By Professor Damian Candusso
The QUT School of Creative Practice offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with majors in Acting, Dance, Drama, Technical Production, Music, Animation, Film and Screen, Creative Writing and Visual Arts. As a school that had previously taught only face-to-face, the last 12 months presented many challenges. The impact of COVID-19 has meant that as a school we need to carefully consider changes with a view to securing the future of our programs; especially drawing upon the way some of our alumni created new opportunities as they moved to use digital platforms to reach new audiences, or transformed their businesses.
With many other universities experiencing rapid changes to courses and personnel, we have fared very well by comparison. The Faculty of Creative Industries has merged with the Education and Justice Faculties; however, academic staff see this as a positive reposition. We have research strengths in Community and Social Impact and Engagement, and we are expanding our Double degrees offerings, making this a logical merger.
The school is now reconsidering its identity and how to position ourselves for the future of the arts, performing arts and creative industries. Our priority will be to shape students for an evolving future and a greater diversity of job opportunities. As an example, our Dance, Acting, Drama and Technical Production majors are being enhanced to include additional elements, as the focus shifts from the proscenium to digital technologies and virtualisation.
COVID-19 has also provided an opportunity for staff to lead in innovative digital teaching. This was highlighted by many of our ECR staff across our performance areas excelling in this space. In addition, staff demonstrated great strength in compassion for their students. All staff (academic and professional) have been incredible in adapting to what feels like constant change, and this has brought the school closer together.
Professor Damian Candusso is Head of QUT’s School of Creative Practice. He provides a unique nexus between academic leadership, research, and professional industry engagement. He has been awarded at both national and international levels and was the first Australian to serve on the Board of Directors for the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), based in Los Angeles. Some notable screen credits include: Better Watch Out, The LEGO Movie, The Great Gatsby, Australia, and Happy Feet.