Bluebird Foundation has been delivering unique arts projects in the Geelong region since 2010. Highlights include:

 

Dabble 'n' Dance - 2010-16

Learning through play - Dabble 'n' Dance 2010-2016

Learning through play - Dabble 'n' Dance 2010-2016

Dabble 'n' Dance  was a weekly arts-based group session designed to support 0-5 year olds to develop school readiness skills and expose young parents to attachment-based activities, positive child-focused time and models of positive behaviour management techniques. The program provided a learning environment for parent and child that supported child development, family relationships and effective parenting skills. 

We go home and try out all the art activities during the week. It gives me lots of simple ideas to use.
— Dabble 'n' Dance parent

Dabble 'n' Dance combined music and the visual arts in a learn-through-play environment. Sessions included songs, dance, instrumental play and musical games as well as visual art experiences. Children and parents alike were exposed to the magical world of the Arts while parents were supported in exploring positive ways of interacting with their children.

Bluebird Foundation was thrilled when Dabble 'n' Dance was named as a finalist in the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development's 2011 Early Years AwardsIn 2011, the program was also independently evaluated by Sarah Baudinette, from Deakin University's social work Honours program. The Formative Evaluation of Dabble 'n' Dance confirmed the positive experiences of the young parents involved. 

 A collaboration with Northern Bay College and Barwon Child Youth and Family,
Dabble 'n' Dance was
 proudly supported by Give Where You Live
 

CUBED - 2015-16

Raising awareness of Young Carers through art - CUBED 2016

Raising awareness of Young Carers through art - CUBED 2016

CUBED is a wholistic project raising awareness of hidden young carers in the community through the arts. A collaboration with The Young Carer Program at Barwon Health, CUBED has been supported by a Community Inclusion and Capability Development grant from the NDIS.

The Young Carer Program at Barwon Health assists young people who are in education and are providing significant support to a family member/friend who is frail aged, has a chronic condition, disability or mental illness. They can be contacted on FREECALL 1800 052 222 for further information or find them on Facebook.

I’m glad that my art and my story is getting out there to help other young carers.
— Jett, 18 years

STREET ART
A series of workshops facilitated by Jenna Ramondo resulting in the production of two large-scale street art installations reflecting what it means to be a young carer. Young carers (aged 8-20 years) were supported to explore collage art incorporating found images as well as their own drawings, paintings and text.

PRINT CAMPAIGN
Images from the street art have been used to create a package of hardcopy materials that provide information and support to young carers in the community. These will be distributed to schools and youth services in the region.

YOUNG CARERS SPEAK
Training and support were provided to a group of young carers to enable them to raise awareness of young carers in the community and encourage youth to seek support and services. A tailored educational package was delivered by Carers Victoria for participating young carers.

LAUNCH
A public event was held to unveil the street art, preview the print campaign and launch 'Young Carers Speak'.

 A collaboration with the Young Carer Program at Barwon HealthCUBED is proudly supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme
 

Athena's Guild - 2016

Telling stories through song - Athena's Guild, 'Open House' concert 2016

Telling stories through song - Athena's Guild, 'Open House' concert 2016

Personally, my mentee has taught me a lot about mental health, how it affects people in so many different ways and although it can have negative effects or be triggered by negative events, it also has a lot of positives.
— Athena's Guild mentor

Athena’s Guild is a mentoring collective that matches experienced professional artists with community artists who have a disability or barrier to accessing quality arts programs.

In 2016, Athena's Guild returned with a focus on music and songwriting. A team of professional musicians/song-writers was matched with a group of community musicians experiencing mental health issues in mentoring pairs. These pairs worked together over a series of one-on-one songwriting sessions to develop songwriting and performance skills. The project culminated in a live concert at Courthouse Youth Arts on 25th May, 2016.

A collaboration with the Rotary Club of Geelong East and proudly supported by the Geelong Community Foundation

 

ALLPLAY - 2015

Challenging workers to get active - ALLPLAY 2015

Challenging workers to get active - ALLPLAY 2015

ALLPLAY was a a workplace health and wellbeing program and just one part of the PlayNation initiative to inspire people to ‘Go outside and play!’. 

The quirky show was presented at workplaces to groups of 10-15 workers under the guise of a professional development workshop. Two professional actors guided participants through a series of kooky and hilarious activities in a 30 minute immersive theatrical experience.

What a laugh... it was hilarious!
— Workplace Wellbeing Officer

ALLPLAY was proudly supported by the City of Greater Geelong through its Community Arts Grant program

 

Seniors Festival - 2015-16

Laying pebbles together - Another pocketful of pebbles 2016

Laying pebbles together - Another pocketful of pebbles 2016

The Geelong Seniors Festival is the largest community celebration for seniors in regional Victoria. A partner of the state-wide Victorian Seniors Festival, the Festival features a huge variety of community hosted events and experiences including workshops, dances, concerts, sporting activities and tours. 

We had a marvellous time sharing in the children’s enthusiasm.
— Grannie and Gramps

ANOTHER POCKETFUL OF PEBBLES
An intergenerational event celebrating the Geelong Seniors Festival and Children's Week at Tate Street Primary School. Brazilian artist Ines Machado guided the creation of a beautiful pebble mosaic installation at the front entrance of the school.

TWINSET & PEARLS
Twinset & Pearls was a brand new musical show that premiered during the Victorian Seniors’ Festival. The show featured wonderful duets from Broadway shows, Hollywood movies and vaudeville. Audience members joined in the fun with classic sing-along tunes, and afterwards enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea.

Seniors Festival activities have been proudly supported by the City of Greater Geelong

 

PLAYNATION - 2013-15

Skip, skip, skipping - Let's Play Up 2014

Skip, skip, skipping - Let's Play Up 2014

The PlayNation initiative was a multi-faceted program linking health to the arts. It aimed to inspire kids and families to reduce their screen time and go outside and play!

Our daughters had a fantastic afternoon. Since attending the day they have been chalking up hopscotch on the front path, playing elastics, and requests for knucklebones games seem to have replaced requests for Ipad time(yay!)

PlayNation encompassed a range of programs and projects including;

  • Playing Up - 2013 intergenerational book project about games beyond the screen, facilitated by artist Trace Balla.
  • Let's Play Up - written by local playwright, Rosan Chakir and performed by Ian Rooney and Lucy Jones. Premiered at a unique intergenerational event during Children's Week AND the Geelong Seniors' Festival, 2014.
  • Let's Play! - a comprehensive package of theatre-in-education, facilitated games sessions and resources to support schools in the 3214 and 3219 postcodes. Rolled out in 2015.
  • ALLPLAY - a workplace health and wellbeing program.

PlayNation was proudly supported by City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Connected Communities and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

 

bluebird arts - 2011-15

Drawing from nature  - Carers' Carnival 2012

Drawing from nature  - Carers' Carnival 2012

A collaboration with Barwon Health, Bluebird Arts was a long-term project that enriched the lives of Barwon Health clients and offered support for Barwon Health staff to increase their skills and confidence to grow the Arts component of their ongoing programs.

2015
CUBED - Young Carers Street Art
A series of workshops facilitated by Jenna Ramondo to support Young Carers to create a street art installation that will raise awareness of hidden young carers in the community. Young Carers are people aged under 25 years who are the key carers for a family member (usually a single parent). A collaboration with Barwon Health, supported by a Community Inclusion and Capability Development grant from the National Disability Insurance Agency.

TWINSET & PEARLS - a Seniors Festival performance
Twinset & Pearls was a brand new musical show, featuring wonderful duets from Broadway shows, Hollywood movies and vaudeville. Dazzling diva duo, sisters Bronnia and Lucita Lawsonia-Jones sang and danced their way through such chestnut duets as "Anything You Can Do", "We're a Couple of Swells" and "You're the Top". Audience members joined in the fun with classic sing-along tunes, and experienced the legendary hospitality of the Dorothy Thomson Day Centre with a delicious afternoon tea! 

2014
CARERS' CARNIVAL
Carers' Week 2014 kicked off with a day of arts-based workshops at Dromoland House. Participants joined together in dancing with the Billy Tea Bush Band, singing with Belinda McArdle and 'playing up' with Lucy Jones. They were also able to choose from a variety of workshop sessions including poetry with Bronwyn Lovell, basket making with Caroline Hawkins, a nurture session with Sue Hindle and paste-ups with Laura Alice.

CARERS' PHOTO EXHIBITION
Photos taken by carers in the Geelong region were showcased in the GPAC foyer during Carers' Week. Capturing the beauty of our local region, the photographs were a selection from the many images submitted for inclusion in the annual Barwon Health Carers' Calendar.

2013
CARERS' CARNIVAL
Once again, a full day of workshops was offered for carers to experience a wide range of arts-based activities. Participants started the day by dancing with the Billy Tea Bush Band and then chose from ukulele workshops, relaxation with Tibetan gongs, art therapy, writing and illustration workshops and mosaics before finishing with some glorious group singing led by Belinda McArdle.

2012
NORLANE DAY PROGRAM
The staff and clients at the Norlane Day Respite program brushed up on their dancing skills with Australian Ballroom Dancing Champion, Natalie Carr, in a series of dance workshops that culminated in an afternoon Tea Dance. 

BELMONT DAY PROGRAM
The Belmont Day Respite clients participated in a series of workshops with the Billy Tea Bush Band. Traditional dances and modified interpretations were practised in preparation for a Bush Dance where live music, dancing and food were all part of the celebration.

ANGLESEA DAY PROGRAM
Local mosaic artist, Caroline Hawkins, worked with the Anglesea Day Respite clients to design and create a beautiful mosaic birdbath featuring clownfish in an underwater scene.

TORQUAY DAY PROGRAM
Selena White from Simpatico Interior Design collaborated with the Torquay Day Respite clients to redesign their living space. Together they considered design concepts and practical issues to transform the room into a peaceful and beautiful space.

CARERS' CARNIVAL
A full day of workshops was offered for carers to experience a wide range of arts-based activities. Participants chose from ring making, writing workshops, dancing, botanical sketching, singing, drumming, wool twining, relaxation with Tibetan singing bowls and creating a collaborative sculpture.

2011
NORLANE DAY PROGRAM
Staff and clients built on their passion for singing and performing by working with an Arts practitioner to rehearse and perform a musical presentation at their annual Christmas Lunch.

BELMONT DAY PROGRAM
Clients participated in an instrument making workshop facilitated by Nick Carpenter from Wildwood Instruments to produce a beautiful set of percussion instruments. The set of instruments were used in music making workshops with an experienced musician and are now used regularly within the Belmont Day Program.

ANGLESEA DAY PROGRAM
Mornings full of music, quiz questions, games and laughter were presented by Geelong-based duo, Colin Mockett and Shirley Power. 'Popkwiz' was a popular monthly event at the Anglesea Day Program during Winter.

TORQUAY DAY PROGRAM
The clients in the Torquay Day Program have been working with renowned sculptor, Viktor Cebergs, to design and create a sculpture for their outdoor area. Working with wood, the staff and clients have been involved every step of the way from the conception of the idea, to chiselling and sanding the final product.

YOUNG CARERS
Song writing workshops, held during school holidays, gave Young Carers an opportunity to write songs about their experience of caring for a parent. One of these songs was later recorded by Creatures of the Night and released on WHATEM 2.

CARERS' CARNIVAL
Carers Week was celebrated with the Carers' Carnival - a day of arts-based workshops and activities designed to give carers a taste of the arts. Experiences on offer included writing workshops with Margaret Clark, Bollywood dancing, a drumming circle, singing groups and the chance to try out some circus skills.

A collaboration with Barwon Health

 

Rhyme, Rhythm & Song - 2012-15

Singing for literacy - Rhyme, Rhythm & Song 2012

Singing for literacy - Rhyme, Rhythm & Song 2012

Bluebird Foundation and Northern Bay College collaborated to deliver Rhyme, Rhythm & Song into junior classrooms across the College. The program was set against a backdrop of research that supports the use of music, singing, chanting and rhyming to enhance literacy outcomes. Based on work developed at the Maryborough Education Centre, specialist facilitators work with students and teachers to develop an appropriate repertoire of songs, chants and rhymes that are incorporated into the daily classroom routine.

Professional development to enhance the capacity of classroom teachers to use singing, music and rhyming with their students was an integral part of the program.

In 2012, the CASS Foundation supported a pilot program of Rhyme, Rhythm & Song, involving nine classroom teachers and approximately 200 students. In 2013, the CASS Foundation extended their support to allow twenty nine teachers and 600 students to join in the fun and reap the benefits which included gains in student confidence, improved phonological awareness and expansion of vocabulary.

In 2014 and 2015, the Bluebird Foundation supported Northern Bay College teachers across all four junior campuses to embed the skills and repertoire into their daily literacy practices. The twelve-month gradual release program was supported by the R.E. Ross Trust and the Geelong Community Foundation.

Rhyme, Rhythm & Song was a collaboration with Northern Bay College and proudly supported by the CASS Foundation, R. E. Ross Trust and the Geelong Community Foundation

 

Children's week - 2010-15

Painting a garden - Arty Party 2013

Painting a garden - Arty Party 2013

Children's Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. It is also a time for children to demonstrate their talents, skills and abilities.

VALANGA KHOZA IN CONCERT
On Monday 26th October 2015, Valanga Khoza charmed babies, toddlers and preschoolers (and their parents) with humour and wit, as he told stories embellished by beautiful music on traditional instruments such as the kalimba, djembe and shijoro (jaw harp). 

'NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAMILY' DANCE
Familes joined the fun at Bluebird Foundation's ‘Not your average family’ Dance in 2015 and 2016. The renowned Billy Tea Bush Band led the toe tapping, foot stompin’, hand clapping fun for kids and adults of all shapes, sizes and abilities.

LET'S PLAY UP
A unique intergenerational event was held on Sunday 26th October, 2014 for kids, parents and grandparents at Tate Street Primary School. The premiere performance of Let's Play Up was a highlight of Children's Week AND the Geelong Seniors' Festival. Inspiring children to get off screens, the event included a theatrical performance, games to enjoy and cakes to eat!

A BIG CONCERT FOR LITTLE CHILDREN
In 2014 and 2016 young families were treated to a classical music concert by professional musicians on violin, guitar and piano. The free concerts provided a unique opportunity for babies, toddlers and preschoolers to hear beautiful live music with their parents and to interact with the musicians and their instruments.

Thank you for a wonderful way to spend Sunday afternoon as a family. No one had more fun than Tayla which was wonderful to see and we all enjoyed the time greatly.

ARTY PARTY
In 2013 and 2014, kids with a disability and their siblings were invited to an afternoon of arty fun with music therapists, Melissa Murphy and Bec Fairchild and artist, Liz McGrath. With the support of therapists from Kids Plus Foundation, they created beautiful flags, sang, danced and played instruments. Afternoon tea, face-painting and balloons completed the party atmosphere.

A MUDDY MUSICAL ADVENTURE
The Mudcakes came to Geelong in 2012 and 2013 to lead families on a muddy musical adventure. The free shows, full of songs that celebrate the everyday lives of small children and their parents, were fun, interactive, friendly and educational.

WILD MOVES
Bluebird Foundation celebrated Children's Week in 2012 by offering free dance and drumming workshops to children with a disability and their siblings. Kids with disabilities are often caught up in an endless cycle of medical appointments, therapy and focused educational opportunities. These are all very important to their development but families miss out on participating in fun activities that most children get to try. Jacqui Dreessens from Wild Moves led an afternoon of wild dance, drumming and singing.

BE AN ARTIST FOR A DAY
Bluebird Foundation celebrated Children's Week in 2010 and 2011 by offering free art workshops for children with a disability and their siblings. The 'Be an artist for a day' workshops gave families an opportunity to get stuck into some messy fun. Painting, pasting, playdough, beading and exploring textures were all part of the experience. And every child proudly took home their very own masterpiece.

POLYGLOT THEATRE COMPANY
In 2011, Bluebird Foundation brought the acclaimed Polyglot Theatre Company to Geelong to celebrate Children's Week. The free workshop gave preschoolers the opportunity to work with their parents to create a dream home out of recyled junk materials. The workshop encouraged free artistic expression and an imaginative interpretation of the world.

 Children's Week activities have been proudly supported by the City of Greater Geelong and the Department of Education and Training

 

Samsara - 2012-13

Creating a song cycle - Samsara 2013

Creating a song cycle - Samsara 2013

Samsara was an ambitious and innovative project in two distinct phases – development and performance. 

World-renowned Australian composer, Paul Jarman, worked with the school communities of Corio and Norlane over two years. Together they embarked on a comprehensive journey to develop, compose, create and perform a song cycle about their individual and collective stories.

The development phase, which commenced in August 2012, involved groups from six Corio and Norlane school campuses working with their teachers and artist-facilitator, Paul Jarman, to develop, compose and document a song cycle reflecting life in the 3214 postcode.

The performance phase of Samsara resulted in a multi-disciplinary performance outcome of the song cycle on Monday 13th May, 2013. Audio-visual components came together with live performances to create a unique and innovative performance in a professional performance space.

Wow, wow, wow… I was floored at the concert last week. I witnessed 80 children who are so in touch with their feelings and able to express them through song, that I doubt there was a dry eye in the hall. (Yes, I was blubbering after the 1st piece!) These children have some amazing talents and huge futures ahead of them. People shouldn’t be so quick to judge those living in the Northern suburbs; because the children I saw perform are going places and I am so proud of my son. He did a great job. I’m grateful he was given the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful showcase.
— Parent

Samsara was a collaboration with Northern Bay College and proudly supported by the Harold Mitchell Foundation and the City of Greater Geelong

 

growing stages - 2014

Little pots made by little people - Growing Stages 2014

Little pots made by little people - Growing Stages 2014

Growing Stages was a community arts project that resulted in the design and production of a biodegradable and edible performance space. Three 'Baby Stages' were created by kinder communities in the Geelong region - Breakwater Preschool, Ocean Grove Preschool and William Hovell Preschool. Under the guidance of artist and ecological stage designer, Tanja Beer, and permaculturist, Monica Winston, the project made use of local materials including edible plants and recycled or found objects.

The three 'Baby Stages' were brought together to form one large ‘Growing Stage’ at the City of Greater Geelong's M~M2014 event on Saturday 10th May, 2014.

 A collaboration with Breakwater Preschool, Ocean Grove Preschool and William Hovell Preschool, Growing Stages was proudly supported by the City of Greater Geelong through its Community Arts Grant program
 

Masters in the Making - 2010-13

Voting in the People's Choice Award - Masters in the Making 2012

Voting in the People's Choice Award - Masters in the Making 2012

Masters in the Making was an annual art exhibition focusing on the work of young artists aged 5-18 years enrolled in art schools in the Geelong region. The inaugural exhibition, held in May 2010 at art@wintergarden, was an opportunity for budding artists to showcase their talent in a professional gallery. In 2011, the project expanded to include an informal exhibition in public spaces around Geelong, Masters in the Making On the Move. 2012 and 2013 saw the addition of a virtual exhibition on the Bluebird Foundation Facebook page. In 2013, Bluebird Foundation also supported a group of students from the Geelong English Language Centre to participate in the exhibition through a project called masters@thefort.

Masters in the Making acknowledged the inspiration and guidance provided by art teachers and encouraged kids to reach for the stars, with prizes offered in six categories including a People's Choice Award.

Masters in the Making was proudly supported by Geelong Lions Club, City of Greater Geelong, Coulter Roache Lawyers, Petal O'Dell Photography, Barry Plant Real Estate and Coles

 

giant toy box - 2013

Guiding the whole process - Giant Toy Box 2013

Guiding the whole process - Giant Toy Box 2013

The Giant Toy Box was a creative solution to a practical problem at the Northern Bay Family Centre. Artist, Kaz McGlynn, worked with families from Norlane and Corio to convert an old shipping container into a work of art that also provides the centre with much-needed storage space for its growing collection of toys and resources. 

Kaz McGlynn is an artist and art educator with a passion for working with groups within a community. A talented artist in her own right, she encourages participation through a variety of art methods and techniques. 

 A collaboration with the Northern Bay Family Centrethe Giant Toy Box was proudly supported by Bank of Melbourne, Alcoa and City of Greater Geelong
 

ALphabet Art - 2013

Painting a moveable alphabet - Alphabet Art 2013

Painting a moveable alphabet - Alphabet Art 2013

The kids were really engaged. Liz is wonderful with us and the students. The artwork they produced is fabulous. Some of my students have been more engaged in these activities than anything else they’ve done this year.
— Julie Brown, Barwon Valley School teacher

Alphabet Art was a visual arts project based at Barwon Valley School in 2013. Twenty senior students with profound disabilities worked with artist, Liz McGrath, over the course of a school term. Together, they created a 'moveable alphabet' of canvases that will create ever-changing words and messages around the school environment.

Each canvas was photographed to produce a digital resource of beautiful letters that will be used in future school publications.

Liz McGrath is a practising illustrator and art teacher. She is a believer in positive community engagement and access to the arts.

 A collaboration with Barwon Valley School, Alphabet Art was proudly supported by the Howard Glover Charitable Trust
 

Kinder: Ready or Not? - 2012

Making music at playgroup - Kinder: Ready or not? 2012

Making music at playgroup - Kinder: Ready or not? 2012

Kinder: ready or not? was designed to help prepare young children from the 3214 postcode for four year old kinder. A specialist early childhood music educator worked with children, parents and the staff and volunteers at the Northern Bay Family Centre to incorporate focused group times into the existing Monday playgroup sessions. These musical group times helped prepare children for four year old kinder, gave parents skills and strategies for home and developed the skills and capacity of staff and volunteers to incorporate music into the ongoing program.

A collaboration with the Northern Bay Family Centre, Kinder: ready or not? was proudly supported by a Shell Employee Community Grant

 

WHATEM 2 - 2011

WHATEM 2 is a CD that bravely charts the rocky road that children and parents navigate together from preschool to puberty. In 2008, parents and teachers alike loved the preschool CD, whatem choo, but lamented the fact that once they went to school and began to outgrow ‘kiddie bands’, children had no choice but to move on to top 40 songs, with themes generally more appropriate for teens or even adults. In WHATEM 2, some amazing local musicians once again composed songs in a smorgasbord of musical styles, only this time, advice on how to get on with your mates and experiments in pushing boundaries have replaced action songs and nursery rhymes. Some of the themes here may still challenge parents (and kids) but in the end, this is a CD about sharing good music and starting conversations.

Recording 'Me and My Pet Zoo' - WHATEM 2 2011

Recording 'Me and My Pet Zoo' - WHATEM 2 2011

Go to our shop to purchase WHATEM 2 online and to hear samples of all the songs... or download WHATEM 2 from the iTunes store.

WHATEM 2 was proudly supported by the City of Greater GeelongMedici Studios and Mud Group