Experienced Creative Industries teachers are the secret of success

Diana Carroll

Study Creative Arts and Media at Flinders and create your dream future.
Experienced Creative Industries teachers are the secret of success

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Forging a successful career in the creative industries begins with a great education. At Flinders University you will be inspired by working with the very best in the business. 

Whether you’re an actor wanting to take centre stage, an aspiring film director or producer, a writer, fashion designer, costumier, or digital artist, the award-winning faculty at Flinders will give you the skills you need to realise your creative ambitions.

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At Flinders you will learn from industry professionals who have made it in the real world. The teaching team includes many arts industry leaders who are practising artists, authors, playwrights, actors, cinematographers, and creative entrepreneurs.  These are people like Sean Williams and Amy Matthews in creative writing, Simon Scales in visual effects, Tom Young and Helen Carter in screen studies, and Alex Vickery-Howe in drama. Together they share an extensive and in-depth understanding of the creative industries.

Lecturer in Creative Writing Dr Sean Williams is an award-winning author of over forty novels and 120 short stories for adults, young adults and children. Writing mainly in speculative fiction, Williams is a New York Times number-1 best-selling author. As well as his genre-confounding original fiction, he has contributed to shared universes such as Star Wars and Doctor Who and is often called upon to judge writing competitions in Australia and internationally.  ‘I have a real passion for teaching and mentoring new writers,’ said Williams who is also a Life Member of the SA Writers Centre.

Dr Amy Matthews is another award-winning author teaching Creative Writing. With published books and monographs spanning scholarly works, short stories, popular fiction, and romance novels,  Matthews has vast experience in writing and publishing to share with her students.

The degree in Creative Arts in Visual Effects and Entertainment Design at Flinders is a partnership with CDW Studios in Adelaide. This exciting, 3-year full-time course is independently ranked as the number-1 school in the world for digital illustration. Students learn from industry professionals who have worked for major international companies such as Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, Rising Sun Pictures, WETA, Wizards of the Coast, and Lego.  For two years in a row (2018 and 2017) Flinders took out the top spot in The Rookies, an international students competition for digital illustration, beating entries from 581 academic institutions across the world.

 ‘At CDW Studios our focus is to ensure that students are taught in a relaxed and encouraging environment that directly helps hone skills used in the professional working environment. In the workshops stu­dents receive the most up to date and indus­try rel­e­vant edu­ca­tion. We focus on developing the students portfolios and  show-reels and really pushing their work so they learn what it takes to become an indus­try professional by the time they finish the degree,’ said  Simon Scales, founder of CDW Studios.

Dr Tom Young is one of the vibrant team in screen studies. He has extensive experience in documentary, television commercials, and client video production and is currently managing director of Frankie Films, a video production company helping people to tell their stories.  He has a passion for teaching students, helping them grow and then seeing their success in the filmmaking world.

‘I always try to inspire students to start businesses, create their own opportunities, promote achievement, give back, mentor others, and enjoy the journey,’ he said.

Dr Young co-ordinates Community Voices at Flinders. This program partners students with not-for-profit organisations to produce online video ads and short documentaries promoting volunteerism – a ‘win-win’ for the students and the community organisations. More than 250 students have now participated in the program producing over 125 videos. This is a great example of the real-world experience and industry exposure available to Creative Arts students. ‘We aren’t just training our graduates to be job ready; we are ensuring they are already part of the industry before they leave university,’ said Young.

Award-winning cinematographer Helen Carter is a lecturer in screen and media production. She has won eight awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society and has been recognised by AFTRS, Kodak, and the Sydney Film Critics Circle. ‘It’s especially important to me to mentor emerging cinematographers, especially female practitioners,’ says Carter.

Dr Alex Vickery-Howe teaches critical studies in drama and completed his own PhD at Flinders. An award-winning playwright, Vickery-Howe wrote Once Upon a Midnight, a bilingual, bicultural horror rock musical that played internationally and was a sell-out at the OzAsia Festival in Adelaide. He also writes for stage and screen and specialises in writing internationally for younger audiences.

‘Flinders has a long history of combining academic study with creative practice. For me, it’s all about making that link between what we share in the lecture theatre and what to expect in the real world, he said.

Ás a student at Flinders, you get to work with these talented and experienced practitioners. The faculty in Creative Arts and Media at Flinders will nurture your artistic talent and enhance your skills with hands-on, practice-based courses delivered in state-of-the-art facilities.  They foster the best in contemporary creative practice so you can build a sustainable career in the arts. And the Flinders Creative Arts faculty is growing with the recent appointment of more award-winning writers, dramaturges, and cinematographers

The students are always inspired by the success of the Flinders alumni who are working across the creative industries in theatre, film, television, music, publishing, and more. Brink Productions, The Border Project, Circus Oz, Red Shed and The Angels are amongst the many stellar success stories to emerge from Flinders, along with Hollywood director Scott Hicks, Burial Rites author Hannah Kent, and Twilight actor Xavier Samuel. This legacy of artistic excellence over more than fifty years encourages students to forge ahead, pushing their talents to new heights, and creating work that makes a difference.

‘We don’t teach people to wait by the phone for opportunity to come to them. We want people to go out there and make it, to write a bestselling novel, or the next big film,’ said Dr Vickery-Howe. Make your career dreams a reality with a creative arts degree from Flinders. Find out more at the Open Days on August 16th and 17th at the Bedford Park campus. This is a great opportunity to get a taste of everything Flinders has to offer and take your first steps towards an amazing tomorrow.

Register online for the Open Days and you could win a 13” Macbook Air.

About the author

Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the SMH, the Oz, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.