My Melbourne with Purnima Ruanglertbutr

October 13 / 121

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What’s your role at the university?

My role spans across different faculties at the University, primarily the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the Victorian College of the Arts. At the Melbourne Graduate School of Education I am lecturer of the Master of Education subject Teaching and Artistic Practice, which is very exciting. It looks at the relationships between the artist and the teacher and the associated tensions in each. I am also the editorial assistant for the Journal of Artistic and Creative Education as well as a research assistant for the Teacher Artmaker Project. At the VCA, I have been coordinating the annual Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference that’s happening in Melbourne this year in December.

How long have you been at the University?

Almost a decade. I started as a student in the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) and went on to do a postgraduate degree in the Master of Teaching and worked as a research assistant in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Everything followed on from there.

What does your typical day look like?

As you can imagine, it’s a wonderful concoction of surprises. There’s such a diverse array of activities happening each day. One day I could be communicating with artists, the other with authors, the other day with students, but really it all wonderfully joins my passions in art and education.

What’s your favourite thing about working for the University?

I must say it is what I do. I love what I do and the research I conduct at the Graduate School of Education and also the prestige of the University. It’s always nice to be working for Australia’s number one university. I also love the cultural diversity inherent in the University and the support provided by everyone really enables me to execute my artistic visions and creative projects.

What piece of advice have you been given about working at the University?

To really believe in what you do and follow your passion and joy and believe that everything else will follow thereafter. Work hard and everything will turn out for the best.

Do you have a favourite place to eat or drink on campus?

As you can imagine, I have very little time to eat with my schedule. But Lot 6 is always nice to have a quick bite at the Parkville campus.

What exhibitions are you currently working on?

I am currently curating two shows at the University. One is called Sensations of Artmaking: Triumphs, Torments and Risk-taking. That comprises of 31 artists who are all graduate teachers of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. It looks at how artists can continue their artistic practice as teachers and as artmakers. It is showing at the Victorian Artists Society from 4 to 15 October. The other is part of the Festival of Ideas called The Artful World of Animals. It’s an art competition and exhibition that celebrates 50 years of teaching at the Faculty of Veterinary Science. We have 35 artists on board that range from veterinary nurses, veterinarians, University alumni, staff, students and the external community. It’s a wonderful celebration of the importance of animals in human culture.

Sensations of Art-making: Triumphs, Torments and Risk-taking: http://events.unimelb.edu.au/events/3413-sensations-of-art-making-triump....

The Artful World of Animals: http://ideas.unimelb.edu.au/events/the-artful-world-of-animals.

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