Uni Life

So you want to get into the arts?

Interested in the creative side of things? Nadene Budden has gathered all the places on campus students can get involved just for you.

It has always been tough to break into and make it in the creative industries. From painting to writing to performing, what opportunities does UON provide students to help their careers outside the lecture theatre?

First up, for those students just beginning to show interest in the arts, is Food Expression Art Song Thought (FEAST), aimed at students interested in exploring the arts through its many forms. FEAST encourages its members to not only consume art but also build an appreciation of it and even create their own. Other student societies, such as Makerspace, the Drama Society, and Newcastle Hip Hop Society also showcase a wide range of interests across different art forms to help students find a niche for their own creative interests.

Outside of these groups, some may think it to be difficult to start getting their work out there to other university students and, more importantly, the world to see. But it isn’t too difficult – you just have to know where to go. “There are opportunities for students to take advantage of the facilities that are around.” Hugh Gordon, Events Assistant at UON, said. If you frequent Callaghan campus, you’ve probably seen Gordon helping out around the soundboards or helping set up just before a lunchtime performance.

Watt Space, for those unfamiliar, is the student-run gallery now located across from the Newcastle city campus, and is the perfect place for those really wanting to showcase their works. Starting in the late eighties, Watt Space is now Australia’s longest surviving student-run gallery (so those involved certainly have a legacy to uphold). Applications for students to exhibit their work can be found on the Watt Space page on the UON website.

For more musically inclined students, UON has a tonne of opportunities to perform across different campuses. Starting in Callaghan, there are lunchtime performances held throughout the week at both the Derkenne Courtyard and Bar On The Hill. With over 50 per cent of the entertainment student-based acts, aspiring musicians are encouraged to explore their talents within the friendly and laid back campus environment. “Wherever we can through the entertainment programs we try to offer the student something they wouldn’t normally see.” Gordon said. Need a further incentive to finally get out there and show the world what you have? Lunchtime entertainment at Callaghan is also a paid gig.

Acts in UON’s lineup may also get opportunities to perform during university open days, graduation ceremonies and even big events such as Autonomy Day (where this year there was an overwhelming amount of UON students included in the lineup).

Students interested in theatre – from writing, to stage or technical management to acting – can also take part in the annual revues within the Law and Medicine faculties. With Uni Revue making a comeback this year after a hiatus spanning decades, students from every faculty are now even more encouraged to participate in the creation of productions at UON.

UON is also host to annual DJ and Band (which has just begun to heat up!) Competitions held at Bar On The Hill offering the winner the chance to compete on a national scale and walk home with some prize money too.

Last, but certainly not least, is Create2308, UON’s own creative arts festival held every year on Callaghan campus. Submissions are now open to members of the UON community to be part of the celebrations and showcase their work. Those who successfully apply to be a part of the celebrations will also receive funding by UON to pursue their creative projects. Ourimbah also has its own creative arts festival that offers students funding for their projects called Create2258.

Although there are probably many other nooks and crannies around UON available for creative students, these are definitely ones to watch out for.To hear the latest information on how you can get involved in the creative arts during your time at UON, don’t be afraid to join some clubs and start talking to fellow creatives – they just might be your next inspiration.

Feature Image: Nic Roberts



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