Pre-conference Atelier Experiences

We invite delegates to participate in a range of inspiring interactive Atelier, or studio style experiences. Delegates will have the opportunity to register for these additional Conference experiences representing both visual and performing arts and which include Ateliers of sound, paper and clay.

Morning sessions will run between 10am-12pm and afternoon sessions between 2pm-4pm.

Please note:

  • Atelier Experiences will be held in a range of locations across the Melbourne CBD between 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm.
  • Delegates are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the Atelier Experience venues. There is a range of public transport options available. Further information on public transport options is available from the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website or app.
  • The pre-Conference Atelier Experiences are optional and tickets must be purchased separately to Conference registration
  • Prices include GST.
  • If minimum numbers are not met the experience maybe cancelled, if this occurs delegates will be refunded in full.
  • Priority is given to registered delegates of the 2023 REAIE Biennial Conference.
Trace image


REAIE thanks our Atelier Experience partners and venues for their support with this exciting Pre- conference offering.

PaperPlay SOLD OUT

Presenter: Kelly Boucher

About the experience:

How do children think with materials? How do materials invite actions?

This workshop is an exciting opportunity for early childhood educators to experience radically different ways of experimenting with and playing with paper in everyday learning spaces.

By posing questions, inviting actions and being open to new potentials within this joyful material realm, participants will explore:

Arts-based Inquiry: Innovative ways to cultivate dynamic inquiry-based learning culture Contemporary theories: Concepts & ideas within early childhood materials practice Playful Learning Strategies: Positioning materials as participants in experiences with children.

About the presenter:

Kelly Boucher is an Early Childhood Art Specialist & Pedagogical Leadership Coach based on Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Central Victoria. Kelly supports organisations across the education sector to activate collective critical dialogue in order to ‘think otherwise with the world’. By facilitating robust exchanges within theory and practice, Kelly nurtures and develops research culture within education settings. This in turn helps teachers (re)conceptualise what teaching and learning could be as they bring joy into practice through art, play and a deep curiosity (with) the world.

Experience Location and time:

2pm-4pm, Thursday 29 June

Activities Room, Library at the Dock, Ground floor, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Corner of Collins and Bourke streets, Docklands VIC 3008

Kelly Boucher Headshot

It’s all about connecting with clay – SOLD OUT

Presenter: Ann Ferguson

About the experience:

In this workshop, participants will work alongside artist Ann Ferguson to explore the diverse world of clay. Through processes of experimentation, collaboration, and connection with nature, they will develop preferences for colours, textures, and forms, leading to the creation of distinctive ‘tiny pot’, impressed tile, and participant-initiated expressions. 

About the presenter:

Ann Ferguson is a ceramic artist/educator. Her ceramic practice has focused on hand building sculptural forms. She has developed construction methods that have enabled both large and small unique sculptural pieces to evolve.

Ann is a trained kindergarten teacher and a highly regarded specialist in creative education for children. She is an experienced leader of creative workshops and passionate about the role of clay as the perfect connecting medium between the child and the sensory world of nature.

Experience Location and time:

2-4pm, Thursday 29 June

Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School, The Hub Space, 86 Anderson St South Yarra VIC 3141


REimagining sound – SOLD OUT

Presenter: Jody Kingston

About the experience:
This workshop is designed for educators who are curious about the language of sound. Participants will play with the materiality of sound and its relationship to space. We will invite our imaginations into the sounds of the everyday, listening more deeply than before.

About the presenter:

Jody Kingston is an independent sound artist & facilitator based in Melbourne, with a particular interest in listening and connecting with sound in the everyday. She is deeply inspired by the unique and creative capacity of children to experiment and play within environments of sound.

Experience Location and time:

2pm-4pm, Thursday 29 June

Performance Space, Library at the Dock, Ground floor, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Corner of Collins and Bourke streets, Docklands VIC 3008


Get poetic with nature journaling –  led by children’s author and illustrator, Trace Balla

Presenter: Trace Balla

About the experience:

Connect with nature while participating in this creative, therapeutic and educational experience. This session aims to inspire participants to connect with place as they record observations, reflections and feelings about the natural world. Trace will take you on a journey of discovery along the banks of the Yarra River, exploring the art form of nature journaling and the creation of beautiful illustrations and powerful stories.

Participants will be provided with a journal and have access to a range of art materials. All you need to bring is your interest, imagination and enthusiasm!  

About the presenter:

Trace Balla works as a children’s book author and illustrator; winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Children’s Book of the Year: Early Readers award, the Wilderness Society Picture Book Award and the Readings Children’s Book Prize. Trace also works as an inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator: a favourite amongst kids and adults alike! She lives in Djaara Country, Australia.  

Experience Location and time:

10am-12pm, Thursday 29 June

The Blue Room, Melbourne University Boat Club, 1 Boathouse Drive, Melbourne Victoria 3004 Australia

Trace photo

Loose Parts Play & Playwork – SOLD OUT

Presenter: Judd Walsh

About the experience:

This session aims to explore the idea of loose parts in a Pop-Up Play Space. Participants will leave with an understanding of what loose parts are, where you can source them, how to store them & the theory behind them. We will look at how loose parts supports creativity, autonomy & provides opportunities for child-directed play.

Participants will also explore loose parts through a hands-on play.

Experience Location and time:

2pm-4pm, Thursday 29 June

Multipurpose Room 2, Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street, Carlton VIC 3053


Taking learning out of the box

Presenters: Dr Fiona Young and Emma Parkinson from Hayball Architects

About the experience:
Come on a journey with us to explore opportunities for how space can enhance playful learning. In this hands-on workshop we will create opportunities for the classroom and the city to be interwoven as a tapestry for learning and play.

About the presenters:

Dr Fiona Young

Fiona is an architect and researcher in the field of learning environments. Her PhD research bridges the design and use of learning environment affordances. She is a Principal at Hayball Architects in Sydney where her role involves supporting educators and architectural teams develop shared understandings around the relationship between pedagogy and space. She co-Founded MakingSPACE, a co-design initiative which supports educators in the development of strategies and protocols to activate collaborative environments.

Emma Parkinson

Emma is an architect with a passion for the design of contemporary learning environments. She is an Associate at Hayball Architects where her role is to establish and guide clients through comprehensive briefing processes to generate frameworks for future education visions. Her goal is to facilitate genuinely collaborative approaches to the design of every project.

Experience Location and time:

10am-12pm, Thursday 29 June

Hayball Architects, Level1/250 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000


Teachers and Materials as Researchers

A hands-on workshop … and an invitation to continue the research project online.

Presenters: Chris Celada and Margo Hobba

About the experience:

Pedagogical research is a delicate and uncertain process involving careful listening, documenting and interpreting, questioning, deliberating and choosing.

During this session we will create a short project using materials to research our own processes of learning, particularly the processes of creativity and curiosity, enabling us to become more sensitive to the learning process of children.

This session builds upon the successful online pilot research project conducted in collaboration with REAIE in 2021 and is offered as an invitation to teachers who may be interested in participating in an ongoing, online, pedagogical research project.

The degree of sensitivity and depth of knowledge generated during the 2021 pilot, both in relation to organising online learning and in relation to our formation as teachers, clearly demonstrated that it is possible to research ‘in relation’ even though we are physically separated by the huge distances that are a feature of our country. Working in this way has potential for connecting individual teachers, groups and Networks in more collaborative, multi-sensory online settings.

About the presenters:

Chris and Margo have both worked in community based childcare, sessional and long day preschool programs and with tertiary students studying to be early childhood professionals. They have participated in many study programs in Reggio Emilia, are both long term members of REAIE, and have been co-researching the relationship between professional learning and teaching drawing on the educational project in Reggio Emilia for many years. This research has formed the basis for their approach to professional learning experiences for teachers.

Experience Location and time:

2pm-4pm, Thursday 29 June

Multipurpose Room 1, Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street, Carlton, VIC 3053


By Kids, For Kids (Presentation)

Presenter: Steph Urruty

About the experience:

ArtPlay brings together children (from babies to 13 years of age) and artists to explore and create innovative arts experiences that encourage self-expression and playful exchange.  The creative encounters on offer are by, for and with children and can be experienced at the Birrarung Marr venue or in the home.

In this 30-minute presentation, learn more about how children influence the ArtPlay program and more specifically about the By Kids, For Kids program which is presenting a series of activations over the June-July school holidays.

By Kids, For Kids features thirteen children who have joined forces to create a suite of artistic experiences and programs for other children that authentically reflect the priorities and fascinations of young people.

Since September 2022, the group of budding young curators have come together on a regular basis to form a highly inventive art hub – creating a program that delves into their own world as dreamers, designers and builders of arts projects.

The young artistic cohort have produced and will facilitate a season of arts experiences for the public on behalf of ArtPlay.

Each of the children in the Collective are dynamic and artistic thinkers who are committed to the long-term goal of the group, as well as deep diving into developing and organizing arts experiences.

This program is an initiative of ArtPlay, in partnership with Alexandra Walker, founder of House of Muchness – a centre of artistic practices for the creative wellbeing of young people.

Please note: This is a 30-minute presentation.

About the presenter:

Steph Urruty is currently the Program Manager for the ArtPlay and SIGNAL creative programs – engaging children, families and young people at the City of Melbourne (Australia). She leads the team to provide high quality, accessible and innovative creative programs with, by and for children, families, young people and young and emerging artists. Fostering a cohesive and collaborative team environment, Steph guides the strategic direction of the programs, and oversees planning and implementation. She was formerly the Creative Producer for ArtPlay, the city’s unique children’s arts studio. In this role she supported artists, organisations and festivals to develop arts experiences (including workshops, performances and installations) with children and families. Previously Steph was the Program Manager, then General Manager for Westside Circus (now Circus Nexus), a not for profit community organisation that uses circus to engage young people from diverse backgrounds. At Westside Circus she established the outreach and public programs, growing them into successful business models.

Experience Location and time:

2pm-2.30pm, Thursday 29 June

Goldfields Theatre, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006

Steph U art play