Partnership offers exciting new subjects

In what is thought to be an Australian first, a University has partnered with a regional gallery to deliver engaging, unique, fully-accredited subjects.

The opportunity to study ancient Greek artefacts on loan from a world-renowned museum has seen students and non-students alike flock to La Trobe University's Bendigo Campus to study.

The inaugural subject, Gods and Monsters, Sex and Desire: The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece began last weekend and allows students to engage with The British Museum's The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece exhibition, currently on display at Bendigo Art Gallery.

'Right now, thousands of miles from the archaeological digs of Greece, students, scholars and members of the public are experiencing the beauty of The British Museum's internationally acclaimed ancient Greek collection,' said Professor Richard Speed, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional).

'Together, La Trobe and Bendigo Art Gallery have reimagined how to structure and deliver intensive, block-mode subjects that are distinctive, unique and flexible.

'Not only is this a great opportunity for those wanting to learn, it provides a significant boost to the Bendigo community and local economy with dozens of people travelling to the region for two full weekends.'

Over six days, La Trobe University scholars are leading the class through an exploration of beauty and the human condition through the eyes of the ancient Greeks.

Humanities and Social Sciences Head of School Christopher Mackie said the popular subject had attracted an 'interesting mix' of students, including teachers undergoing professional development, community members furthering their knowledge and existing La Trobe students.

'Students are engaging with world-class artefacts and learning a lot at the same time, which is fantastic,' Professor Mackie said.

'For existing students, this unique learning opportunity counts for real credits towards their course.' 

Bendigo Art Gallery Director Karen Quinlan said the new subject provided great opportunities.

'We are so pleased to be working with La Trobe University on this new subject,' Ms Quinlan said. 

'Creating this museum-based learning experience affords the general public, students, La Trobe and Bendigo Art Gallery staff the opportunity for deeper engagement and new ways to connect.' 

The two-weekend intensive course of lectures, seminars and after-hours museum engagement will culminate on Sunday 24 August.

A public lecture on ancient Greece will be held at the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre, 121 View Street, Bendigo on Saturday 23 August at 4pm and all interested community members are welcome to attend.

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Tom O'Callaghan, Media and Communications Unit, T 03 5444 7415 M 0408 900 469