Saturday 25 January 2020REGISTRATION CLOSES 5pm WEDNESDAY 22 January 2020 – Sydney NSW

Teachers are invited to join Professor Peter O’Connor (The University of Auckland) and Professor Helen Cahill (The University of Melbourne) in Sydney on Saturday 25th January 2020 between 10am and 2pm for two practical workshops exploring arts-based practices in classrooms that are appropriate during the bushfire crisis.

The arts provide a unique opportunity for children and young people to reimagine themselves and their communities in the wake of disaster.  Research informed practical ways of working in and through the arts, drama in particular, are offered to teachers across primary and secondary schools. Teachers interested in ways to engage their students as they return to school, wondering how to safely explore issues related to the Bush Fire, will find the workshops helpful in preparing and planning their approach.

Workshop 1: Teaspoon of Light Workshop by Professor Peter O’Connor (The University of Auckland)

This 90-minute workshop uses the story of a child who needs her dream cloth repaired as a way to look at how disaster can tear at hopes and dreams and how you can begin to repair the damage.  The workshopped has been used extensively in schools in post disaster settings including Christchurch and Mexico City. See

Peter O’Connor is Professor of Education and Director of the Creative Thinking Project at the University of Auckland.  He has worked extensively in schools both during and post disaster. His most recent work involves creating a theatre performance with the homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Workshop 2:  Creating contribution post crisis by Professor Helen Cahill (The University of Melbourne)

This 90-minute workshop focuses on methods through which to advance the social, civic and mental health of children and young people through participatory and arts-informed methods. It will focus on the important challenge of converting distress to positive social contribution that people encounter in response to disasters. The workshop will share a range of methods suitable for the generalist upper primary or secondary teacher as well as for drama educators.  It will draw from and elaborate on learning activities housed in the open access social and emotional learning program developed by Helen Cahill and teamand advance the capabilities of teachers to lead classroom conversations in troubling times.

Helen Cahill is Professor of Student Wellbeing, and Director of the Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne. She had led development of resilience education across Australian schools and within developing countries in the Asia-Pacific Region. She uses a range of participatory and drama-based methods to advance the social and emotional learning of children and young people. Her recent work includes development of the Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships program for Victorian schools. See

The Details

Cost:                       This professional learning workshop is free for teachers.

Accreditation:   This event is not accredited with NESA.

Venue:                   The event venue will be in the Sydney CBD.  Details will be emailed to teachers following registration.

Registration:      Is essential! Please visit the link and complete the online form. One registration per teacher attending.

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9:30am to 10:00am                Registration

10:00am to 10:15am               Welcome and introduction

10:15am to 11:45am                Workshop 1 (presented by Professor Peter O’Connor)

11:45am to 12:15pm                Short break (please note: this event is not catered)

12:15pm to 1:45pm                  Workshop 2 (presented by Professor Helen Cahill)

1:45pm to 2:00pm                    Debrief, reflection and questions

For further information contact us at: