart of the arts precinct of an appreciative and sophisticated city. The two models that informed the founding of the VCA in the late 1960s and early 1970s were Cal Arts and the Julliard School in New York.”

Andrea Hull, Former Dean, VCA, Creating: the Victorian College of the Arts, Macmillan, 2000


“I am astonished how siloed this campus has been. It’s siloed in its programs, it’s siloed in its narrow little degree programs… Producing elite dancers that only become ballet dancers, or actors that only act, is no longer appropriate in Australia.”

Sharman Pretty, Dean of VCAM (VCA), The Australian, June 5th, 2009


“The teaching philosophy of the College reflects a long held belief that learning comes from doing. As the tuition is practical, intensive and studio-based, class sizes are small, places are limited and admission is competitive.”


The pedagogy of the college has for years been one of practice, following the belief that this is absolutely necessary to successfully training artists. Via this model, the VCA has produced some of the most recognized and celebrated artists ever to have been found on Australian shores.

Now, the University of Melbourne, who acquired the VCA in 2007 after the Federal Government decided to cut funding to the college, is planning to implement the Melbourne Model at the VCA in 2011. The Melbourne Model – with parallels to a failing European system – is a model geared towards academic, research-based subjects, a model which is unsuitable for the Victorian College of the Arts. The Melbourne Model, as it stands, can only lead to a dilution of arts training at the VCA. No more dancers, actors, singers, designers, painters, sculptors, stage managers, film makers, musicians and puppeteers; only arts academics.

The Arts Culture in Melbourne, the nation’s Arts Capital, hangs in the balance, and we’re set on saving it. If you love the Arts, and value its cultural contribution, read on, and join us in SAVING THE VCA.

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One Response to “The VCA is in Danger”

  1. Tony Llewellyn-Jones

    If the current Federal Government does indeed receive a mighty whacking at the forthcoming Federal Election Prof Glyn Davis (confidant of the PM for curriculum change) might just have to reconsider his handling of the VCA takeover. How much more property can one university possibly want? How much more damage to the history and achievements of past VCA staff and students can be dismissed? Rage must be maintained. From here in Sydney one feels helpless. But as an admirer of the ideals and practices of the pre-putsch VCA I can only offer moral and occasional vocal support. A year of both a State and Federal Election is an ideal time to keep pushing, pressing and shaming. More power to Save VCA. As Paul Keating once said to a fuming Arts gathering during the Howard years: ‘The Visigoths may be at the gates but there will be a new dawn and a new day. There always is.’

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