Education at WAG

Term 3 at WAG

WAG’s upcoming exhibitions for Term 3 focus on such diverse themes as access & disability in Dangerous Deeds, the experience of undergoing cancer treatment in Bodies of Conflict, portraiture in the annual community prize, The Warrnibald, and a survey of WAG’s collecting practice from 1886 to now. A selection from the Gallery’s extensive print collection will highlight Warrnambool’s impressive coastal surrounds and the prints of Australian artist, Eric Thake, will also be featured.

Dangerous Deeds
Installation image courtesy Jacqui Ward, 2017

Bodies of Conflict
Installation image courtesy Kate Gane, 2017

WAG Collection:1886 to now
Image: Robert Dowling
Unequally Yoked 1874
Presented by Joseph Ware, 1892

Eric Thake Prints
Image: Eric Thake Book Plate for Clive Stephen 1931
Purchased with funds from the annual acquisition budget provided by Warrnambool City Council, 1988

WAG’s Education Program offers sessions all year round. For our Foundation and Early Years learners we offer several hands-on learning sessions such as the Music and Rhythm session and Handa’s Surprise Senses Tour. Children are offered the opportunity to look closely at some of the Gallery’s wonderful Australian Indigenous artefacts and at our ethnographic collection. They listen to the music associated with these different cultures and create their own rhythms and sounds using recycled instruments. Primary School students can access exciting sessions such as the Mini Curators, where children are encouraged to handle artefacts appropriately and think about exhibition issues. Another session, Aboriginal Life and Art, allows students to explore some of the Aboriginal artefacts and art in WAG’s collection.

For Secondary School students we offer study sessions for VCE subjects. In Studio Arts, teachers and students have the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge on appropriation and copyright and discuss museological principles such as preservation and interpretation in the sessions, Industry in Context and Interpretation and Industry. Behind the scenes tours give students an insight into working life at the Gallery.

More details related to WAG’s Education Programs for Foundation and Early Years, Primary and Secondary students can be found on the relevant webpages, or, feel free to contact Education Officer, Aimee Board, for more information.

If you are a teacher and would like to be included on the Education mailing list or hear word of upcoming professional development opportunities please contact Aimee for more information on 5559 4949 or email:

NGV Philosothon Professional Development workshop for Primary School Teachers

WAG recently hosted the National Gallery of Victoria’s Primary School Philosothon professional learning program for Primary School Teachers where teachers learned how to use Visual Art as a stimulus for developing the Victorian Curriculum’s Critical, Creative Thinking and Ethical Capabilities.

NGV Educator, Rosemary Etherton, modelled a Community of Inquiry with four students using images from NGV’s collection as a means to prompt deep questioning and discussion relating to the various themes contained within each image. Penelope Lee from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, The University of Melbourne, introduced the 2017 NGV exhibition, Love: Art of Emotion 1400–1800, and provided an engaging casting activity involving a special personal item of significance.

The session certainly inspired ideas relating to how teachers might utilise WAG’s Collection to generate a Community of Inquiry in their classrooms and also when bringing their class to visit the Gallery.

One participating teacher noted,

“I was blown away by Rosemary’s questioning and the level of discussion amongst the group…the children felt safe and supported to share their ideas and the learnings from discussions was so valuable!”   - Lisa C.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming Teacher Professional Development opportunities later in the year!

NGV Educator, Rosemary Etherton, facilitating group discussion with students. Image: Aimee Board
NGV Educator, Rosemary Etherton, facilitating group discussion with students.
Image: Aimee Board
Teachers participating in the Love Token casting workshop. Image: Aimee Board
Teachers participating in the Love Token casting workshop.
Image: Aimee Board

Education Week at WAG 2017 ‘Belonging & Becoming’

As part of this year’s Education Week theme ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies’, WAG partnered with local Gunditjmara Elder, Uncle Robbie Lowe Senior, to deliver twelve free workshops aimed at children in grades 3 to 6. The program promoted inclusion and belonging as key aspects of creating a happy and healthy self and community.


In the workshops, students from Merrivale PS, Warrnambool PS and West Warrnambool PS created their own paper ‘pelt’ decorated with lines, shapes and personal symbols and glued together to create a collaborative, whole-class, paper Possum-Skin Cloak.

The activity was inspired by the work of Melissa Aitken, a local Gilgar Gunditj artist who exhibited work created in response to her ancestor’s Possum-Skin Cloak at the WAG earlier this year:

“Melissa’s work tells the important story of how when we feel connected to our communities and have a sense of belonging, not only are we happy and healthy as individuals, but we are also stronger as a community,” Aimee Board, WAG Education Officer.

Students also had the opportunity to explore and respond to Gunditjmara artefacts and artworks from WAG’s Permanent Collection and current exhibitions.

Gunditjmara Elder, Uncle Robbie Lowe Senior, sharing his stories with students from Warrnambool Primary School.
Image: Aimee Board