Media students feature in Anzac exhibition

Interactive documentaries by a group of RMIT Media program undergraduate students have been selected to screen by Maroondah City Council’s ArtSpace.

Video still frame from Memories in Action by students Anna Miers and Margaret Tanjutco.

The works are part of the ANZAC: through the eyes of young people exhibition supported by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Anzac Centenary fund.

RMIT lecturer and studio lead Dr Seth Keen worked with ArtSpace curator Lisa Byrne and RMIT students on remixes of a documentary made by the Walkley Award winning filmmaker, Andy Drewitt, on a 2016 youth theatre production, ‘Carrying Home’.

Keen said he has a strong interest in integrated scholarship being a part of the Media studios in the School of Media and Communication.

“The partnership with ArtSpace happened when I saw the opportunity for students to work at a professional level with a filmmaker, theatre director and curator,” he said.

“This studio was a challenge in regards to facilitating the students to work with the complex real-world technical and creative constraints of the exhibition brief.”

Byrne said the collaboration was about creating a voice for ANZAC through an intergenerational engagement with some stories that had their origin in Maroondah.

“The students provided more specific engagement with this documentary material through topics such as loss, trauma, women, memory and remembrance,” she said.

“The resulting works that were chosen for the show reflected a thoughtful and engaged consideration of what it was like, particularly for women left at home and the issues they faced.”

The students sourced and added extra material to support their ideas within the films to tell multilinear stories around ANZAC, producing a contemporary, youthful engagement and voice on ANZAC.

At the exhibition launch – Andy Drewitt, Councillor Mike Symon, theatre director Sharyn Mullens and RMIT student Eloise Large.

RMIT student Eloise Large in the Bachelor of Communication (Media) is one of the producers of a selected interactive documentary, and joined City Councillor, Mike Symon, and theatre director Sharryn Mullens as a guest speaker at the launch of the exhibition.

“We, as a collective, were given an opportunity to produce a visual art piece that represented what ANZAC meant to us,” she said.

“For my team, the outcome was unexpected in relation to producing a perspective on trauma, through the use of frame-by-frame animation.

“In our studio, there was a wide variety of perspectives created on ANZAC, and our project is just a small portion of the amazing work completed in our studio.”

Maroondah Mayor Mike Symon said this unique ANZAC exhibition is a refreshing, contemporary engagement with an important part of Australia’s history.

“The collaborative creative process of this exhibition provided RMIT students with the ability to reflect on the emotions of people living during World War One,” Councillor Symon said.

The themes present a contemporary engagement with some of the prominent people of World War One that have a significant legacy in the City of Maroondah.

The ANZAC exhibition runs until Sunday 21 May at ArtSpace Realm, 175 Maroondah Highway Ringwood.

Lentara intern graduates return to RMIT Media and Design studio

RMIT’s Codesign studio with Lentara UnitingCare responds to social issues they face and has also led to the ongoing employment of two graduates and one third-year student.

Students working around a table
Graduate Georgia Verrells has come back to RMIT to assist current students in the studio.

The Lentara Codesign studio is a cross-disciplinary collaboration in the School of Media and Communication with an agency of one of the largest community service based not-for-profit organisations in Australia.

Lentara UnitingCare is at the forefront of social innovation, facilitating a wide range of services, including asylum seeker housing, emergency relief programs and family services.

Lecturer Dr Seth Keen, who leads the studio with Dr Neal Haslem, said the partnership between Lentara UnitingCare and RMIT Communication Design and Media students was established in 2016 to directly facilitate the development of social innovation and entrepreneurship through codesign, responding to the social issues faced daily by this organisation.

“Last year, students developed creative and digital responses to a range of Lentara projects, including their annual Winter Appeal, Asylum Seeker Housing campaign, Men’s Shed, a Shower Bus for the homeless, and developing store identity branding for their recycled clothing initiative,” he said.

The studio won a Dean’s Award for Integrated Scholarship in 2016 and it has also resulted in part-time jobs for three 2016 students at Lentara – Blake Fullwood and Georgia Verrells from the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) and Evan Bryce Riddle from the Bachelor of Communication (Media).

Graduate Bryce Riddle is working as a Digital, Print and Communications Assistant within Lentara’s media and communications department, undertaking a range of creative and strategic tasks, including digital content development, video creation, social media management, web updates and news writing.

“It all began through participation in the RMIT collaborative studio in 2016, where the students had executed some fantastic projects that Lentara didn’t want to let go to waste, so they decided that they wanted to hire one of the students to continue the work and implement it,” Riddle said.

“Three of us interviewed, and I guess we all brought different skill-sets that could assist Lentara, so they brought us all on board!

“That was initially a 12 week internship, and we’ve gone on to become members of the team, which has been a wonderful opportunity and great transition from university life into the professional world.”

Keen said it has been amazing to watch students in the studio last year return with their Lentara manager as employed graduates and present to the studio, and work with students on 2017 projects as guides and mentors.

“I could not have hoped for a better outcome in regards to the integration of scholarship with industry practices,” he said.

Smiling students
From left to right; Gemma Halloran from Lentara UnitingCare with Evan Bryce Riddle, Blake Fullwood and Georgia Verrells.

Gemma Halloran, who is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator of Lentara said that as an organization they broke new ground for their agency in 2016 by collaborating with RMIT and furthered this with the placement of three students in paid internships at Lentara.

“The quality of the work that the RMIT studio developed and the high standard of career readiness in each of the internships has led to them becoming permanent assets in the Lentara marketing and communications team,” she said.

“It is wonderful that they will now have a chance to reflect on the work in the 2017 studio collaboration, to provide insight and to support their RMIT peers to work through the real world design problems we as an organization face. “

This year in the collaborative studio, the students will be delving into a broad range of projects needing digital communication strategies, designing print and media campaigns, and developing identity and network strategies.

Riddle said that together with his fellow Lentara staff, he will be assisting the RMIT groups and trying to provide extra insight to help them reach further with their projects and goals.

“Since I experienced a similar journey last year, I have an understanding of the thought processes required to tackle the issues presented and additionally have inside knowledge on Lentara and its services,” he said.

Story: Wendy Little / RMIT