The decision to host two visiting artists at a two-day workshop at Port Macquarie's MacKillop College could reshape how the Lismore Diocese presents its professional learning in the future.
The workshop ended on Thursday and attracted 16 art teachers from Murwillumbah, Woodlawn, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Grafton and Port Macquarie.
Aly de Groot is from a remote island in the Gulf of Carpentaria while Juz Kitson is a rising contemporary ceramic artist who spends six months of the year in China.
Catholic Schools Office's education officer Tim Kelly said the ability to attract the international standard artists was a one-off.
"These teachers probably won't get an opportunity like this again," Mr Kelly said.
"But we will certainly look to hosting similar events again. This has been a wonderful success.
"Perhaps we will even look at reshaping how we present professional learning in the future.
"But not just in art, but across archaeology, history, the list is endless and could reshape these in-service sessions."
Leader of learning creative arts, MacKillop College and workshop organiser Loretta North was ecstatic with the outcome.
"The teachers are undertaking professional in-service on their own skill development to learn these skills," she said.
"The teachers will then take these new-found skills back into their own classrooms and redesign and develop art units at their own schools.
"The workshop themes are sustainability and ecology; using recycled materials such as bale and twine, parts of ghost nets and, in some cases, local grasses.
"Because of the currents, these ghost nets are from fishing trawlers and are often washed up on beaches around the the Gulf of Carpentaria."
Ms North said Aly shows Aboriginal women how to re-purpose the cut up nets and other things into objects based on traditional aboriginal basketry techniques.
"The idea of the workshop is that the teachers learn these new basic skills and then return them to their own classrooms," she added.
Ms North said another positive for the workshop was the ability for art teachers to connect with their peers.
"When you are in a regional school you can feel quite isolated from galleries or networks," she said.
"This workshop brings teachers together in a way that helps develop their skills and have the ability to share these newly-learnt techniques.
"The feedback has been brilliant.
"The materials being used are not exceptional, but the results being produced are," she said.
The workshop was funded under the visual arts educators network with top-up funding from the Catholic Schools Office.
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