Term 2 Program

Holidays have gone away and we’re returning to our Term 2 Program after an abridged collection of Intro Sessions to our fabulous programs, and some intensive inspiration and development tours – from Maria Island to Broulee.


In Creative Catalyst, we start to huddle in close as Autumn turns cold with Soup Kitchen Ceramics and Spooning, which promises to provide beautiful bowls and special spoons for devouring wintry broths and stews. As the nights grow darker and the days shorter, stay tuned for some beautiful Lanterns in Cities of Light, and chart a course for warmer waters with Imagination Map coming soon.


In Vala, we’re launching a whole new collection of stories. It’s really exciting – as we begin with Priests of the Ancient Nile, and discover the careful interplay of seasons, floods, droughts, and the people in Ancient Egypt. We’re charmed to introduce The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots as students take on the role of the ladies-in-waiting, the cooks and stablehands, and more of the famous White Queen, and our old favourites from the Young Mutant Chronicles return to a starring role in the Ok-Li Plague.


Lastly in Sparks, there’s a host of delicious and delectable doughy delights to explore in World Cooking! Employing not only the talents of our (frankly amazing) Sparks facilitators Anna, Annika, Esther and (introducing) Ella, we’re also bringing the terrific talents of our mæstro d’quisine Ruth to bear. We’re going to begin with a batch of Hembesha – a kind of flatbread originating in Eritrea, and we’ll continue through Finnish breads, Irish pancakes, Rotis, and then when winter hits we’ll have some Polish Dumplings to line our bellies.

You can check out the entire program after the jump.

Continue reading Term 2 Program

The Winter Holiday Program

Aeoncademy is excited to have launched our Winter Holiday Program! Running from the 3rd  to the 24th of July, our program is jam packed with awesome opportunities for some serious Creativity.

Winter Holiday Program

In our Creative Catalyst program these holidays we’re bringing back some classic sculpture workshops, like Soup Kitchen Ceramics and Get A Head, alongside some brand new explorations in our diorama workshop Cities of Light and painting workshop Lost in the Clouds. In Soup Kitchen Ceramics, students will explore skills like coiling, slab building and moulding as they produce beautifully glazed domestic ware. After they’ve been fired, the ceramic vessels will be souper beautiful and ready to use!

In Vala, our new set of awesome adventures continue with Camelot Rising, and The Great Translator. We’ll also be looking back to some classic stories from Time Bandits – King Solomon’s Mines – to the exciting story of Cavalry & Aliens. Oh and we can’t forget the fabulous Young Mutant Chronicles coming up with a double header of Pandemic Panic and the mysterious Beast in the Underbelly.

The Program

Aeoncadey’s ethos of Education through Creativity is the center of all our programming. Check out the Winter Holiday Program after the jump!

Continue reading The Winter Holiday Program

Open Day raffle for a cure for Freyja

It’s one week before Aeoncademy’s Open Day ( Saturday 27th May) and we want to help raise some funds for Freyja on the day. Many of you have been following her family’s story through social media, word of mouth and know her through the Yarralumla Primary School community. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Freyja is 5 and has a rare and aggressive cancer which needs some very expensive treatment. You can find all the information you need at https://www.acureforfreyja.com/

Freyja before the cancer diagnosis
Freyja the elf warrior before cancer was diagnosed.

We feel very sad about the terrible situation Lizzie and her three girls, Brynn, Inge and Freyja are in. We’ve known all four of them for years and they have spent many hours at Aeoncademy. They often spent the entire day participating keenly in all the Open Day activities.

This Saturday we will be running a raffle to raise some cash for the cause. For first prize Aeoncademy is donating two places in any of our vacation programs to be used during this year. There will be a second and third prize as well decided on by the end of the week. Please consider buying a raffle ticket when you make your booking for the Winter vacation program. The raffle, like our Open day, is open to everyone, whether participating in our programs or just passing by, so drop in this Saturday 27th between 10 and 4  and buy a raffle ticket or two to support the family.

A new/old facilitator, Ochre

Aeoncademy has a philosophy of small is beautiful. We are a small, family business and many of our workers have grown up with the service.

Let me introduce you to Ochre. Many of you have known Ochre for a long time. She grew up in the program and has been to thousands of Creative Catalyst classes.  Ochre has been assisting at Aeoncademy for over 7 years, in Sparks, Vala and Creative Catalyst .  She has worked as a general hand and the caterer throughout the term and over the vacation period. She knows our operation inside out.

For the last two years Ochre has been training to deliver art classes for children and young people. She has helped deliver workshops at public venues, outside school care and vacation programs.

Ochre has been facilitating Thursday clay classes under the wing of Teffany Thiedeman (Artistic Director of Aeoncademy) for three terms. Teffany is also Ochre’s mother which often causes great amusement to the students when they hear Teffany called ‘Mum’! Ochre is currently studying Anthropology and Environmental Science at the ANU and intends to take  electives in the visual arts. Her favorite medium is ceramics and also wearable art. Over the course of her studies at Aeoncademy she has developed excellent skills in her art fields.

Wearable Art


You can now expect to also see her teaching on Monday afternoons under the supervision of Monica Castelo (senior facilitator, teacher and artist). We believe one of the best things about Aeoncademy is the commitment and stability of our people, allowing real relationships to foster between students and staff. We also maintain a support system allowing young people to grow into their roles as educators and facilitators of our very specialised programs.

Monica adding some vital features

This term you will see Monica and Teffany even more regularly around the centre as they train and support facilitators in putting into practice the art programs they design.  Anna and Andrew with more than a decade of combined experience at Aeoncademy continue to support and inspire our young  facilitators while keeping the centre running smoothly. Please feel free to say hello and approach us with any questions, plans or ideas that you have.

Aeoncademy’s Winter Open Day!

Keep your Creative Spark burning at the Aeoncademy Open Day!

All day we’ll be helping you nurture your own Creative Spark, whether you’re a Preschooler or a Parent, or anything in between! All day we’ll have clay to play with, watercolours to paint with, a magnificent exhibition of students’ work, and enough drawing, crafternooning, making and more to keep all comers involved!

Tantalise your tastebuds with delicious food from Scrumpers Garden, who will provide a delicious lunch (gold coin donation) and is collaborating with our Sparks to put together some sweet treats throughout the day!

Speaking of lunch – at around lunchtime we’ll have a fabulous Vala Dramatic Adventure – and you’re invited to join in! Follow the story of the Knights of the Round Table and how the Sword in the Stone first came to be. With a bit of luck, and some chivalrous behaviour in the Grand Tourney, you might be the one who draws the Sword from the Stone!

We’ll also announce the winner of the Vala Contributor’s Prize and release our fantastic Aeondawn Magazine – both in collectors edition Print and Online!

And (of course) we will release our Winter Holiday Program!

Jam Packed with warm wintery visual arts and stories that take us from the Scottish Highlands to the Himalayas! Remember, all holiday bookings made on the day are $152 – a massive 20% off the full price!

So come and discover Aeoncademy, and meet the team, including the visionaries and directors of Aeoncademy Mathew Long and Teffany Thiedeman, as well as all our different educators, and learn all about Education through Creativity!

Position Available: Casual Assistant

Aeoncademy is seeking Assistants to join our team.

The Successful Applicants will:

Be High-Energy and enjoy working with children.
Be ready and able to learn new skills on the fly.
Possess a valid Working with Vulnerable People Card and I’mAlert certificate.
Be available for Casual work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays And/Or Thursdays, with the potential for shifts on other days.
Aeoncademy is an organisation that is all about Education and Total Human Enrichment through Creativity, a philosophy that stretches through everything we do. This applies to our team as well.

At Aeoncademy, we provide for our team:

  • A caring, team-oriented workplace
  • On-The-Job training and additional (free!) Professional Development opportunities in Visual Arts, Dramatic Storytelling, and more.
  • Exciting scope to rise through the ranks for dedicated and empowered people
  • Opportunity to engage with our provision of Education through Creativity, and help mould the place you work!

To Apply:

Send a copy of your CV and your Working with Vulnerable People card to the Aeoncademy email address. Make sure you’ve got a phone number for us to organise an interview and/or trial shift.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Aeon Team Away

Periodically at Aeoncademy, artistic directors, Mathew and Teffany have, for many years, facilitated intensive weekends of team-building, programming, and philosophising down at a little house in Broulee.
Beautiful South Coast
And so it was that late on Friday evening we made our way down the winding road and over the Clyde to reach our weekend.

Before we go in to what we got up to, we should mention a little by way of context.

Aeoncademy, founded by Mathew and Teffany, has continued to grow and expand in terms of size and in terms of our team, and over the last twelve (or so) months, with Aeoncademy’s growing footprint, we’ve brought a number of extra amazing individuals into the team, or advanced them in leaps and bounds by way of responsibility. Monica with her years of teaching experience continues to be a mentor and resource for our new trainees, along with Anna and Andrew, who have been with Aeoncademy for years.
Following in the footsteps of the Vala Director, Mathew Long
Over the course of these weekends, following the same kind of creative modalities delivered in Aeoncademy, Teff and Math facilitate the engagement between the Team and the Aeoncademy philosophy.

These intensive weekends have, for a long time, developed the way we work as a team, harnessing the experiences we have as a team to solidify the connections between our trainees, facilitators, executive team and directors, building the bonds of our Aeon family.
Bookkeeper and finance officer Garry, gets Teffany to carry the books!
These weekends – as fun, light, and enjoyable as they are, are periods of significant development for all of us here as a part of Aeoncademy. We learn more about each other, grow closer as a team and practice new and old skills, helping teach and grow our creative capabilities.
Monica Capturing a trio of Vala types
From Sand-Sculpture to Sketching, from Campfire Stories to Role Playing Games, over the our Team Away, Aeoncademy has drawn closer together and strengthened who we are and what we do.

So – with that in mind – let me introduce our newest members of the team; beginning with Enki.
We’ve all known Enki for a very, very long time as the son of our Creative Directors, but over the last term Enki has stepped into an exciting role as a Trainee Facilitator – taking on responsibility for Vala classes and administering the Aeoncademy Office – and is almost ready to be set free on these responsibilities solo.

Ella is another of our trainees, who’s stepping up fast to the plate and crossing over into Facilitation. Ella, who also attended Aeoncademy from when she was very young, has been moving into running the facilitation of our Sparks program, as well as taking on a role in the office.

We also got to have Steph and Annika along for our intensive weekend to help facilitate their ongoing growth as a part of Aeon.
Annika and Steph
Both Steph and Annika came on at around the same time, midway through last year, and have seemed to take to the Aeon way like a stingray to water.

Annika has accepted, and graduated a traineeship over the fourth term last year, and is now Facilitating on the floor and in the office.

Now that we’re back, we’re unfolding our program for Term 2.

Adventure to Maria Island

Over the Anzac Day Weekend, while Mad Hatters and Jabberwocks took over the Aeoncademy Centre, a few members of our team managed to get away for a brief adventure.

Together, Mathew, Teffany, Ochre, Enki, and Andrew loaded up and took a cruise to Maria Island.

Maria island – originally pronounced ‘Mar-ree-ah’, but now pronounced ‘Ma-ry-ah’, was named for Maria Van Dieman in the 17th Century, and lays across the Mercury Passage from Triabuna, off the East Coast of Tasmania.

We set forth, early on Monday Morning, just as the centre doors opened, and stepped aboard the Spirit of Maria, a gorgeous boat built for the unique cruise that we then embarked upon.

First, we made our way across the straits, touched down on Maria Island and checked in with the conditions, then set out to Ille Des Phoques – the Island of Seals.

The seals, whom it should be mention reek, were used to our boat’s presence in their waters, and while they were not at all tame – they stayed a wary distance at all times – they were happy enough to explore what was going on, dancing and diving underneath us and watching us with curiosity.

While we were exploring the island by boat, we circled into some frankly fantastic caves. Students of the Young Mutant Chronicles are well aware of how bright and vibrant the ocean can be – but it was unreal to see these amazing colours in person.

Teffany says she’s inspired – and ready to bring these amazing colours back into an amazing Art Workshop.

Eventually, and regretfully, we left our friendly seals behind and made our way back to Maria Island, past more amazing caves, caverns, and the Fossil Cliffs…

…then on to Darlington – the only township on the island (population: 3 park rangers, 200 wombats) for a late lunch and a walk.

Maria island has a fascinating history, stretching from the Aboriginal Tyreddeme band of the Oyster Bay tribe, through the Convict Period of its history where the island became an Australian Alcatraz, to the roaring industry of entrepreneur Diego Bernacchi in wine, cement, and tourism.

Once on the island, exploring the remains of a collection of industries, and the magnificent natural beauty, we made our way around to a sandstone embankment called the Painted Cliffs.

This space needs a workshop of its own to unpack – amazing sandstone cliffs eroded in fascinating patterns, with beautiful sea life all around.

The landscapes there and back, as well as the wildlife, were just unreal. Words fail me, so pictures will need to suffice.

From there, it was a quick rush back to the boat, all aboard, and off to conclude a magnificent day.

Big thanks go out to East Coast Cruises for the wonderful tour.

Oh, and happy 50th birthday, Mathew!

Southern Harvest Festival

Ruth making spider pizzas and maggoty capsicums, check out that salad- ewwwww!

Our fantastic Maestro of the Kitchen, Ruth, is a founding member of the Southern Harvest association, and is helping spread the word about good, local, delicious food.

To that end, this weekend come and check out the Southern Harvest Festival in Bungendore! Food, wine, cooking demos, and more all come together to help show off what amazing food is available just around the corner!

Aeoncademy is really passionate about providing great local food, and Ruth has been helping us explore some really exciting ways of doing so, including now taking on and developing our amazing Kitchen Garden program.

We’ve also got something going at the Southern Harvest festival – head along and check out our beautiful Cornucopia Painting – take a snap and post it to our Facebook page when you find it!

We’re looking forward to doing more with Southern Harvest as they and we continue to grow.

Image may contain: text and food

About the festival, Southern Harvest have to say:

Join us for a weekend that promises to put Bungendore on the map as an identity for food, farming and fibre related activities. The Bungendore Harvest Festival will promote integrity and freshness in the growing, breeding and production of produce in the Southern Harvest Region.

On Friday 28th April, linger over meals showcasing locally sourced food and beverages.

On Saturday 29th April, the streets of Bungendore will come alive with stalls, talks, cooking demonstrations and other activities. The Festival will take place in marquees along the footpaths in Ellendon Street and at participating businesses. Stalls along Ellendon Street will include fresh seasonal produce and meat from local farmers, food preserved from local harvests, local wines for tasting, other local food delights.

On Sunday 30th April, explore the region and discover Bungendore’s potential as a regional food destination. Participate in farm and winery tours, sample Bungendore’s freshest and finest local food at cafes and restaurants, and attend courses and demonstrations.

So head out and enjoy awesome food and amazing produce on offer.

Find out more.

Aeoncademy Facilitator at You Are Here 2017

Our fantastic Creative Catalyst facilitator and all round excellent artist, Isabelle Mackay-Sim, is appearing as part of the You Are Here festival with a brand new artistic installation: Municipal Animal.

You Are Here 2017

Here’s what You Are Here has to say about the exhibition:

“Municipal Animal is an interactive exhibition to help you experiment with a new and fantastical identity – to escape your human repression and insecurities. Isabelle Mackay-Sim’s elaborately constructed masks sit between sculpture and costume and their wearers will inject a healthy dose of surrealism into the landscape of the city centre. The masks are made from recycled materials crowd-sourced from around Canberra.

This installation has two Accompanied Explorations where participants are encouraged to try on the masks to dreamy and improvised soundscapes by local indie duo, Kilroy.”

You can check out Municipal Animal at the You Are Here Hub (46 Northbourne ave.) from the 5th to the 9th of April as part of the You Are Here festival.

You Are Here 2017 wraps up just in time for our Autumn Holiday Program!

Nurturing the Creative Spark