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Children, Families & Creative Learning

Cultivating the next generation of creative minds

The Children, Families & Creative Learning program engages more than 190,000 people annually with a suite of programs that playfully encourages creativity and life-long learning.  In 1977, just four years after the Sydney Opera House opened, programming began for children, families and their caregivers to inspire creative thinking in a building that’s synonymous with imagination and innovation. Since then, the program has evolved to address the needs of children today through cutting-edge and best practice programs delivered onsite, online and in schools.

Tamara Harrison, Head of Children, Families and Creative Learning program curates diverse performances at the Opera House from the best Australian and international theatre-makers for children, families and caregivers, with free creative play workshops offered in the school holidays.

Schools programming continues throughout the year and is aligned to contemporary learning outcomes including: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. The main initiatives are: Digital Creative Learning – free live streamed performances, interactive workshops and digital tours that are delivered online into classroom and home-school settings; Creative Learning – rich on-site learning and performance experiences and; Creative Leadership in Learning – a tailored, immersive, three-year program for school leaders to embed creativity in the heart of their school.

Schools

The Opera House's Creative Learning program is Australia's respected destination for the creative development of teachers and students, offering a year-round program of performing arts, digital, creative and educational experiences.

Students can experience the Opera House by attending excursions that enrich their understanding of their world through shows, talks and masterclasses.

Primary and secondary students around NSW - and across Australia - can still visit the Opera House virtually through our Digital Creative Learning program. Live, interactive, and free to all Australian public schools, this program also offers a unique suite of digital excursions including author talks, interactive workshops and tours that take students behind-the-scenes at Bennelong Point and extend the live performance program for deeper learning. For teachers, a range of free lesson plans and educational resources are also available here for students learning in the classroom or at home. 

Creative Leadership in Learning

Creative Leadership in Learning is an innovative program which embeds creativity into school ecosystems as an active and enabling practice. Through deep, long-term relationships with schools a tailored educational program is built based on the school’s specific needs and interests.

Creative Leadership in Learning exports the artistic resources and creative processes of the Sydney Opera House well beyond Bennelong Point. Encouraging students and teachers to see the Opera House as an extension of their own dynamic learning environment.

Tamara Harrison, Head of Children, Families and Creative Learning

With extensive national and international experience in the arts and culture sector across a range of performance genres, Tamara Harrison leads the Children, Families and Creative Learning program.

She has held a number of senior positions at The School of Life Australia, Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Malthouse Theatre, across programming, sector and audience development, partnerships and communications.

As Executive Producer/CEO of Polyglot Theatre, Harrison was responsible for an annual program of projects and performances for young people, as well as leading the company’s international collaborations and touring. Most recently, she has worked with Circus Oz and The Ethics Centre, consulting on international programming and talks and ideas events.

“My ambition for our program is to showcase the best performances and create space for children and young people to fall in love with their own imaginations – to be inspired to dream, to think differently, to understand other people’s experiences, and envision how they want the world to be.

Research shows that arts and creativity help teach empathy, social skills and collaboration in children and young people. It also improves the whole child: their mental health and wellbeing, short-term academic outcomes and long-term life outcomes which leads to richer and stronger communities.

They will inherit an increasingly complex and challenging world. So we focus our work on equipping them with the know-how so they can trust their own creativity to solve the problems of tomorrow.”

Explore

The Wiggles (Live)

Dress up, dance and sing along with The Wiggles! Join Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony as they shimmy and shake onto the Sydney Opera House stage for a very Wiggly performance!

Arty Farty - A Podcast for Kids

Our brand new podcast Arty Farty – A Podcast for Kids has been created especially for Kid Creatives. We’re excited to share special moments, insights, tips, tricks and more from kids themselves, and creative types who appear here at the House.

There's a Sea in my Bedroom (Premiere)

Discover new music for little ears in this beautifully reimagined classic tale, weaving storytelling with an original score performed by musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

The Artificial Reef Project

Discover what's living in the water around the Opera House, learn about the project to protect it and ways you can help build a more sustainable future.

Muggera Dance Party (Live)

Hold your very own dance party with Daz and Jax Compton, stars of the popular TV show Move it Mob Style! Big and little kids alike are invited to learn contemporary Indigenous and hip-hop infused dance moves.

Watch: Who's in the lift

Curious kids step through the giant doors of the scenery lift at the Sydney Opera House and meet some amazing people from the stage and behind the scenes.