Newsletter November 2021

Newsletter November 2021


Each year we receive requests for invoices for membership renewal and conference tickets. If you are a current QATA member, you will be automatically sent an invoice for renewal next year. We hope this will make it easier for you for your credit card reconciliation and it will also streamline processes for us. We will also send invoices if you purchased a conference ticket in 2021, which we hope will also be more convenient for school approval processes. If you choose not to renew or attend the conference, you are welcome to return the invoice.


Congratulations to the winner of our colouring-in competition! Megan S. has won two tickets to the HOTA Art Day Out and accommodation for two nights at Broadbeach. What a great way to close out the year!
Thank you to all those who entered.


After much deliberation choosing a conference title each year, we are thrilled to announce QATACON as the ongoing name of our annual conferences.
QATACON 2022 will have the theme Starting Points, which speaks to those creative sparks or inspirations that get our students moving in the direction of a resolved artwork. As well as featuring inspiring keynotes, and our usual suite of engaging artist workshops, we will unpack this theme, asking questions about:

  • how we encourage students to stop staring into space and start art-making?
  • how students start with stimulus and move on to art-making?
  • how students respond to First Nations artists in meaningful and appropriate ways?

There are several ways that you and your students can be involved with QATACON 2022:

Design the hero image for QATACON 2022 using the theme Starting Points. Open to all QATA members, we invite you to submit an artwork suitable for use across our conference program and marketing material, just like the examples of our previous programs you can see here. Entries must be a high-resolution digital file but can be created in any media.
Entries due end of Term 1, 2022.

Get ready for our QATACON 2022 tote bag design competition.

Open to middle-years (Years 5-9) visual art students, the artwork of any media must be made in Term 1, 2022 and be suitable for printing on our conference tote bags. We will invite submissions next year.
Entries due end of Term 1, 2022.

Present your starting points in the ‘Starting Points Showcase’ (see below).



Have you got clever classroom strategies, stimulus or techniques you use as your visual art starting points? Join us at QATACON 22 and share your great ideas in the Starting Points Showcase!
The Starting Points Showcase is a platform where delegates will hear from a number of speakers in quick succession as they share starting point practices as stimulus, provocation or inspiration.

What are your starting points?

What do you do to kick-start engagement? To make? To respond? To develop inquiry learning processes? To engage with an artist or art-making process? To introduce media or techniques? To develop critical or creative thinking? To begin a unit of work or activity? To introduce a new concept? To explore contexts? To engage with stimulus? To generate ideas? To undertake an authentic stimulus experience? To investigate? To explore diverse practices? To understand the role of audience? To write an artist statement?

QATA members are invited to unpack an innovative and effective primary, middle or senior visual art starting point. You can present individually or in small teaching teams.

  • Each presentation should be 10–15 minutes long and include spoken and visual components. We are looking for short, sharp and relevant sharing experiences.
  • PowerPoint slides (or similar) will be required prior to the conference.
  • Your colleagues may want to follow up with further details, ideas or practices, so you will also be asked to provide a brief one-page summary, which may include your contact details.

To apply, please submit a 350-word abstract for consideration. All offers will be gratefully received and reviewed. Send your abstracts to [email protected]  by Friday 25 February 2022.

The Starting Points Showcase will be included in the QATACON 2022 program on FRIDAY 15 July. Please ensure you have support from your school to attend on this day.

Please note: a 10% discount on conference registration will be offered to all accepted presenters. Any travel expenses remain the responsibility of Starting Points Showcase presenters.

Presenting at QATACON 22 is an opportunity to contribute to the collegiality of QATA and is a wonderful opportunity to promote and build your professional profile.

We look forward to receiving and reading your ideas.
Closing date for submissions: Friday 25 February 2022


Our first online artist workshop was a great success with members joining us from all over, including the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Cairn. If you missed it, you can watch the workshop on the QATA Vimeo channel. This is a members-only channel. Login to the members only resource page on the QATA website to access this channel. You will find:

Next term, join artist Alison McDonald from her Townsville studio for an afternoon of art-making and inspiration.

More details coming soon.



Current confirmers are not required to submit an application unless wanting to be appointed to a different subject. NOTE: confirmers can only be appointed to one subject at a time.

This vacancy is open for new confirmers only, there are no Lead confirmer vacancies at present.

The closing date for applications is Monday 10 January 2021.


QCAA Assessor (endorsement) appointments are for a period of 3 years. If you are currently appointed as an Endorser, you do not need to apply again.

The closing date for applications is Friday 31 December 2021.


Lydia Falkenhagen Art Prize

This student art competition has been established in memory of our colleague Lydia Falkenhagen who passed away in 2020. The prize, funded by Lydia’s husband of 40 years, Tim Falkenhagen, recognises a life dedicated to art teaching and compassion for students.

Artworks will be judged by QATA representatives on skill, excellence and innovation. Three categories and prize money will be awarded:
* Years 11–12 $1500
* Years 9–10 $500
* Years 7–8 $500

The inaugural art prize will open in 2022 with entries available throughout the year. Winners and highly commended works will remain in a virtual exhibition through the QATA website. Look out for more details at the beginning of term 1.

The National Teacher-Artist Prize

The National Teacher-Artist Prize (NTAP2022) is on again – and is now open for entries. The aim of the prize is:

  • to encourage, recognise and celebrate the visual art practice of Australian educators.
  • to champion those who foster rich learning environments within their school communities – and of course – to promote the fundamental importance of visual art in young people’s education.

The total prize pool is over $40,000 in value including $10,000 in cash for the winning teacher and solo exhibition – plus $10,000 worth of art materials for their students/schools.

Judges this year:

  • Margaret Baguley – Art Education Australia
  • Roxanne Lillis – NTAP21 Winner
  • Vernon Ah Kee – Leading Australian Artist
  • Maree Clarke – Leading Australian Artist

Entries are close the 31st January 2022


Del Kathryn Barton talks about the importance of ‘failing’ in creative practice…

“But I also love failing, and often when you’re working with something that is failing for whatever sets of reasons that you’re judging it to be failing, I really enjoy that too. That’s often when you find new ways of inventing your practice and new solutions, and again I really value that dynamic energy. Which is also one of the reasons that I’m constantly pushing my practice into mediums that I haven’t worked with before. I really enjoy not knowing things and that quality of dead-serious play that you bring. As you get older and more proficient in certain ways you can bring a very sophisticated knowledge to a medium you have no understanding of and that can create really interesting things, or just epic fails. But failing is so important and so informative, and so vital to creative practice.”

Stolja, M. (2019) Talking with painters Episode 67: Del Kathryn Barton  [1:05:43–1:06:55]




A great body of work starts with a great inquiry question. Use these tips to assist students to develop great inquiry questions.




Leanne Shead
‘Embrace uncertainty’

Tell me about yourself, explain what you do and how you got into teaching?

Originally from Sydney, I graduated from the Australian Catholic University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts). I taught Visual Art in NSW for 18 years, primarily boys, including Sule College, a Turkish Muslim Boys School. In 2012 I made the ‘sea change’ to tropical Cairns and have never looked back. I have been at Trinity Anglican School for ten years and I am thrilled to be starting a new journey at St Monica’s College, Cairns in 2022. This will be my fifth school since 1993, covering all jurisdictions – public, private, and Catholic.

I thank my first Visual Art teacher, Ms Debbie Aldridge for developing my love and passion for art at high school. I knew from Year 7 that this was what I wanted to be, and I pursued this pathway and have loved every minute of it.

So, in a nutshell, what do I do? Maybe too much! Teach Visual Art 7-12, co-own an Art Gallery as curator, gallerist and workshop coordinator, Treasurer for the PAEA art network, Coordinate the BLA Visual Arts Awards, QCAA marker, completing a research Masters of Philosophy (Creative Arts) part-time at JCU, and try to fit in time to be a practicing artist.

How have you developed your career?

After moving to Cairns for a teaching position at Trinity Anglican School, within three years I was afforded the opportunity to become Head of Faculty, The Arts, and I stepped down in 2020 to open an Art Gallery and pursue tertiary study. With the senior system being quite varied in approach from the NSW Syllabus, I applied for panel in 2014. This was the best decision in learning how to navigate and inform my teaching practice in this space.

The other vital decision I made was to find an art network and to my delight, a well-established Visual Art educators network existed. The Peninsula Art Educators Association [PAEA] had been running in FNQ since 1993, and within a year I found myself voted in as President. I am currently the Treasurer and love the fabulous team I voluntarily work with. Further to this, I sought industry opportunities to widen my scope for community involvement in the Arts. I was part of the 2017-18 Advisory Team for TAFE Queensland, Cairns Campus, with decision making processes about YBlock, art spaces for students and practicing artists. I also applied for the RADF Committee (Regional Arts Development Fund) for local council and served two years [2018-20] on the panel assessing and allocating funding for arts-based projects in our region. These were fabulous growth opportunities.

James Cook University approached me to analyse their set text for the Undergraduate first year primary teaching degree, for the Arts. I developed examination questions for this course and was later employed as a sessional tutor, delivering the course at the Cairns campus via tutorials in 2020.

I was super excited to be selected as one of the six Expert Writing Team members by the QCAA, following this up by my involvement with five other amazing teachers to co-write the Cambridge textbook, Creative Inquiry. In 2020 I was selected as a Lead Marker and continued as a marker for 2021.