Yesterday saw the official launch of the Y Connect Project report and website. The launch was held at Yeronga State High School to an audience of invited guests. The Hon. Mark Bailey MP, Member for Miller and a Minister in the Queensland Government was the official guest of honour, representing the Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace. In his presentation, Minister Bailey described the Y Connect as being “formidable” and suggested that Yeronga State High School had been the perfect place to implement such an innovative program. He thanked everyone involved and was very pleased to be presented with copies of the Full Report and the Key Findings and Significance Report from Mr Bob Logan, Deputy Principal of Yeronga State High.
Within her launch presentation, Professor Julie Dunn (the research team leader) thanked the school, its staff, students and leaders for their outstanding commitment to collaborative research. She suggested that the Y Connect Project should be understood as an experiment in arts infusion – an extended examination of what might happen in one school if arts-based pedagogies, teacher/artist partnerships and opportunities for young people to engage directly with arts organisations became the norm. She also noted that Y Connect had been an opportunity to understand the benefits for student and teacher engagement of expanding the range of pedagogical approaches commonly employed in secondary schools.
Endorsements from key arts and education figures from across the country were also offered including from: Adrian Collette, CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts; Professor John O’Toole – Lead writer of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts and Foundation Chair of the Arts, University of Melbourne; Professor Robyn Ewing – Co-director of CREATE, University of Sydney; Professor Donna Pendergast, Dean and Head of School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University; and Dr John Saunders, President of Drama Australia and incoming Chair of the National Affiliates for Arts Education.