Communications & Arts
Communications and Arts at ECU offers a diverse range of programs in communications, media, design, arts and the humanities. We aim to maximise your employability by developing your hands-on skills, offering you professional placement experiences, and providing you with a solid theoretical background. Our course structures allow you to specialise in one area or gain expertise in multiple areas, providing you with the multi‑skilling required to succeed in many of today’s arts and communications industries.
West Papua Online Database
Recent Communications and Arts Masters graduate Judith Reczek has created a website as a resource for young journalists writing about West Papua. After being commissioned in 2011 to write stories about the Freeport McMoran strike and the Third Papuan Congress, Judith discovered it was extremely difficult to source reliable information. Using Rudyard Kipling's "six honest serving men" who, what, where, when, why and how as her guides, Judith explored how one can use simple infographics to convey the background of a conflict zone. The result is an extremely useful online database for journalists who are unfamiliar with this particular conflict zone.
From touring the office of the Australian Ambassador to the United States to meeting representatives of some of the biggest names in industry, in 2012 a group of ECU Advertising students had an unforgettable experience on a 2-week study tour to America.
The group of students first arrived in Washington DC and got to meet Ambassador Kim Beazley in his office, a place where not many get to venture. The students then travelled to New York where they received industry insight from executives of some of the world’s leading brands such as YouTube, the Economist and Group M.
ECU Graduate Takes Out Top Award
Contemporary Fashion and Textiles graduate Megan Sears has been announced as one of three winners of the prestigious Banshu Fashion-Textile Program.
The Banshu Fashion-Textile Program is an ongoing project established in 2010 as part of the 30th anniversary of the Sister State relationship between Western Australia and Hyogo in Japan.
The program is designed to assist Western Australian fashion design graduates and graduating students to enter the professional fashion design industry by providing access to the Banshu textile industry in Hyogo.
Banshu textiles are distributed worldwide to high-end designer houses and are renowned for the traditional method used to produce elaborate woven patterns with dyed yarns.
As one of the winners in 2013, Megan flew to Japan (Hyogo) to attend the Nishiwaki Fashion Festival. Whilst there, Megan had the chance to collaborate with Banshu textile manufacturers, Ozawa Textile Co Ltd and Nagai Orimono Co Ltd to design her own woven textile.
ECU graduate wins national award for Best Student Film
Creative Industries graduate, Tamara Britza, was presented the highly prestigious award for Best Student Film at the 2012 Australian Teachers' of Media (ATOM) Awards ceremony in Melbourne. The ATOM Awards celebrate the very best of Australian and New Zealand media productions.
Tamara's short film, titled Blindspot, was created for her final ECU film project and drew inspiration from her desire to raise the issue of human trafficking.
When asked about what the award meant, Tamara replied "What a surreal, yet humbling experience; to receive recognition by the very industry peers I'm so honoured and passionate to be working beside. I'm thankful to be involved in a industry where there are creative means to express my voice, and that someone cared to listen."
From Graduation to Transformation
The 2012 Communications and Arts graduation show, entitled Transformers, opened to a large and diverse crowd who enjoyed a wide variety of works from Graphic Design, Environmental and Spatial Design, Film and Video, Visual Arts, Photomedia and Fashion students.
The event was an opportunity for graduating students to showcase their best work to parents, fellow students, the arts industry and potential employers.
ECU's Head of School of Communication and Arts, Professor Clive Barstow, was very proud and happy with the night, having this to say about the work on show; "ECU's Communication and Arts students are unbelievably talented, producing work that is of an exceptionally high standard."
This exhibition was not only a chance to showcase up and coming talent, but also gives students a chance to take the next step in their career by gaining invaluable experience through taking part in a professional exhibition.
Communications & Arts courses now available at our Joondalup campus
Majors available at Joondalup will include Advertising and Public Relations within the Bachelor of Communications, while History, Writing, and Politics & International Relations will be offered within the Bachelor of Arts.
In addition, a range of elective units will be available in support of these majors, including iTalk@ECU: Presentation Skills, Writing for the Media, and Creative Thinking.
ECU Student Brushes Past the Best
Visual Arts Honours student Elizabeth Marruffo was recognised as one of Australia's up-and-coming artists in the 2012 Mandorla Art Award.
Not only was Elizabeth one of only 65 national finalists, but her painting, 'Born of a Woman', was sold at an exclusive exhibition at Perth Town Hall.
Elizabeth credits ECU as a reason for her success. Being an Arts honours student, she was often short on time and said "ECU helped enormously as I had access to a dedicated studio space on-campus for 24-hours a day. I was working with a ECU lecturer as my supervisor who is an amazingly talented painter and a walking library when it comes to knowledge about painting and contemporary art. It was fantastic to have an encouraging mentor who is also an inspiring example of how to persevere in the art world."
Elizabeth was also selected as a finalist in the Portia Geach Award in Sydney for her work 'Milkteeth and Ghostgums' – a work from her ECU honours exhibition.
"I've been given the opportunity to attend lectures from some world-class experts and to represent ECU in national and international competitions. These competitions allowed me to work for real clients and taught me what it really takes to succeed in the communications business."
Global Game Jam
Over the 2013 Australia Day long weekend, 56 gaming enthusiasts descended on ECU Mount Lawley to take part in an annual gaming event called "Global Game Jam".
Run by Let’s Make Games Incorporated, it was a weekend full of jamming, creativity, joy, despair and of course stress – with the result being the production of 15 games to view and play. The event was a huge success with this year's Judge's Award, sponsored by Microsoft Australia.
Groundbreaking New Bachelor of Arts Degree
Our Bachelor of Arts course has been restructured into one of the most progressive and flexible degrees of its kind in Australia.
The course structure enables you to combine Arts subjects with a major from a range of other disciplines, providing you with a unique opportunity to design a cross‑disciplinary course according to your personal interests.
Bachelor of Arts majors available include: Contemporary Fashion & Textiles, English, French (Introductory and Post ATAR), History, Japanese (Introductory and Post ATAR), Politics & International Relations, Visual Arts, Visual Arts Immersion and Writing.
Team Boomerang One awarded first place in World Advertising Competition
ECU's Team Boomerang One students were named World Champions at the annual International Advertising Association InterAd XIII global student advertising competition.
The competition gives students the opportunity to put theory into practice by testing their skills with a real‑world client case study. ECU's team was made up of students from the Advertising, Creative Services and Public Relations majors were recognised for their outstanding creative approach in tackling the brief for a brand campaign that disrupts the category and breaks all conventions.
Our Communications, Creative Industries and Arts course structures are designed to promote multi‑skilling of students, which combined with our focus on community projects and industry placements, serves to increase employment prospects in an increasingly competitive market.
Our students have been highly successful, both nationally and internationally, in gaining recognition through awards, competitions and employment in rapidly growing creative industries.
ECU Student Wins The 2011 Bill Warnock AwardOur PhD in Communications student Damien Spiccia was the successful recipient of the Bill Warnock Award for Emerging Screen Writers for his script Beyond the Pale. Damien received a support package valued at $6,000.
Beyond the Pale is an Australian fantasy in the vein of Pan's Labyrinth with a dose of John Hughes thrown in. The script is about a young woman who is mysteriously cursed to turn into a fox, and the local teenage witch who may the only one who can help her.
Born in Perth, Damien Spiccia graduated from our WA Screen Academy in 2005 and won a Screenwriting WASA the following year for his first musical short, A Trick of the Moonlight. In 2008 he was awarded Link funding for Deep End, a mix of live‑action and animation, and in 2010 he was awarded HyperLink funding for his second musical short, Light as a Feather. He has also directed episodes of locally‑produced children’s TV drama Castaway.
Sky's the limit for ECU writer
ECU South West PhD student and up-and-coming writer Nicole Sinclair is looking forward to a long and successful writing career after winning the national Katherine Susannah Prichard (KSP) Short Fiction Award for her short story, The Nest. Set in the south-west of WA, The Nest is about a couple who are coming to terms with infertility.
For Nicole, the win was not only about the recognition, but also about receiving encouragement and support from those in the writing industry. Nicole plans to use the money from the award to pay for a research trip for her next novel. Nicole also won the national Down South Adult Writing competition for her story Dead Ringer.
International recognition for ECU designer
Communications and Arts PhD student Andy Simionato is conducting research into the historical and cultural identities of books as a medium, their production, transmission and consumption, with the intention of understanding how the different elements within books are changing in computer mediated environments.
Andy has produced book works that are featured prominently in the Triennale Design Museum in Italy, which will be viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors. Andy's efforts have seen him offered a residency position in Milan during 2013, where he hopes to show artworks produced during his PhD research at ECU.
"I've had to challenge my own perceptions and it's made me grow as a person.
"This course offered me freedom. I was able to choose units that reflected my interests, strengths and background, so it felt like my course.
"Being at a university where so many different schools of knowledge exist and so many activities take place, means that you can enjoy a richer uni life. And being involved with other projects has allowed me to gain more skills that are otherwise outside the scope of my degree, but make me a much more able person.
"Now I'm ready to take on almost anything!"
Master of Innovative Technology student
Bangladesh Summer School 2012
Every two years, our Photomedia program conducts a six-week summer school in Bangladesh for our photojournalism students.
Up to 15 students are invited to participate in an authentic learning experience, working in collaboration with students from Pathshala (a South Asian Media Institute) in the completion of photojournalistic stories about life in a country of 162 million people living in a country the size of Tasmania.
The students exhibit their work to the public in Dhaka, and later in Perth.
See our students' work
See our Communication & Arts students' work in our creative showcase.