Frequently asked questions about VADEA. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here please contact us at contact@vadea.org.au. VADEA will continue to update the FAQ to reflect questions.


I’m not an Art and Design Teacher, can I be a member of VADEA?
Yes. We welcome support and membership from anyone interested in Visual Arts and Design and the role teachers play in those fields.

I’m a retailer/supplier of art equipment. Can I be a member?
Currently we only accept membership from individuals. Feel free to sign up any of your employees as VADEA members otherwise you can support VADEA’s members via paid advertising, becoming a sponsor of the next VADEA Conference, or providing prizes for a competition.

I’m a gallery owner/artist. Can I be a member?
VADEA welcomes all members and we highly value galleries and artists who want to support Art and Design education. Feel free to sign yourself or employees up as members but also let us know of your affiliation with a gallery or occupation as an artist. We will be in touch about partnering with you to run Professional Learning courses; studio visits or artist talks, Indulge and Inspire or Educator’s Previews.



I can’t access the resources.
To access the resources you must be a member of VADEA and have logged in. If you have difficulties logging in contact us via the email address or facebook. There are a few resources that are available to the public but most are for members.




What is a domain?
The domains are philosophical ideas that have antecedents in art history. They offer a conceptual layer to explain and reactivate our understanding of practice within the syllabus.  The Domains allow us to expand on the current way that practice sometimes is reduced to the generic: “ideas, intentions, choices and actions”.

Where did the Domains come from?
The domains were conceptualised in an unpublished research paper by Professor Neil Brown and Dr Althea Francini for the Literature Review for the National Review of Visual Education in Visual Arts, Craft, Design and Visual Communication (Brown, 2006). The domains are drawn from the literature of the arts and arts education and represent factors which have significantly contributed to the practice of the arts throughout history. The domains are representative, rather than exhaustive; broadly situated within history, but nonlinear in sequence. They reflect aspects of artistic practice which have endured and re-emerged throughout history. Whilst they represent approaches to practice which have evolved throughout time, they are not fixed and can each be situated within historical and contemporary art practice. 

The Domains have been presented to BOSTES as an update to the content area of Practice by leading academics Dr Kerry Thomas and Dr Karen Maras from the University of NSW. The Domains are the only proposal based on current research that have been widely circulated and endorsed through professional development days hosted by VADEA NSW, UNSW Art and Design and the Department of Education.

There are 11! Do I have to teach all of the Domains?
You are probably already working with many ideas that are associated with the domains but the answer to this question is No.

Currently you explore four perspectives known as the Frames in Stage 6 Visual Arts. (the Frames have been around since 1994 so we know them well). We would imagine that you might select one Domain and use it to inform your discussion of practice in a Stage 6 unit of work or a case study or you may decide to refer to two or three domains. How you use the Domains would be left up to you, just as you use the Frames or the Conceptual Framework. This flexibility is a strength of our syllabus and we want to maintain it.

Why do we need the Domains?
Our curriculum is 16 years old (originally published in 2000). New art forms have emerged since it was written and classroom practice has changed. There has also been a great deal of new research in the field of art education. The Domains reflect the research of academics from UNSW including Professor Neil Brown, Dr Kerry Thomas and Dr Karen Maras. The Domains offer us a way to discuss practice and support student understanding in art making, art history and art criticism.

For example, one area of contemporary art that is becoming increasingly prevalent is that of relational aesthetics (think Ani O’Neil’s Buddy System, 2006, Rikrit Tiravanija’s Thai food at 303 Gallery,1992, or the practice of Philippe Parreno). The Domain of the Digital, Relational and Multimodal would provide an ‘entry point’ to explore and situate the practice of these artists within a broader framework, which acknowledges the history and network of factors which influence their approach to artmaking. Access to the concepts, language and historical underpinnings of this Domain would assist Visual Arts teachers and students to make sense of these contemporary works. A syllabus which incorporates the domains as a fundamental part of practice will acknowledge that the visual arts exists within a field of practice.

The Syllabus is fine the way it is. Why does it need updating?  
A syllabus should reflect, guide and make accessible best practice in art education. BOSTES has updated the syllabus since it was first published and most recent draft Amendments in relation to Practice, the Conceptual Framework and the Frames are on the BOSTES website. VADEA NSW supports including the Domains in a review of the Stage 6 Visual Arts Syllabus.   

Where can I find out more?
VADEA NSW has held professional learning events to explore the possibilities of the Domains over the past two years and will continue to provide support and learning opportunities into the future.

The following resources are available as an example of the Domains in action:

  1. A HSC case study situated within the Domain of Rebellion, Transgression and Difference, focusing on the practice of Santiago Sierra, Wim Delvoye and the Chapman brothers. LINK
  2. A Stage 6 case study situated within the Domain of Cultural Studies and the Visual Arts was part of the VADEA NSW conference in 2015. This case study focused an exploration of VIVID Sydney and contemporary art festivals and can be located at the following link: http://www.art-as-spectacle.com/
  3. Dr Karen Maras presented Curriculum change for good reasons: The domains & the reinvigoration of practice as content in Visual Arts) at the VADEA NSW annual conference (May 2016). The presentation included a discussion of the ideas connected to each domain and artists that relate to them. Refer to Domains in the members section of the VADEA NSW website. LINK

VADEA encourages the debate of ideas and welcome feedback. Please contact VADEA on contact@vadea.org.au or via Facebook.