This page provides information on the now completed 2009/2010 University of Melbourne review of the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Music (VCAM) – known as the Switkowski Review or the VCAM Review.
In This Section
- Key University Produced Review Documents
- Key SAVE VCA Produced Review Documents
- Public Submissions To The Review
- Key Submissions To The Review
- SAVEVCA.org Review Related Posts
- SAVEVCA.org Discussion Paper Videos
- Media Coverage Of The Review
- Other Resources
- SAVEVCA.org Legacy Review Related Pages
On 11 November 2009 the University of Melbourne launched its review of the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Music (VCAM).
At the time, The Age noted “although VCAM and the university characterise the review as part of its ongoing ‘commitment to a consultative process,’ there’s no doubt its wide-ranging ambit is a victory for the many students, concerned staff and those working in the arts in Victoria who campaigned long, loud and colourfully against the merger” (12/02/10).
SAVE VCA consistently held the view the University-led review was fundamentally flawed, lacking independence, the required scope and fatally lacking in detail (e.g. VCA’s financial situation was never discussed in any meaningful way). Nevertheless SAVE VCA encouraged the arts community to use the Review as a means to defend VCA, resulting in over 300 public submissions. SAVE VCA was also successful in lobbying for student forums being held as part of the Review process and obtaining a small number of opportunities for stakeholders to present directly to the Committee.
In May 2010 the Review Committee released its report. Although affirming the importance of VCA (and it’s highly successful teaching methods and course offerings) and discrediting the Dean’s vision of VCAM (“the report undermines almost everything that Pretty has argued thus far” The Age 22/05/10), the Review Report was largely toothless.
In late July 2010 the University predictably endorsed its own Review’s findings. The most obvious outcomes was that the 2009 merger of VCA and UoM Music that produced VCAM was to remain, and yet internally demerged into two divisions – Music (VCA Music and UoM Music now called Melbourne Conservatorium) and ‘the rest’ (called VCA). Each division has its down Director, limiting the role of Dean, resulting in Sharman Pretty resigning. The University now plans to start and complete a full Curriculum Review by the end of the 2010 for implementation in 2012 (however the Curriculum Review will be University run as per the original review so its independence is as yet unclear). Significantly, the University Response did acknowledged VCA had gone from a $5-6m p/a shortfall pre merger (due to the Federal funding cut) to a $18-20m annual shortfall post-merger, simply due to new central University costs (such as building rentals).
Key University Produced Review Documents
- The Discussion Paper (11/11/09)
- The Review Report (13/05/10)
- The University Response to the Review Report (22/07/10)
The University Review Website http://www.unimelb.edu.au/vcam-discussion/
Key SAVE VCA Produced Review Documents
- Questions to the University of Melbourne Regarding Discussion Paper (05/01/10) and the University’s Response
- Submission to the Review (12/02/10) – No Appendix (1.8mb) or With Appendix (14.7MB)
- Response to the VCAM Review Report (21/05/10)
- Key Areas of Concern in the University’s Response to its VCAM Review (28/07/10)
Public Submissions to the Review
Note submissions were de-identified by the University of Melbourne.
- Submissions 1 to 78 9.27MB PDF
- Submissions 79 to 239 4.81MB PDF
- Submissions 240 to 318 1.88MB PDF
- Submissions 319 to 358 3.12MB PDF
- Submissions 359 to 371 1.03MB PDF
Key Submissions to the Review
Note these submissions were also supplied to SAVE VCA so the authors have been identified.
- Turnbull, Mathews, Denton & Landy: Written by a mix of ex VCA Council, Administrators and Arts Ministers, this submission gives an excellent sense of how much detail was lacking from the University’s review process. In their supplementary submission, the writers call particular attention to the University’s rental system which is responsible for VCA’s mounting “subsidy” – the authors calling the scheme “morally unconscionable”. Download submission. Download supplementary submission.
- Rodney Hall: Writing as ex VCA Council and the ex head of the Australia Council, Hall gives a historical sense of the merger, and why he believes it should never have happened. Furthermore Hall gives an insight to pre-merger VCA, which was extremely well managed financially and operating in the black prior to the 2005 Howard Government cuts. Download the submission.
- Ros Walker: As the former Manager of Film Victoria and founding teacher of the VCA Film & TV Producing course, Walker focuses on budget analysis of pre and post merger VCA. Walker finds VCA would be better off independent rather than remaining a faculty of the University, even if no additional funds were supplied. Download the submission.
- The Discussion Paper section of savevca.org that was active during the Review includes links to a broad range of sample submissions, including those for well known alumni (e.g. Julia Zemiro), established artists who have workshopped their work at VCA (e.g. Eddie Perfect) and arts businesses (e.g. The Butterfly Club). Go to the legacy Discussion Paper section of our website.
SAVEVCA.org Review Related Posts
- 12/11/09 Uni Melb Released “Discussion” Paper
- 26/11/09 VCA Review Gets Telstra Chairperson
- 26/11/09 UoM Shows True Colours – Discussion Paper A Sham (VCAM Website Leak)
- 06/12/09 Making The Discussion Paper Work
- 15/12/09 Crikey.com Reveal ‘Mass Exodus at VCA as Music Staff Exit Stage Left’
- 14/01/10 Julia Zemiro on the Discussion Paper
- 20/01/10 Uni Melb: ‘No Questions re Discussion Please’
- 26/01/10 Oscar Winner Adam Elliot on the Discussion Paper
- 04/02/10 Only 33 People Want to Save VCA
- 07/02/10 Uni Melb Loyalists Dominate Review Committee
- 09/02/10 Caught! Crikey Reveals VCAM Dean Dodgy Dealings
- 11/02/10 One Day To Go: Discussion Paper Submissions Due Fri Feb 12
- 13/02/10 The Age: Call for VCA to Become the ‘Australian University of the Arts’
- 24/02/10 The Australian: VCA + $ For Uni Melb
- 24/02/10 Turbull & Mathews: Uni Melb Rent ‘Morally Unconscionable’
- 01/03/10 Ex VCA Staffer ‘Rages on the Ruin’ / Uni Melb Invite Presentations to Review Committee
- 03/03/10 Crikey.com Ziggy Review Update
- 04/03/10 You Can Present To The Review Committee
- 10/03/10 The Age: Uni Melb Music Want Out
- 21/03/10 Review Chair Commits To Student Forums 23-24 March
- 06/04/10 Bye Bye Talent: Uni Melb Wants ENTER Score at VCA
- 18/04/10 Ziggy’s ‘My Fair Lady Effect’
- 29/04/10 VCA’s New Brand – In Contempt of Parliament
- 13/05/10 Review Report Released
- 22/07/10 Hope Returns to VCA: Dean Resigns / Brumby & Crean Hint At Solution / Uni Melb Release Response
- 28/07/10 The Start To A Win: What Happened & What We Need To Do Now
- 30/10/10 The Age: ‘Battle To Save VCA Is Not Yet Over’
SAVEVCA.org Discussion Paper Videos
- 14/01/10 Julia Review on the Discussion Paper
- 26/01/10 Oscar Winner Adam Elliot on the Discussion Paper
Media Coverage of the Review
Note the below coverage is only related to the Review. See the Resources section for all media analysis regarding VCA.
- 07/11/09 ABC774: Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis interviewed by Jon Faine (Davis gives prelude to Discussion Paper being released)
- 09/11/09 Crikey.com “University Spinning Themselves A Lie On VCA”
- 26/11/09 Crikey.com “VCA Accidentally Leaks Its Own Website Attacking Critics”
- 02/12/09 The Age “To Save The VCA Critics of the Merger Should Work With The Review Not Against It”
- 15/12/09 Crikey.com “Mass Exodus at VCA as Music Staff Exit Stage Left”
- 02/02/10 Crikey.com “VCA Dean Appoints Own Firm To Review Wilin Centre”
- 22/02/10 Screenhub “VCA: Documentary Lecturer Rages On The Ruin”
- 24/02/10 Crikey.com Race Mathews Slams Uni Melb Over ‘Rent’
- 03/03/10 Crikey.com “Ziggy Review Update
- 10/03/10 The Age “Academics Call For Separate Music Uni”
- 06/04/10 The Age “Arts College In Scores Row”
- 13/05/10 Crikey.com “Ziggy’s VCA Review Fails To Impress”
- 13/05/10 ABC774: SAVE VCA’s Scott Dawkins interviewed by Jon Faine
- 22/05/10 The Age “Maker of the Stars In Search of White Knight”
- 27/05/10 The Age “Union Want Victorian Art College Dean To Quit”
- 01/06/10 The Age “Absurd Game Of Pass The Buck As Art College Flounders”
- 29/01/10 Melbourne Weekly “Please Dont Stop The Music”
- 10/07/10 The Age “Oscar Winner Animated Over Arts College”
- 23/07/10 Inside Film “VCAM Dean Resigns”
- 23/07/10 The Age “VCA Chief Quits Amid Overhaul”
- 23/07/10 Crikey.com “Uni Backflip Wont Save VCA”
- 23/07/10 ABC Arts Online “VCA Shake-Up Claims Top Scalp”
- 23/07/10 AB774: Uni Melb John Dewar and SAVE VCA’s Scott Dawkins interviewed by Jon Faine
- 23/07/10 Farrago “VCAM Dean Resigns”
- 26/07/10 The Age “Clearing The Stage At VCAM”
- 26/07/10 Puppets In Melbourne “Uni Melb Backtracks”
- 26/07/10 Farrago “Now or Never”
- 26/07/10 Campus Review “A Pretty Solution To The Politics Of VCAM”
- 27/07/10 ArtsHub “VCAM’s New Conservatorium Of Music”
- 27/07/10 ArtsHub “Sharman Pretty From Start To Finish”
- 28/07/10 The Australian “Melbourne Drops Its Model for Arts School”
- 30/07/10 The Age “Battle To Save VCA Is Not Over Yet”
- 12/11/09 Victorian Greens raise questions over Uni Melb rentals in the Upper House
- 23/02/10 Victorian Greens raise questions over Review Committee composition in the Upper House
Legacy SAVEVCA.org Review Pages
Discussion Paper / Submission Assistance http://savevca.org/discussion-paper