In her shared role as Director of Drama at John Curtin College of the Arts, Elissa strives to provide leadership that encourages a culture of curiosity, creativity, empathy and exemplary teaching practice and learning opportunities.
Her passion for Drama is founded in her belief of the connection between Arts practice and the holistic contribution the Arts make to the intellectual and emotional growth of an individual. With 18 years of teaching experience, Elissa has worked in a number of educational settings in both the private and public sectors, and has worked as a classroom teacher, Head of Learning Area and Specialist Drama Education Consultant. She is a WACE practical examination marker and a trained and experienced Gifted and Talented educator who has a deep knowledge of the identification and education of “gifted” students. Elissa has a passion for differentiating learning experiences so that every student has the best opportunity to realise their potential.
Elissa is an experienced theatre director who has directed young people in a variety of theatrical styles. Her true passion lies in contemporary theatre and the use of technology in theatre works, and within the classroom, to enhance learning experiences. She is committed to her own professional growth and development which has seen her train with the London International School of Performing as well as with NYFA (New York Film Academy) and, she has studied extensively with SITI Company in New York City to further develop her knowledge of contemporary theatre practices.
Elissa believes that there should be strong ties between the education sector, the broader community and contemporary industry practice. Through a variety of extension programs, Students are provided with opportunities to immerse themselves in a variety of Arts experiences from theatre visits, to exposure to a wide range of creative minds. Projects managed by the Directors of Drama have sought to expose students to experienced practising artists and tertiary educators that, willingly and openly, share their extensive expertise with students. This connection makes learning experiences relevant for students and applicable to real world experiences.
In addition, through her Masters of Education research, Elissa understands that Drama is a valuable tool for developing 21st Century job competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication. These skills, emphasised and developed through the Arts, are nurtured by Elissa for both staff and students. In this way the John Curtin Drama department enables the development of individuals that are resilient and innovative, who are able to contribute to their community, and society as a whole, in a positive, thoughtful manner, creating students who are more adept at facing the ever changing landscape of the unpredictable world in which we live.
Elissa is passionate about teaching young people and helping them to continually strive to be the best versions of themselves.