This Spring Vacation program, as we have many times before, Aeon Academy was delighted to welcome a work experience student into our team.
Callum spent a busy week turning his hand to every job in the centre, from our specialised and foundation programs to helping out in the kitchen, and even assisting Saadia in the office.
As the week drew to a close, we sat him down and asked him about his experience…
Aeon: Who are you?
I’m Callum! I am 16 years old, and attend Alfred Deakin High School. I enjoy playing the guitar and building lego spaceships with my brothers.
Aeon: Why did you choose Aeon Academy for work experience?
I enjoy working with children, and I have great memories of attending Aeon when I was young.
Aeon: Have you worked before?
I participated in work experience at the ANU School of Music.
Aeon: How did things compare to your expectations?
I didn’t know what to expect when coming to Aeon for work experience, and I was very nervous. When I arrived, however, I discovered that there was no reason to be afraid as everyone was friendly and polite and I found it easy to fit in.
Aeon: Anything else you’d like to add?
Working at Aeon has been really fun and I think I have gotten some great skills out of it!
It was a pleasure to have Callum working with us, and we’d have him again any time.
If you’re interested in the idea of doing work experience with Aeon Academy, reach out to our office and get in touch! We’d love to have you.
Sadly Ruth of Scrumpers Garden is leaving us to focus on her growing Farmers Market commitments. So we are looking for a caterer. If you ever wanted to get involved with catering with an ethical, organic and sustainable focus or believe healthy food makes a real difference in peoples lives, then you might like working with us!
Are you a skilled Office Manager? We need your office skills!
Are you super organised? Do you know your way around a computer and Google Apps. Can you answer a phone with impunity, take bookings with alacrity and have mastery of the child care management system (or be prepared to learn it inside out before starting work)? We are after a super Office Manager to who wishes to work part time in a supportive and thriving work environment
Aeoncademy is seeking Assistants to join our team.
The Successful Applicants will:
Be High-Energy and enjoy working with children.
Be ready and able to learn new skills on the fly.
Possess a valid Working with Vulnerable People Card and I’mAlert certificate.
Be available for Casual work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays And/Or Thursdays, with the potential for shifts on other days.
Aeoncademy is an organisation that is all about Education and Total Human Enrichment through Creativity, a philosophy that stretches through everything we do. This applies to our team as well.
At Aeoncademy, we provide for our team:
A caring, team-oriented workplace
On-The-Job training and additional (free!) Professional Development opportunities in Visual Arts, Dramatic Storytelling, and more.
Exciting scope to rise through the ranks for dedicated and empowered people
Opportunity to engage with our provision of Education through Creativity, and help mould the place you work!
Send a copy of your CV and your Working with Vulnerable People card to the Aeoncademy email address. Make sure you’ve got a phone number for us to organise an interview and/or trial shift.
Aeoncademy’s ongoing commitment to creative engagement for young people has led to us offering a massive amount of work experience to young people as they develop. Sometimes, they take these experiences from program to program and develop into integral parts of the Aeon team. Other times, we see students developing and joining in for a briefer period of time before they move on to other exciting opportunities. Either way, Aeoncademy’s engagement with youth helps strengthen their Education through Creativity.
In a previous program, a new attendee – Savannah – came along to experience the program for a week. This is her story.
I love art. Anything creative count me in. Which is why on a crisp Winter Monday morning, instead of sleeping I was headed on my way to attend a week of work experience at Aeoncademy.
It was nothing like I had expected, and went by as a crazy blur. A crazy blur that I am thankful that I was able to get the opportunity to be apart of. As I had a whole week, the idea was for me to try a little bit of everything and anything, which is exactly what I did.
I started the week off with working with Sparks (the youngest group of the lot) and felt like I revisited my childhood spending the majority of the time running around and playing games with the children. I was also able to watch and lend a hand with their amazing creations from their expeditions to the art room.
Although not being quite a chef myself, I spent a little time in canteen which provided me insight into the time, preparation and effort that goes into feeding so many mouths.
Food time was a whole experience in itself. It provided a chance for everyone to mix and mingle as a whole and share stories of the great adventures taken in Vala that day or current projects that was being made in Creative Catalyst, whilst chowing down on tasty fresh food.
Creative Catalyst which quickly became my favourite station was set in a beautiful art room. Surrounded by artworks on artworks and quirky clay creations the room itself was enough to spark one’s creativity. This paired with engaging teacher directed activities created an opportunity for students to let their creativity fly.
I spent a limited amount of time in the office but just enough to get a window into the complexities of what it takes to keep everything running smoothly.
Vala was the most unique experience yet. It was as if another world had been created through the intricate storylines, systems and characters the children took on with great enthusiasm.
Although being a crazy blur by the end of the week I realized just how much I had enjoyed my time at Aeoncademy. I had been able to be apart of a service that encourages all things creative, providing children an environment where their creativity is nurtured. This was only possible with the team who work there, who are all so passionate about what they do. My only disappointment after spending my week at Aeoncademy is that I had not known about it 10 years or so ago because I would have liked to be a student there myself.
Aeoncademy’s longstanding commitment to Nurture the Creative Spark has always extended to older students preparing themselves for greater responsibilities, for bigger and better things. Whether they’re readying themselves for further study, getting real-world experience in the arts, or broadening their horizons through Creative Education more entirely.
Most of our team at Aeoncademy today are people who grew up in the service and stuck around, like Andrew’s Story tells. Luke, Isabelle, Ochre, Dieter are all facilitators who grew up with the service and have been a part of the student body from a very young age.
Alex, Rania and Ella are all assistants who found some of their earliest employment with Aeoncademy as well. We’ve had our students come through for Work Experience, training, and both personal and professional development throughout their lives and careers.
And so during the Spring Program the latest push to introduce some of the graduands of the program, George, Enki, and Max, to experience in the arts and education sector.
To begin with, this team of youngsters have been writing our fantastic Vala story The Young Mutant Chronicles, and debuting with The Triangulation Effect: A story about the birth of the superhero phenomenon in the Sea of Babiro – in our Fantastical world – the Dawnsaga fantasy.
Following on from their success, with the absolutely awesome module that’s unfolding before our very eyes today, we’ve given them a shot at being our ‘DM’s’ – Vala’s brand of Facilitator.
George joining the Team at Aeoncademy
George got started facilitating Florence Falls – a very technically challenging story all about the power struggle between city states at the height of the Renaissance.
George, 16, has been attending Vala since he was 9 years old in the Generation One of the ‘Vala Club’. Pushing Luke to the limits of his DM-ing ability with his wise (almost story-breaking wise) input as a bear-tribe elder in our Hiburn Steppes Dawnsaga Fantasy story.
Under Andrew’s guidance, George seized the reins and guided the story throughout the day with aplomb.
Max & Enki joining the Team at Aeoncademy
Enki,and Max, both 18, are both older and more experienced in Aeoncademy’s unique brand of Education through Creativity.
Enki got his start at age 5with the earliest prototypes of the Vala program – Valhalla Club. Enki has been with us all the way through our development.
Max, meanwhile, has been attending Aeoncademy since he was 12, beginning as a Creative Catalyst student. Over time, he’s started specialising into Vala. With such a breadth of experience inside Aeoncademy, Max has used his foundation of Education through Creativity to inspire him into Education more broadly, and he’s started a Bachelor of Education this year.
Together, Enki and Max have been co-facilitating The Triangulation Effect under Mathew’s guidance, and have been bringing the weird world of the Sea of Babiro to life throughout the day.
It’s been fantastic watching these guys take on the serious responsibility of Facilitatorship, and we can’t wait to see how their progress continues into the future.
Andrew is our Co-Director of our Vala programs, our administrative systems manager, and website manager. We sat down with him to get him to tell his Aeoncademy story.
When did you join Aeoncademy?
I was 11 – no, 12. I was in high school, I’d had a couple of holidays out of the routine of holiday programs and to be honest was getting bored, but loving the freedom. It took a while, but my sibling, Rania – forever an artist – was the real impetus.
Vala is our dramatic adventure and storytelling program where you teach the most. What got you interested in that?
I’ve always been a storyteller of some sort, I guess. More to the point, I can vividly remember the kinds of games I used to play as a kid. We were ghost-hunters or secret agents, and there were these complex realities we’d construct. It was always really cool – but the stories would eventually break down.
So storytelling was the hook?
It was just so complex, we had these amazing scenes play out in miniature, we had these complex character interactions – with people like Luke as part of the game and people like Mathew running the stories. It was amazing to have this rich and vibrant story spring to life around my decisions and actions. I was hooked from day one. We were playing Dawnsaga stories almost exclusively back then, and it was amazing to become a part of a living narrative – which is something I think we’ve kept really well over the years.
So how did you move from student to teacher?
I remember in the third, maybe fourth program I came along to Mathew was looking for assistants to help keep the story flowing. His rules were simple. You had to be at least thirteen, and you had to be tech-savvy enough to learn the program we were using. I was both by then.
This was back when we generated characters for all the new players on the first day, and had to do the same for any newbies who came later on during the week. It was a time-consuming process but I – and I distinctly remember doing this – took the initiative to streamline the whole process. It went from half a day of dice-rolls and debates to ten minutes to knock up everyone’s character. That was really cool for a thirteen-year-old.
Organisational Efficiency from day dot?
So what happened next?
We inaugurated M Group with Luke, Me, and a few others who’d been coming along and were starting to get old enough. It was so cool to spend my Saturday afternoons hanging out with these peers, learning how to hold meetings, learning how to collaborate on story.
I graduated Year 12 in 2009, and had decided well in advance to take a gap year before university. This was mentioned to Mathew at some point and – lo and behold – there was a job for me. I went from an assistant in the holidays to the administrative officer of Aeoncademy after school. It’s almost as if Mathew and Teffany timed our After-school expansion to coincide with my availability. It was really cool. I learned how to prepare food, how to balance the books, how to deal with difficult enquiries, and a whole lot about children’s services regulation. I did that for nine or ten months, took a bit of a holiday, and then started with my next big chapter.
That’s because you returned to university, is that right?
That’s right! I’d gotten into the University of Canberra to do a Bachelor of Writing. I was still facilitating after school. Things got busy, fast. I worked on university, in and on the Vala program, and on some interactive stories. I found myself a weekend job or two, got caught up in putting together a whole bunch of community events, and then embroiled in a film. Eventually I got my degree somewhere in that mess too.
But now you run the Vala After-School and some of the holidays, as well as the office?
There was a rapid spate of changes to what I was doing but it all concluded with me developing the After-School version of Vala in consultation with Mathew and Luke, and everything that flowed on from there. Some changes came up and we discovered a gap for an office manager, so I filled that too and then we kind of ended up where we are today.
And where is that, precisely?
I’m in charge of our administrative systems, and more or less in charge of our Vala program in its After School format. I’m also one of the more experienced facilitators here. I also have some exciting work with Mathew and Teffany outside of the Academy
– but that’s staying under wraps for the moment.
So how would you describe yourself now?
I’m in such an enviable position it’s fantastic. I get to be an Author and Educator. I’ve been given the opportunity to work with my chosen art form and be remunerated for it, and I get to help inspire and nurture the next generation of students. It’s fantastic. One of my massive interests, for a very long time, has been interactive storytelling. To be able to explore it on such a grand scale is almost unbelievable.
What would you say to any potential recruits?
Throw yourself into the opportunities that present themselves with absolute abandon, even the ones that seem bizarre or out there. Especially the ones that seem bizarre or out there.
Aeoncademy is so unlike anything that happens anywhere else, and it’s so cool to be able to shape this operation. At the end of the day, nothing compares to the satisfaction of having left such a positive impression on our community.
Do you want to work with a team that is world-class in its execution of exciting, engaging, educational programs for children and young people?
Are you an energetic, passionate person?
Does Art, Drama, World Culture and History inspire you?
Do you love the inherent rewards of working with children?
Then we have some exciting news – Aeoncademy is currently looking for more people to work with us. There are some serious career development options here as we’re looking for some people to come on as Permanent Part-Time Facilitators. We need empowered and energetic people ready to deliver unique programs in our boutique service, and people who are ready to learn from some of the best education providers in the world. Our programs encompass visual arts, dramatic storytelling, world cooking, creative play, and more, but more importantly we use the medium of creative engagement to help foster education in multiple spheres – as providers of education through creativity!
If that feels out of your depth, worry not – Aeoncademy has a fully trialled and tested career development program that helps people from all walks of life rapidly progress to being among the best in their field – check out Andrew’s Case Studyto see a little more about how that all works!
A Career Path in Creativity
Aeoncademy provides for our team:
A caring, team-oriented workplace
On-The-Job training and additional (free!) Professional Development opportunities in Visual Arts, Dramatic Storytelling, and more.
Exciting scope to rise through the ranks for dedicated, empowered, and career-minded people
Opportunity to engage with our provision of Education through Creativity, and help shape your career!
We at Aeoncademy all work together to achieve our mutual goal of Education through Creativity.
Read more here at Join Aeoncademy or send us your contact details here. You can also check out the people you’ll be working with here.
Too young to think of a career yet?
That’s alright! Aeoncademy has a bunch of programs for younger workers and people just about to enter the workforce. You can find out all about our programs for teenagers & young adults here.
I started coming to Aeoncademy when I was seven years old, filling my holidays with creative art projects to take home to the family.
The program ignited the creative spark in me and has fuelled my passion for art which I have pursued throughout school.
When I turned fifteen I spent my holidays volunteering in Creative Catalyst, using it as chance to learn and further my art skills while getting to work with children in a fun environment.
Now almost finished year twelve I work as a casual employee during the vacation programs.These holidays however I have come to Aeoncademy to undertake work experience and am sampling the different working aspects of the business from office work to catering.
The kids in Creative Catalyst channelled their inner bird as they sculpted fowls and songbirds from clay. It can be challenging teaching ceramics to fledglings but very rewarding when you see their beautiful creations at the end of the day.
One of my jobs of the day was to set up a recycling station. Making sure the signs were clear what rubbish goes in which bin. I had to find examples of different types of rubbish to stick above the bins to make it easier to establish what type of waste something is.
The rest of the day was split between Creative Catalyst and helping Ochre (our chef) out in the kitchen which consisted of making popcorn for fifty children plus staff , which is a lot of popcorn!