Director of ASTA

I am so incredibly proud to have initiated and led the development of the Australian School of the Arts (ASTA) since 2006. This program supports a thriving curriculum by value-adding to the students’ artistic opportunities and experiences at Sheldon College. My days are filled with working with the most amazing group of industry professionals and educators I could find and a calibre of student that I am yet to come across anywhere else in the world.

In my early days in Education, I was fortunate enough to travel to the United States on a sabbatical and see some of the most incredible Arts schools in the world in action. Whilst I had always been incredibly passionate about Arts Education I had always had an uneasy feeling that schools were failing to adequately prepare the Arts children who wanted to grow into the next generation of the Arts industry experts.

During this sabbatical, my eyes were opened to what is possible with high school age children and how important a solid foundation is for establishing a career in the Arts. The Arts industry is such a broad and eclectic industry which covers a gamut of different job descriptions. In developing ASTA I was passionate that what needed to lie at the heart of the program was an understanding that it was not only our responsibility to produce graduates with outstanding training in their chosen Art field but most importantly students with the ability to turn that training into a contribution back to the Arts. Consequently, we are very proud to see that year after year we help develop the next generation of Arts Lawyers, Arts Journalists, Producers, Artistic Directors, Filmmakers, Singers etc. Beyond this, we are incredibly passionate to see the emotional and social well-being of each child has culminated in producing the next generation of society’s Creative Thinkers, Artists and Leaders.

As you discover more about ASTA we hope you too, begin to appreciate the importance of Arts in an ever changing society. I am sure as you learn more about us what will become obvious is that ASTA continues to grow and develop into the best school-based Arts program in Australia.

Mr Darren Harvey
Director – Australian School of the Arts
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(07) 3206 5594


Film and Television (FTV)

Since the first time Murray saw Star Wars, he has always had a very keen interest in how movies are made, especially the application of technology and the construction of special effects and digital film making technologies.

Murray graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 1998 with a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Communications, specialising in Film and Television and Information Technology. Murray assisted the Queensland Curriculum Council with the writing and testing of the Media Strand of P-10 Arts Syllabus and also the Film, Television and New Media Syllabus.

Murray has extensive experience in video production & event broadcast technologies having worked on television productions, tvcs, corporate videos, live events and corporate awards events for the past 8 years. Working as an Audio Visual TD at Brisbane Convention & Entertainment Centre for the past 2 years, Murray has been able to bring these event production skills back to the SCTV Students at Sheldon College.

Murray James
B.Ed.(Secondary) Communications
Senior College Film, TV & New Media / ASTA SCTV
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Visual Art

Mr Graham Nash retired from teaching at the end of 2010 after seventeen years as Head of Faculty, Visual and Performing Arts at the Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) in Brisbane. This followed eight years as Head of Faculty; Visual Arts at Wesley College in Melbourne. Graham also had fifteen years with Education Queensland. This year he has taught three classes at Griffith University, Mt Gravatt in pre service and post graduate Visual Art Education programs. After initial training in architecture for four years, Graham studied under William Robinson and Betty Churcher and as a result is passionate about painting and art history. He is currently the Treasurer of the Qld Art Teachers Association; Vice President of Art Education Australia; Secretary to the World Council of the International Society for Education through Art; Life Member and a former President of Flying Art Inc.

Graham Nash
Visual Art Teacher
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Performance Manager

I have been fortunate to have had a successful career in the Performing Arts industry in Australia and Internationally, in a very wide variety of roles and shows. I have also had the opportunity to apply my experience to Youth Arts education and Arts program management in Queensland. I now have the exciting role of Performance Manager at Sheldon College and as such, am heavily involved in delivering the ASTA program. A key part of my role is coaching students (in a directorial and production capacity) to reach their potential and increase their skill set at Sheldon College performances and external performances. This type of real-world experience is invaluable as it allows students to apply their training with the benefits of live audiences and professional venues.

I also deliver a range of training opportunities for Sheldon College Arts students including:

  • TV commercial audition workshops with leading casting directors
  • Mentoring students with songwriting and script development
  • Facilitating TV commercial extras work
  • Securing corporate event experience
  • Providing industry contacts for graduating arts students
  • Coaching students in public speaking
  • Securing Arts industry experts for on-campus workshops
  • Commencing a Theatresports training program
  • Building links to international Arts schools

I welcome any passionate and motivated Arts students to our ASTA program, and regardless of whether you ultimately enter the industry after school, the personal benefits of your Arts training in growing your creativity, personal discipline and self-confidence will be immense. 

Alastair Tomkins
Performance Manager
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(07) 3206 5594


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