Aboriginal Artists in Schools

In Schools

“It was so rewarding being involved in the program. How often do you get Aboriginal people to come in and share their culture, skills and knowledge with you? The kids loved learning how to weave and creating a collective piece that will be treasured in our school for many years to come.”  Teacher,  Saint Joseph’s School.

Aboriginal Artists in Schools offers a ‘deep dive’ into a theme or idea with one professional Aboriginal artist who is connected to the Country the program occurs on. The program draws on the expertise of Aboriginal Elders, artists, and cultural practitioners to provide artform-specific and cross-curriculum learning within the unique context of each school. 
Aboriginal Artists in Schools provides South Australian schools with an opportunity to form sustainable connections with Country, as well as broad artistic and cultural learning outcomes for student artists and teachers through an artist-in-residence model. In each region, Carclew undertakes consultation with local Elders, Nation Group Chairpersons and Cultural Custodians to build relationships, and be guided in how artists work with young people in schools. 

Delivery Model   

Duration: 1 day a week for 7 weeks 
Student Capacity: Whole School 
Years: R – 6 
Artforms: Visual Arts | Drama | Music | Dance


Full Cost: $7,259.00 excl. GST
Government Category 1 – 4 (subsidised at 80%):  $1,452.00 excl. GST
Government Category 5 – 7 (subsidised at 15%): $6,170.00 excl. GST

Further Information

For a summary on our programs and how Carclew works with schools to deliver a program, please view the Schools Handbook. 
For further information on this program please view the factsheet.

In 2016, Carclew embarked on an exciting new partnership with Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) to deliver the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artist Development Pilot.

The project commenced in term 3 2016, with CESA and Carclew engaging Ngarrindjeri artists Betty Sumner, Lena Rigney and Boandik artist Sonya Smith to work with St. Joseph’s Primary School Murray Bridge students and teachers. The artists introduced students to visual art mediums such as weaving, feathered flowers and performing arts through cultural songs and dreaming stories to make, create and learn about local Ngarrindjeri culture.

The pilot aimed to:

  • establish a sustainable artist in residence program within school environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and cultural workers.
  • enable further opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to receive the training, professional development and essential knowledge required to empower the artists and give them the confidence to be able to go into a school, educational or organisational environment and facilitate cultural learning
  • contribute to a greater need for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to be able to actively engage with young people and educators about Aboriginal arts and culture in an educational context
  • increase the skills development and employability of Aboriginal artists
  • avoid the appropriation of culture that unintentionally occurs in school

The Artists in Residence model has proven to:

  • Enhance student learning in, through and about Aboriginal art, histories and culture.
  • Students gain different perspectives on what it means to be a professional artist, through meaningful opportunities to find out about the artist’s life and by seeing them in the context of the world they work.
  • Teachers and students to develop and build relationships within the wider Aboriginal community.
  • Students learn how artists gain inspiration from a variety of sources including their own experiences and environment, their culture, historical and contemporary sources.
  • Working with professional artists helps students to recognise that there is a process behind finished pieces of art and a career as a professional artist.

This joint initiative between CESA and Carclew has established stronger relationships between Aboriginal artists in their community, assisting educators in further developing their knowledge base and teaching capacity, contributing to CESA’s commitment to reconciliation in South Australia’s Catholic education system and providing a meaningful learning environment for students in Aboriginal art, histories and culture.