Category Archives: On Now

What’s On Now at Aeoncademy – Services Currently Running & Events that are occurring within the week at Aeoncademy’s Centre

Welcome 2018 Chinese year of the Dog!

Welcome 2018 Chinese year of the Dog!

Old Bandit has her year in 2018
2018 Year of the Dog

We have the whole of January to play, make, create, pretend, cook, build, dismantle, write, draw and more.  A whole month of Creative catalyst arts, Vala Club’s dramatic adventures and Sparks explorations of art and drama to keep us all very engaged! See the full program here.


We’ve also welcomed Saadia our dedicated office manager and farewelled Andrew Yallop who is moving to Melbourne. Everyone here has taken a deep sigh of relief that we have the wonderful Saadia taking care of all the administrative burdens of running this small, busy and passionate service for children and teens.


Badges of 2017

Hot Weather Ahead

It’s also going to be the usual very hot Canberra summer so we will be bringing out the old favorite sprinkler and possibly a slip-and-slide for those days that are going to climb over 30. We also have a chill cave with air conditioning for a cooling off period in the afternoon of very hot days to make sure no one gets overheated (thank you Yarralumla Primary).

Make sure children attending have a decent HAT, a WATER BOTTLE, a TOWEL and SUN SAFE SHIRT bathers/rash shirt/wettable clothing. Please sunscreen your children in the morning or they will not be able to participate in any water play over lunch 🙁


It’s Our Birthday!

2018 is going to be a big year for Aeoncademy… did you know it’s our 15th Birthday?! A proper teenager at last.

We will be looking for parents students and ex-students who are interested in being involved in our Birthday extravaganza later in the year- send us an email and we’ll add you to our party list. Also feel free to add any suggestions you would like to see at the event (a chocolate fountain? Comic book swap? Giant paper mache pianata?)

Vala Tournie with our two champs going for the final prize.
Vala Tournie with our two champs going for the final prize.

We have also been given the go ahead from Yarralumla Primary to do some work on the front garden space to make the area more productive, beautiful and user friendly. We will be running some fund raising events to enable these garden improvements, if you use the Entertainment Book consider purchasing it from Aeoncademy! If you are a keen gardener and/or earth mover let us know. We will be waiting for Autumn weather to start moving garden beds around so we want a garden project group established ASAP- this is an awesome opportunity to get involved and enrich the children’s experience of growing, harvesting and cooking real food. Our unique food program Cornucopia will be returning on Mondays and as has limited places so book in quickly.

gathering food and herbs
Children in the food garden

Vala Promotion! Bring a friend for half price.

Bring your friend for half price if you book before next Wednesday the 4th July.  Who said all EOFY sales are boring? This Vala Promotion is a rare event so enjoy don’t miss out!

If you already know the joys of character play, getting in costumes and playing with boffer weapons then it’s time to spread the word.

Book in with a friend and get 50% off the second place in Vala if you are aged 7 years +

byo friend
Fun for a friend!

Vala is a unique mode of character play where kids enjoy the live action, immersive experience, of becoming people or beings from historical, literary and  fantasy world settings.

Take Knights Templar – Lords of Outremer  (Friday 13th July) for example.

The Second Crusade is over and the Knights Templar won great glory for themselves through their contributions to that campaign. Again, however, their deeds were eclipsed by their rivals the Knights Hospitaller and the Templars are no closer to achieving those goals for which they have long hoped. But as shocking events leave Tripoli vulnerable to the Assassins and neighbouring enemies and the Hospitaliers seem unable to resolve the crisis, the Knights Templars may have a chance to prove their quality and earn the title Lords of Outremer!

In this module participants will have a chance to dress as Knights, fight battles, travel to strange places and prove their valour.

fight for a discount
I want the discount!

If literature and high fantasy interest you then check out

Return to the Mountain – Bears, Bogats, and Barghests (Wednesday 11th July)

Setting off from the haven of Caer Llawn with wise counsel from their wizardly guide and the aid of the great black-bearded Bearskin, an alliance of the seven bloodlines of the former Dwarf Kingdom pursue a thief bearing a stolen scrap of their precious map. The trail leads into hills crawling with goblins they have only recently escaped.  But worse still lays in store in the form of that dreaded bane of dwarfs… the beastly, bone-crunching ‘Barghest’.

Become a dwarf and enter a dangerous and fabulous world of monstrous beasts and unexplored landscapes.

storytelling under the map
Storytelling and world building

Or perhaps an exploration of Feudal Japan?

Shogun Japan – Samurai & Ninja Under Siege (Thursday 19th July)

Hungry for glory and driven to win the respect of his legendary father Oda Nobunaga, the minor warlord Oda Nobukatsu leads his army over the borders of Iga Province and into the territory of its democratic Republic. Now in well-earned positions of trust and leadership among the local clans, the small but tightly-knit strikeforce of samurai and ninja handpicked years ago by Hattori Hanzō must battle to turn back the invading army of the ambitious warlord as Iga Province finds itself Under Siege.

handmade map
Solving the puzzle

Whether you love playing characters, dressing up, designing environments or action games, there is something in Vala for everyone. Check out our Winter Program for all classes


immersive games
We love Vala!

Nature play- the great outdoors

We are enjoying this incredibly warm and gorgeous Autumn weather and making the most of it by taking our programs outside wherever possible.  Our three main programs; Vala (dramatic adventures), Creative Catalyst ( visual arts) and Sparks (ages 4-7) make use of the outdoors on a daily basis to enjoy all the benefits of some Nature Play.

free time under the plays
Imaginative play under the trees

By looking at the word Kindergarten and thinking about it’s original meaning, ‘garden for the children’ the close associations with young children and the great outdoors are so obvious as to be almost not worth stating.

kids playing in the sand pit
Nature play in the Sand Pit

Yet how much time and what kind of space do children have to spend in an enriching outside environment?

As across the globe we all become more sedentary and urbanised  the benefits of nature play  (activities like digging in soil, walking under trees, having contact with animals etc ) are being proven to have great benefits for all. From improving children’s physical heath, relieving stress and anxiety, improving academic performance, assisting with concentration and personal and social development. The list goes on!

We love living things. These Long Necked Turtles live in the art room

Aeoncademy believes taking the children outside to paint, to make obstacle courses, to build cardboard cities, to role play adventures and to garden are all excellent things to do.  The proof is in the kids behaviour, they love it and respond with enthusiasm to dining al fresco and outdoor group games .

kids running outside
kids playing outdoors

As our garden evolves (Working Bee- Friday 11th May 3-6!) so will the opportunities to interact with living systems; worms, plants, soil and food. As a holistic service we like to connect everything. We eat our meals together, outside when possible. Everyone washes their our dishes and collects food scraps for chickens and the worm farms. All the participants from 4 years olds to teenagers, help pack down the dining room and make space for other activities.

eating outside is great for your appetite
Dining outside

There are opportunities to water the garden, plant seeds and harvest plants that will become part of our meals. Our caterer Ruth Gaha- Morris provides us with healthy, delicious meals sourced organically and locally where ever possible. She loves to present us with incredibly coloured heritage vegetables and food grown from nearby farms to encourage children to diversify their tastes and food tolerances.


A place at the Round Table awaits you

Vala Dramatic Adventures

“A place at the Round Table awaits you”

Relaxed Roman Legionary

Come hither, one and all, brave questing souls, adventure beckons you on every day of the Autumn School holiday program…


Knights Templar fend off an ambush by Assassins on the road to the Holy City.


Vikings lay down their axes to parley with native people on the shores of America.


A band of orphaned Dwarves, heirs to seven thrones, are lost deep in the Goblin tunnels.


An unlikely alliance of Samurai, Ninjas and Monks defy the tyrant who would rule all Japan.


‘Time Bandits’ are out to plunder treasure, armed with the stolen Map of All Time & Space.


Cursed by Poseidon, God of the Sea, the crew of Ulysses face off against giant cannibals.


Life is never dull for Roman Legionaries based at Hadrian’s Wall on the borders of Scotland.


Wizardly wildman with elfish friends hosts a scraggly band of adventures in a magical castle.


Clan of the Cave Bear must convince stone-age tribes to help rescue kidnapped friends.


Although the above sentences may sound like the tag lines to a bunch of great Netflix episodes, or computer games, or similar… they are in fact descriptions of dramatic adventures which lay in wait for each and every participant in the Vala Autumn Vacation program starting Monday 16 April. And these dramatic adventures are to be experienced as one of the characters, in the story itself, making up the legend as it unfolds, with sword or staff in hand, hooded, cloaked, armoured or even invisible!

Preparing for Troll attack

This year our program turns 15, and to help celebrate we have promoted a number of long term participants (‘Vala Veterans’) to even more creative roles within the enchanted realm of imagination and storytelling that is Room Vala, at Aeoncademy.

One of the great things about this is that there are now more places than ever at the ‘Round Table’, from which all adventures and quests start, for new, young participants.

Outdoor role play

So let your ears be turned by the strains of bardic music which ever plays above and beyond the noise of our normal, busy lives.

Great quests, explorations, dangerous deeds of valour, bold tasks and… a wee bit of (supervised) reckless abandon… await every child, at Aeoncademy, program Vala, this Autumn season.

Merely contact our Front Office for bookings (mundane yes, but hey, that’s how it works).


We’re recruiting!

Do you love children and have high energy? Do you want to work in a creative and supportive work environment helping kids to learn through wholistic experiences of art, drama, cooking, gardening and play?

We are after a motivated and engaged facilitator for our Sparks Program



If you have a WWVP and at least a cert 3 in Early Childhood education and are after a permanent part time position then contact us!

By Popular Demand. Last Day of Andrew!

Back by popular demand for one day only! Andrew Yallop is making a guest appearance in the Vala room for January 24th Return to the Mountain- The Troll Woods.


He has been with Aeoncademy since the olden days, here is the blurb he wrote for our staff profile:

‘Andrew was the inaugural graduate of the M-Group training program as a part of the Vala Dramatic  Adventures Continuum, and has worked extensively in all programs Aeoncademy offers. He holds a Bachelor of Writing with a Major in Storytelling from the University of Canberra and when he grows up, wants to ride dragons.

Andrew began attending Aeoncademy as a student in 2003 and was so entranced, he never left. Andrew started volunteering as a teenage mentor to younger attendees, and as an assistant to the facilitators at Aeoncademy’s Vala Dramatic  Adventures in Spring 2005. Due to Andrew’s success and passion he then gained employment in the program in Spring 2008. Andrew’s role at Aeoncademy has only grown as his development continues’.

Andrew will be best remembered for his zany characters in Vala Club. Also his cheerful and enthusiastic presence in every nook and corner of Aeoncademy.

Do not miss your chance to attack Andrew once last time with boffer weapons, listen to his poetry and write him mournful missives wishing him good luck, good fortune and good coffee in Melbourne!

Term 4 After School Program!

With much aplomb our After School Program has launched for Term Four. We’ve got amazing creativity in droves, with some amazing new offerings in Vala, Creative Catalyst, and Cornucopia all.

After School Program In Creative Catalyst, we launch with Monster Masks, a fantastic paper-craft and papier mache project. We’re also super excited to return to Hearth for an excursion of artistic inspiration – which we’ll see later on this term

After School Program

In Vala’s Dramatic Adventure Program we were chuffed to see how our stories panned out last term – so we’re getting started with an introduction to character play in our first week back! For students who have long been attending, this promises to be a fantastic look back at what makes Vala so unique, and for newcomers, a world of characters and stories awaits in our After School program!

After School Program

In Cornucopia, we’re keeping cool with launch into a summer theme of snack foods, sorbets, and more. And by popular demand, we’re going to have a crack at making lasagne – from scratch!

After School Program

In Sparks Creative Play, we can see a bunch of our students graduating to our older classes, but have a host of exciting activities for our youngest crew to get involved with as our After School program unfolds.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week One

Intro Sessions

Week Two Creative Catalyst Visual Arts Monster Masks 1 Underwater Diorama 1 Contour – Pencil drawing Viking Ships 1 Recycled Percussion Instruments
Vala Dramatic Adventures Ready Player Character Ready Player Character Ready Player Character Ready Player Character
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Flat Bread, butter plain and cultured Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Visual Art – Ceramic Monster Masks Dramatic Make Believe – Mini Player Character The Kitchen Garden – Making Butter from Scratch Visual Art – Drawing Viking Ships
Week Three Creative Catalyst Visual Arts   Monster Masks 2 Underwater Diorama 2 Form – Pencil drawing Viking Ships 2 Vala Dramatic Adventures: The Mercurial Games!
Vala Dramatic Adventures Masters of Wind and Wave: Rant & Roar Padmasambhava comes to Tibet: The Elixir of Longevity Priests of the Ancient Nile:The Book of Going Forth by Day Young Mutant Chronicles: The Miasma Misadventure
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Jam & Jelly, Seed butters Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Dramatic Adventures – Bandits on the Road Kitchen Garden – Scones with Jam Visual Art – Ceramic Boulders: Form Making Dramatic Adventures – The Overwhelming Smog-Thing
Week Four Creative Catalyst Visual Art Monster Masks 3 & Sugar Skull Designs Underwater Diorama 3 + Halloween Creepy Crafts Day of the Dead Drawings Viking Ships 3 Sugar Skull Biscuits – cooking for Open Day and setting up an exhibition
Vala Dramatic Adventures Masters of Wind and Wave:Rant & Roar Padmasambhava comes to Tibet: The Elixir of Longevity Priests of the Ancient Nile:The Book of Going Forth by Day Young Mutant Chronicles: The Miasma Misadventure
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Salsa & Guacamole Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Kitchen Garden – Salsa & Guacamole Visual Art – Underwater Watercolours Dramatic Adventures – Desert Spirits Kitchen Garden – Pesto Pasta
Week Five Creative Catalyst Visual Art Misty Mountains 1 Watercolour painting Celtic Labyrinth – Continuous Line Drawing 1 BADGE MANIA Dinner on a Plate 1 Giant Bubbles
Vala Dramatic Adventures Masters of Wind and Wave:Rant & Roar Padmasambhava comes to Tibet: The Elixir of Longevity Priests of the Ancient Nile: The Book of Going Forth by Day Young Mutant Chronicles: The Miasma Misadventure
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Hummus & Crackers Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Visual Art – Misty Mountains Pencil Drawings Dramatic Adventure: The Spirits of Longevity Kitchen Garden – Hummous & Crackers Visual Art – Dinner on a Plate
Week Six Creative Catalyst Visual Art Misty Mountains 2 Watercolour painting Celtic Labyrinth – Continuous Line Drawing 2 Wandering Watercolours – Wind Blown & Salt Sprinkled Dinner on A Plate 2 Parachute Games
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden The humble potato; Chips &/or wedges Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Dramatic Adventures – Defenders of the Bush Kitchen Garden – Potato Salad Visual Art – Colour Challenge Painting Dramatic Adventures – Time Bandit: Trouble on a Train
Week Seven Creative Catalyst Visual Art Solar Lanterns

Arboreal Animals 1

 Stained Glass Windows Beautiful Bells Vala Dramatic Adventures: The Martial Games
Vala Dramatic Adventures Freedom of the Bush:Governor of the Ranges Knights of the Round Table:The Broken Sword Savage Court of Mary Queen of Scots:The Rise & Fall of Lord Bothwell The Mystery of the Fabergé Eggs
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Custard & Meringues Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Kitchen Garden – Custard & Meringues! Visual Art – Pencil Cluster Drawings: Continuous Line of possums, gliders and squirrels Dramatic Adventure – The Riders of The Borders Kitchen Garden – Eggy Bread
Week Eight Creative Catalyst Visual Art Hearth Excursion Hearth Excursion Hearth Excursion Hearth Excursion Seed Cards
Vala Dramatic Adventures Freedom of the Bush:Governor of the Ranges Knights of the Round Table:The Broken Sword Savage Court of Mary Queen of Scots: The Rise & Fall of Lord Bothwell Time Bandits: The Mystery of the Fabergé Eggs
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Ice cream &/or Sorbet Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Visual Art – Paper Cut Out Lanterns Dramatic Adventure – Rise of the Squires Kitchen Garden – Frozen Fruit Sorbet Visual Art – Beautiful Bells
Week Nine Creative Catalyst Visual Art Painted Stone Mandalas

Arboreal Animals 2

Xmas Cut-Outs Bead Making Gingerbread Biscuits
Vala Dramatic Adventures Freedom of the Bush: Governor of the Ranges Knights of the Round Table: The Broken Sword Savage Court of Mary Queen of Scots: The Rise & Fall of Lord Bothwell Time Bandits: The Mystery of the Fabergé Eggs
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Bolognese Sauce & lasagne sheets Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Dramatic Adventure – Troopers in the Town Kitchen Garden – Vegetarian Carbonara Visual Art – Tiny Christmas Dioramas Dramatic Adventures – The Fabergé Egg Heist!
Week Ten Creative Catalyst Visual Art Xmas Tree Building Cutouts and Nature Decorations Popcorn & Paper Chains Stamped Paper & Cards Xmas Party! Make-do and Cardboard constructions, and more!
Vala Dramatic Adventures Time-Space-Dimensional Randomiser/Choice Time-Space-Dimensional Randomiser/Choice Time-Space-Dimensional Randomiser/Choice Time-Space-Dimensional Randomiser/Choice
Cornucopia Kitchen Garden Lasagne from Scratch Coming Soon
Sparks Creative Play Kitchen Garden – Lasagne from Scratch Visual Art – Free Time Clay/Watercolours Dramatic Adventure – The Time Machine Kitchen Garden – Edible Snowballs