Careers In Art: Renee Rawlinson

Term: 3 Year: 2009

Graduate Art Teacher

Renee Rawlinson is a Graduate Art Teacher at Banyule Primary School

When you were little what did you want to become?
At Kinder: A fairy, Primary School: A nurse, High School: A fashion designer

What did you study at school and university?
VCE: Art, Studio Arts, Hospitality, Dance.
University: Bachelor of Primary Education at RMIT, Bundoora.

What attracted you to a career in teaching?
My grade 5 teacher: Miss Bond, who always made learning fun and hands-on! My VCE Studio Arts teacher: Mrs Novak, who inspired me to do my best and to pursue a career in Art Education.

Any career highlights?
During university I was awarded with The Golden Key – which meant I was in the top 15% of all RMIT students for 2008. This was pretty cool and unexpected.
Doing a month’s placement in The Northern Territory (North East Arnhem Land) on Elcho Island, which was an amazing experience and something I would love to do again. I learnt so much about myself and it reminded me how much I love teaching. This year: Getting the keys to my own classroom, setting up my art room and realising I am a ‘real’ teacher.

What’s your favourite piece of art work?
I love Pop Art - anything by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein. This was one of my favourite studies during high school.The other was Frida Kahlo. I love her use of colour and expression. The Two Fridas is my favourite.

What period in art history inspires you the most?
Modern and contemporary – I feel Art Nouveau/Art Deco, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Graffiti/Street Art most inspire me.

What book are you reading right now?
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.

What do you do to unwind?
Go out for Sushi and Miso soup: I love Japanese food. Go see a band or go to a gig. I love live music. Shopping for movies and music! I also love Op Shopping!

What is your favourite medium to work with?
Textiles or Photography.

What are some of the negative aspects of your job?
Cleaning up! I find it takes so much longer to clean up then I expected -especially clay.
Report writing for the first time, I’m sure I’ll get better at it next time round!
Sometimes, juggling two specialists – I also teach Cultural Studies (Prep – 6), so double planning and double reports.

What is something you would love to do that you haven’t already done?
Travel overseas. I have never left Australia. I would love to go to Japan, Germany and Egypt!

Where do you get most of your inspiration?
From Music, movies and popular culture/fashion. My friends, family and the children/school. NGV, Zart and ACMI.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?
My Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City inspired – Year 12 Graduation dress. Or my pink $5 50’s prom-style dress from Savers!

Who would you most like to sit next to on a flight to Europe?
That’s tough: Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn or Patience Hodgson from The Grates.

If you were speaking to a secondary school student who was showing interest in following in your footsteps, what advice would you give them?
Give it a go. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about yourself. Take on the challenge of a specialist (or two!) It’s so much fun. Be passionate about what you do. The kids will pick up on it and it’s exciting when they enjoy what they are doing as much as you are. Teach around Australia! Do a placement or a teaching block in The Northern Territory. And remember; teaching can take you overseas!!!

Supporting teachers in creative education