This multi-arts project  involving Westall Secondary College and Arena Theatre Company explored the themes of nationhood, exile and belonging.


Westall Secondary College is small school in Clayton, Melbourne, with a very high proportion of students drawn from non-English speaking backgrounds who have limited access to the Arts and Technology curriculum due to the size of the school.

In partnership with Arena Theatre they undertook a project exploring the concepts of Exile, belonging, nationhood and identity, which was driven by three key statements:

  • A school is a nation
  • We are all exiles, or could be
  • Sometimes we have to fight to protect what is precious

The student learning and increase in confidence of the students far exceeded the expectations of the teachers, and the stories and creativity the students shared with the artists and the audience were often extraordinary, inspiring, funny and sometimes deeply moving.

The Exile Project was funded through the Extended Schools Residencies program.

This clip focuses on the curriculum planning and integration for the 2012 performance and visual arts project undertaken by Westall Secondary School and Arena Theatre.

The Exile Project explored the themes of nationhood and belonging, and was integrated across The Arts; including Drama, Dance, Media Studies, Visual Communication and Photography as well as Level 5 English and Humanities. Westall Secondary School teachers and Arena Theatre artists talk here about their approaches to curriculum planning for this inspirational project, and highlight some of the educational and personal outcomes resulting from the workshops and performances.

The Exile Project was funded through the Extended Schools Residencies program.