Tough times for WAAPA

WAAPA_logoAs a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, I can say with absolute confidence that WAAPA is an incredible place to study. The passion of both the teachers and students create a learning environment unlike any I have ever seen before.

Not only does the school boast an enormous list of alumni including the likes of Hugh Jackman, Tim Minchin, Lucy Durack and Lisa McCune, it is continuing to provide education in the arts to young performers each year in a spectacular fashion.

Recently, WAAPA was named as one of the top 25 Arts training institutions in the world, and yet, the school is struggling to find adequate funding.

A review of the school, initiated by Professor Kerry Cox, Vice Chancellor of Edith Cowan University (the uni WAAPA belongs to) shows that the school is underfunded. His response to questions posed by the ABC in a news piece which aired on Saturday was this:

“I am aware that they do have high work loads and that has to be examined. Can you actually get the same outcome with a little less effort?”

I was incredibly saddened by this story and I understand of course, that if the school is not breaking even, it is exceeding it’s funding. But to augment the class sizes and cut down on the time spent learning as the WAAPA review suggests surely can’t be the only way to combat the issue.

This is a link to the ABC WA news report – there may be some familiar faces in the archival footage! – it’s well worth a look. 

Do you have any thoughts on this issue? Post your comments below…

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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