Category Archives: Projects

Ped Talks

Hello and welcome to Pedtalks,  

This is the first in a series of podcasts presented by the public pedagogies Institute.

Ped Talks aim to contribute to the growing field of public pedagogy and interview artists, community educators and academics who identify with learning and teaching outside of formal institutions.

Our first interview is with Deb Bain King an artist who works in the west of Melbourne. 

PACT: Portable Art Connections Toolkit

Portable Art Connections Toolkit (PACT) is a kit for creating a collective experience of making stories and artwork about the things that matter to you and your community.

PACT provides tools for building creative agency and ethical storytelling, wrapped up in a hi-vis kitbag. It packages a starter set of props with a detailed user manual, prompting people to work together to make and share stories about things that are important to them. You can follow the workshop plan from the manual, or adapt it to use whatever elements are useful to your group and situation.

The user manual includes introductory information and a sequence of four workshops. There is an overview page for each of the four sessions, which expands out into a set of activities and discussion prompts to help activate the kit and facilitate the group’s collective experience. Each PACT artkit comes with six print copies of the user manual included and is suitable for use suits use with up to five participants, plus a facilitator. If you plan on working with a larger group, add more kits.

PACT aims to make visible how the practice of creativity is an enabler of personal, social, and collective agency. It was designed for young people aged 12 – 21 who have an interest in art or creative production of any kind, but you can use it with older or younger people too.

We’re giving away 200 artkits free of charge (including postage within Australia), so pop over to our website to find out more & request a kit! We’re hoping people will also use the website as a space to share images or blog about things they’ve done using the kit.

Vist us:

Request the PACT artkit or start a conversation using the contact form on our About page.

Projects 2018

In 2018 the work of the Public Pedagogies Institute will once again be multi-faceted.

We are continuing working on our Knowledge Project, which will this year take place in Point Cook and once again culminate in a Pop Up School event, following on from our previous events held in Footscray and Werribee.

Planning is also underway in 2018 for three other major projects/events:

The Public and Memorialisation—A Public Discussion

This event will interrogate the presence of public representations of memorial spaces such as statues and events. What is our lived experience of what is represented? Is memorialisation affective, is it doing the emotional work for us? Is memorialisation public art/action?  

The Public and Touch—A Walkshop in the City

This will be a participatory immersive event/project. The aim is to deepen the tactile-kinesthetic connection with the body in the space of the city and with the city in the space of the body. What is the built/natural environment doing to me? What is the presence of other people doing to me? How do I relate to the environment and the other people? How do I listen deeply/inwardly in the complex and diverse relational field of the city so that I can perceive more clearly what is being offered to me at the sensory level from the outside and engage an “improvised dance” between the inputs I get from the outside and my internal impulses?

The Public and Geelong

A one day symposium in the City of Geelong that will look at public pedagogy. The City of Geelong has recently produced Greater Geelong: A Clever and Creative Future. In part this symposium might address the role of education outside of formal institutes of learning in thinking about what is clever and what is creative?

If any of the above projects are of interest to you or you would like to chat about running a PPI event in your area please contact us.

We have also created a brief survey for anyone interested in participating in the Institute’s projects. The survey can be filled out online and will help us to connect people working on projects with those interested in collaborating. Everyone is welcome to get involved!

I hope 2018 is shaping up to be great year for you. 2018 is also the Year of Life Long Learning, making the work of the Institute all the more important this year!

Dr Karen Charman,

Public Pedagogies Institute


Towards a Footscray Curriculum

The Public Pedagogies Institute has published a new book based on the research undertaken as part of the Footscray Pop Up School.

The publication is available for free download and will be of interest to educators, researchers, as well as the local community. Print copies will be made available upon request.

Towards a Footscray Curriculum

Karen Charman, Mary Dixon, Robyn Bellingham,
Mathew Thomas, Jayson Cooper

Public Pedagogies Institute, 2017

“The knowledge of a community often goes unrecognized.”

Werribee Pop Up School

Recently the Public Pedagogies Institute held a Pop Up School in Station Place Werribee on September 1, 2017. This event showcased the breadth of knowledge in the Werribee Community. The Institute was invited to curate this event as the key activity to launch the annual Wyndham Learning Festival.

Like its predecessor the Footscray Pop Up School, the Werribee project has also consisted of interviews with members of the Werribee community around the theme of significant knowledge in Werribee.  These interviews will continue into the new year and will be published as ‘Toward a Werribee Curriculum.’

Discussion is now under way for a similar project in Point Cook in 2018.  If you are interested in a Pop Up School in your suburb or town please contact the Public Pedagogies Institute.

Footscray Pop Up School

The Public Pedagogies Institute invites everyone to join us for a free one day event:

Footscray Pop Up School
Maddern Square, Footscray
Saturday, November 19th, 12pm – 4pm

Click here to view the Program

Click here to learn more about our Performers and Participants

The inaugural Footscray Pop Up School is a free community event that celebrates the various ways of learning and teaching from the people of Footscray. This local event will feature performances, workshops and exhibitions by L2R Next Gen, 100 Story Building, the Footscray Historic Society and much more!

Presented by the Public Pedagogies Institute, the Footscray Pop Up School event was established to research how knowledge is perceived and valued geographically in Footscray. “We consider the stories and memories from the Footscray community members to be very valuable in recognising the knowledge the community holds and how that knowledge can be shared with others”, says researcher and president of the Public Pedagogies Institute, Dr Karen Charman.

Suitable for all ages, this event will inform and engage participants through a series of interactive activities.

Get your groove on with a dance workshop hosted by local stars L2R Next Gen, try your hand at the lost game of Trugo, and engage in quirky conversations with the Weekly Ticket Guy to hear how he can turn dialogue into songs.

Contribute to the history of Footscray by bringing along your school photographs to the Footscray Historic Society – you can see how time has changed when you compare your school photos with those from the 19th century.

Release your creative writing genius inside a small grove of trees with Footscray’s 100 Story Building. Their animated facilitators will work with you to make ridiculous street signs to take over the square!

“100 Story Building’s programs open up and demystify the creative process, celebrating initial ideas, rough drafts and finished products in equal measure. In our workshops mistakes become opportunities for stories to take new directions. We engage our participants in their learning by handing over creative control, and providing a platform for them to share their ideas.” – Lachlann Carter, CEO and Program Director at 100 Story Building.

Throughout the day, there is a Memory Space for interested attendees to be interviewed about their understanding of knowledge, learning and teaching in Footscray. The anecdotes collected will be recorded and contributed towards the research project, Educational Consciousness, conducted by Deakin University.

Bring along a picnic, your family, and enjoy a day filled with fun. There is something for everyone!

On Saturday 19th November at Maddern Square – come learn a skill, take home a piece of knowledge and contribute to the future of education in Footscray!

What:      Footscray Pop Up School
Date:        Saturday 19th November 2016
Time:        12pm – 4pm
Where:     Maddern Square, 2 Chambers Street FOOTSCRAY
Hashtag:   #footscraypopupschool

All welcome!



12.00 PM
Instrumental music by David Wells

12.25 PM
Spoken Word Performances on Loss and Grief by local artists Gabriela Georges, Steve Smart and Marilyn King

12.50 PM
Bản Sắc Tôi (My Own Self) song by The New Age live

1.00 PM
Official Launch: Welcome to County & Smoking Ceremony by Aunty Carolyn Briggs

1.30 PM
L2R Next Gen Dance Performance and Workshop

2.20 PM
Hip Hop music by Ayour Paul aka ASF

2.35 PM
OUT REACH – Benchmark Crew & Motley Hip Hop Performance and Rap Workshop

3.10 PM
Afrovasion Afrobeat/Dancehall Performance and Workshop


12.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Footscray Trugo Club Revival

12.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Roving Interview-Thematic Songs Performance by the Weekly Ticket guy, David Wells

1.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Prep to Grad 2 students from St. John’s Catholic Primary School facilitating a Discovery World!

2.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Ownlife Skateboard Workshop

12PM – 4PM
A series of children’s drop-in activities by 100 Story Building which includes making your own street sign, mapping the galaxy, soapbox and their amazing Comics vending machine!

12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Knitting & Craft drop-in workshops by local women from the Footscray Library Knitting Group

12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Message Stick Wood Carving

12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
A series of Vietnamese and Australian childhood games by the Dual Identity Leadership Program Alumni

12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
The Circle Book of Childhood Stories by Debbie Qadri

12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Memory Space, an installational research interview about knowledge, learning and teachings from Footscray. Conducted by Deakin University.


Art show exhibition by students from Footscray Primary School

School artefacts and interactive map by the Footscray Historical Society

Interactive chalkboard installation by Gabriela Georges

Paste-up photographic installation by Cohealth arts generator‘s Liss Gabb

Learn more about our Performers and Participants

Event Map below (click to enlarge):



Download the Pop Up School Flyer

Message in a Cup

The Message in a Cup project, lead by artist Debbie Quardi, involves collecting stories of learning in the local area of Footscray, Melbourne, with the messages then inscribed on the insides of one hundred blue ceramic cups handmade by the artist.

The cups are then placed throughout locations in the local area, to be discovered by chance and taken home by those that find them. The project gives voice to people’s experiences and understandings of learning and shares these ideas with others in the community.

Visit the project’s blog to find out more.

Message in a Cup is part of BluScray, a collaboration between Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council as part of Footscray University Town and the VU Centenary.

Check the web site for further details: BluScray website








Global Learning Exchange: What is Community?

Victoria University and the University of Texas El Paso:
Global Learning Exchange

Over a period of four weeks students from Victoria University Bachelor of Youth Work and University of Texas El Paso University Studies have engaged in a global learning exchange. The focus of this exchange has been ‘what is community?’ Students photographed examples of local spaces in Melbourne and El Paso and engaged in discussions via live video conferences about why these images represent community. This exchange has been supported by an Office of Teaching and Learning grant (OLT). This site is the beginnings of a virtual museum space that will grow over time.

Scroll down to see a selection of images and text that explore community.

Dr Karen Charman

Lincoln Park

Photography and text by Carlos Chavarria



This is Lincoln Park. Located under a freeway, this park consists of different murals and artwork by various artists. There are also basketball courts and a playground. Lincoln Park is situated close to what was once Concordia, which was the site of the first Mexican community north of the Río Grande.

The second photo is titled “Huelga” and represents the struggle in which Mexican American farmers and fieldworkers faced while fighting for their rights. “Huelga” translates to “strike” in English and was widely used as a form of protest. Workers would shout “huelga” while striking and marching. Cesar Chavez, a Mexican American field worker led this movement.

Lincoln Park is really the heart of El Paso when it comes to community and connecting the different peoples within the city.

The Palais Theatre

Photography and text by Deanna Senn



These photos are of The Palais Theatre located in the heart of St. Kilda in Melbourne. The reason why we chose this site is to illustrate the fact that although the outside of the building has had many facelifts and change of names, it still has retained many of its original features that date back to the First World War (1914).

The Palais Theatre holds a special place in the hearts of many thousands of people, with memories from events and shows. By having the Palais Theatre close to the CBD of Melbourne, it enriches the lives of those who come into its doors as it offers a gateway to new world experiences, emotions and even knowledge.

The El Paso Plaza Theatre

Photography and text by Vincent Bedjohn



The El Paso Plaza Theatre was built during the Great Depression to entertain. From that point on it proceeded to showcase films from west Texas, southern, and northern New Mexico for 40 years. Described as having the fabled beauty of Spain and the charm of old Mexico, the Plaza Theatre was renovated in 2000 as an official project of Save America’s Treasures. The site has continued to exist because the community continues to have an interest in theatre and so provides a sense of belonging. The Plaza Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2003 was declared a site of national significance.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground

Photography and text by Nathaniel Peredes

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is our main sporting stadium. It was established in 1853, less than 20 years after the founding of Melbourne. It has been the home of Australian football since 1859, and was the birthplace of Test cricket in 1877 and one-day international cricket in 1971.

It was the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, attracts up to 100,000 fans to the annual AFL Grand Final and “the G” comes to life each Christmas at the Boxing Day Test.

The significance of this photo is that the football community is a very special one. There are sometimes problems with fans because some can be pretty rude. But when there is ever a tragedy or problem the whole footballing community comes together to support those who are suffering.

Southwest University Park

Photography and text by Javier Isaac Marquez

South West University Park

Southwest University Park—Home of El Paso’s Chihuahuas is built over El Paso’s former City Hall, which was demolished by implosion on April 14, 2013 to make way for the new stadium. The state-of-the-art ballpark was designed by Populous, which also designed Major League stadiums like PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres and Yankee Stadium.

The significance of this photo is attracting community to the downtown area of El Paso.

And yes…our mascot is a Chihuahua.

La Mujer Obrera Community

Photography and text by Ruben Garcia



The photos above represent the Mayapan Café that houses the Museo Urbano and the Mujer Obrera (Worker Woman) organization among other things; it is located in Central El Paso, Texas.  The café includes a restaurant, store, museum, daycare and farmer’s market all run by the local community.

There are many partitions with exhibits on them dedicated to the woman workers that play a vital role in this community.

This photograph reflects the communities’ active participation in investing in them by providing a location where the community can learn about itself and interact with fellow citizens to form stronger bonds. The organization’s main goal is community involvement in all aspects, from community organizing to establishing sustainable social initiatives.

Flinders Street Station

Photography and text by Hayley Carroll and Mary Biffa



Flinders Street Station in 1854 used to be a collection of weatherboard sheds and was known as the ‘Melbourne Terminus’. It was the first steam rail station in Australia. A lot of people came to visit, to see the first steam railway. In 1889 the railway commissioner organised a competition to see who could design the best station. The first prize was 500 pounds. Work started in 1901 and finished around 1910 and cost approximately 514,000 pounds. It was since then used as a place to catch up and greet friends within Melbourne, hence the old Melbourne catch phrase: “Meet me under the clocks”, referring to the clocks above the steps.

The La Hacienda Café

Photography and text by Diana Lares


The Hacienda café, one of the oldest buildings in El Paso, marks the spot where Don Juan de Onate first crossed the Rio Grande, on May 4, 1598. The location used to house a stagecoach stop and a gristmill, owned by Simeon Hart.

The building, which became La Hacienda, was once the house of the Hart family. Since La Hacienda is located close to the UTEP campus, it was once a popular place for students to meet, eat and study. It used to have the student-made nickname of “union” until the student union opened on campus on 1949.

University of Texas at El Paso

Photography and text by Marissa Porras


This picture represents both past and present communities. It first started as the School of Mines and Metallurgy in September of 1914, was later renamed Texas Western College in 1949 and was finally renamed the University of Texas at El Paso in 1967. Our school mascot is “The Miners” so it shows how it’s been 100 years since the school first opened and the original name has generally stayed with the University. The significance of this picture is that we’re a community who generally wants to improve and have a better future which is why we are going to school.

Melbourne Street Art

Photography and text by Michelle Lenehan


The City of Melbourne has designated a few streets within the CBD where you can legally graffiti and show your art. Some youth love the idea and we have also heard that it takes away the so called “thrill” for some. The significance of this photo is that the community saw that youth and others wanted spaces to show case their art and the community finally listened and now we have a few streets for youth to go experiment.



The Public Pedagogies Institute conference this year included a number of performances and public artworks.

PERMESSO invited participants to experience painting intuitively. PERMESSO (Italian for permission) puts forth the notion that we are all innately creative but that sometimes the connection to this place has been interrupted. Facilitators Gisela Boetker and Rebecca Knaggs offered  a very gentle opportunity to reconnect by simply entering the process. After a brief meditation they invited participants to choose a brush and paint, approach the canvas and see what comes …

A collection of images from PERMESSO appear below –
All photographs by Todd Johnson.

Click to view larger images and browse gallery:

Gallery Sunshine Everywhere

Gallery Sunshine Everywhere is a project that promotes engagement with art-making and art education in schools and the broader community in the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

The project’s director, Maureen Ryan, is a Professor in the College of Education at Victoria University and an active member of the Public Pedagogies Institute. Maureen is committed to collaborative and community focussed teaching and research.

Dozens of schools and hundreds of students have been involved in the many exhibitions and other activities Gallery Sunshine Everywhere has conducted since it was established in 2007. Most of the exhibitions have been held at the Granary Cafe in Sunshine . The exhibitions mainly feature the work of pre-primary, primary and secondary school students and sometimes, local artists.

For more information contact  Maureen Ryan.