About Me

Fiona

Come along on my new  journey!

‘Where the Arts flourish, so does tolerance and enlightenment’ – Nelson Meers

My Current Story

My name is Fiona Steel and I just love to travel.

I have always loved it!  The new scenery, people, food, music, art, language, customs.. the whole cultural experience! I love having my eyes opened to how others think and why they don’t always agree with or understand my point of view. I love walking in their shoes. There is nothing better than explaining Oz idioms to other cultures and having them explain theirs to me over some late night local beverages. It makes me aware of our differences.. and our similarities

You are very welcome to join me on my  adventures…

This time, I’m heading to the other side of the planet  where the weather is warmer and the cockles of my heart shall be ignited with a summer wedding in London before I head off to play castaway on a couple of Greek Islands and follow that up with discovering the ancient and aromatic  delights of Turkey.

I’m hoping for a a total contrast to my most recent trip away on the Trans Mongolian/Siberian Railways when we traveled from Beijing to Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia, to Lake Baikal in Russia, across Siberia to Moscow and finished in the fabulous St Petersburg.

My Recent Story

My name is Fiona Steel and I travel to NSW regional art galleries and teach K-6 teachers how to teach visual arts and creative thinking.

I believe we desperately need the next generations to get smarter and more adaptable to to be able to successfully deal with a rapidly changing world. The education plans of the past that relied on students all achieving the same answers doesn’t seem to be helpful anymore. Students must learn to think laterally, be encouraged to find many answers or solutions, think creatively and ‘have a go’ at trying new approaches for solving problems…  and the only way I can see this being achieved is to change the focus and format of our current education system.

creative solutions  are practical visual arts sessions that explore a range of media (VAES1.2) and use a variety of techniques (VAS2.4)  to investigate subject matter (VAS3.1) assisting to realise what artists do and make (VAS1.3)

My Recent Past Story

My name is Fiona Steel and for the first time ever in my life, I took leave from my job and lived in Munich for three whole months on my own. 

My work has been my life and my family have been my support but I changed that in August 2010 to see what would happen when I had to rely completely on myself in a strange land, with a language I didn’t speak and with customs of which I knew nothing… all on the other side of the planet!

What did I do? I watched my son’s band ‘Modern Error’ perform at the Taubertal Festival. Family and friends visited, Oktoberfest occurred and I spent days and nights wandering the galleries of central Europe. The time flew! I returned to Australia determined to travel regularly and often back to my beloved galleries that I’d found… and to discover new ones that I just know await my return.

Thank you to those that came along on my travels through my blogs!

My Past Story

My name is Fiona Steel and I had been a teacher with the NSW Department of Education & Training. I coordinated a unique Educational (DET), Social (Children’s Hospital at Westmead) and Cultural (Art Gallery of NSW) Visual Arts partnership program for K-10 school students named Operation Art.

I received a Premiers Creative Arts Teaching Scholarship which allowed me to travel to Canada (Halifax, Sydney, Montreal and Toronto) and the USA (New York and New Haven) to observe other partnership programs that offer stimulating and responsive learning experiences in galleries, hospitals and schools for students and teachers.

My Past Past Story

It was the late 70’s and we were all looking forward to a brave new world. I was counting down the days to 1984 when I started my teaching life in the western suburbs of Sydney…

Like many others, I was bursting with idealistic enthusiasm and confident in my abilities to apply De Bono’s concepts for teaching creative thinking to a new generation. I believed that if Orwell was going to be in any way correct then our youth needed to be taught to think for themselves, to always question and to be given the tools and thereby the confidence to adapt and solve upcoming problems.

But mostly, my aim was to inspire them to enjoy artistic creativity and to think creatively, to enjoy the processes and to be excited about new challenges that lay ahead….

I would like to thank my family for their love and support as I begin this new adventure . Our paths will cross in the beginning but once again it is Rob’s patience, Nick and Amy’s strength of faith, Prue’s genuineness and Max’s enthusiasm for life that I find immeasurable and truly inspiring.             Thank You! 

My Family

 Rob & Fiona 1  Nick & Amy Prue Max the Rock God!

  13 comments for “About Me

  1. Prue
    January 30, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Just giving you a second voice of confidence! Your an amazing inspiration and someone i strive to be. You can do anything you dream of. We love you for you and even more so for your honest personality! You will love the thrill and learn from the experience. Don’t ever be scared to do what you love, because that is what I’ve been taught to believe, and you are the one who lives this way. Jump in and swim!
    All my love forever and always.
    xxx
    Your ever learning daughter.
    xxx

  2. lisa
    February 23, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Your creative writing has hit new heights!! very entertaining commentary. On a more serious note, sounds like you are gaining heaps of insights from your contacts, can’t wait to hear more!! take care and keep warm… with a few more reds!!! maybe try the local brew rather than the pricy Australian stuff.
    x lisa

  3. February 24, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Hey Lisa
    Check out the new section ‘Insights & Skills’. They are doing so very much and producing some of the most incredible things. I’m still to publish more resources but will get them up soon.
    I tried the local stuff but it gives a person headaches. Oh…maybe that’s a quantity issue I need to look at!Cheers
    Fiona

  4. Deb Jones
    March 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    oHnthats right .. You can paint as well.. You are amazing.. you never fail to amaze me. is that too many amazes for one sentence.. clever girl

  5. March 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    One can never have too many amazings!

  6. Denyse
    March 28, 2010 at 12:30 am

    What fun we had bouncing off each other in the late 80s and early 90s at SPS. You made school fun for YOU first Fiona , then it was fun for the teachers and kids… Murals in the playground…getting teachers to ‘process’ rather than produce art examples…& you buzzed around creating a freedom of spirit in arts, words and getting people to look at themselves more holistically – remember ‘quotes’ on doors in the loo??!! Love Operation Art – my last school has had many entrants in this fab venture. Long live that creative soul within the powerful woman – Fiona Steel 

  7. fionasteel
    March 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Denyse
    Do you realise that you were actually the instigator of my further life in arts education???
    You encouraged me to channel my enthusiasm. I think you had applied for some grant and you asked me to write units of work linked across curriculum through visual arts. I had to learn ‘department speak’ and I met the DET’s regional arts consultant… that’s when I realised there were others out there like me… doing creative things with kids… and they were valued. I haven’t looked back!
    Thank you for more than you ever knew.

  8. May 22, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Hi there Fiona,
    need a fix of Fiona & news please – but also to share some news.
    I have begun a blog – see http://www.denwise.net
    and it’s newer than new to me but I’m loving it
    now also twittering – so look me up if you’re already there.
    Know you’ll be away soon but see if we may still catch up & creatively consult
    DenYse – do you get how I named my website??!!

  9. Justine Magee
    July 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Hey Fiona,

    Just read your blogs and loved them. Personally, I DO get (good) rap music, so that’s either because I like the inherent poetry or I’m just 10 years younger than you!!!
    I’ve been reading a lot about arts in education lately because one of my promising public speakers is writing a speech about it. So your blogs are very helpful. I’m also concerned about the shift towards education being about churning kids off a production line with their earning potential stamped on their foreheads, instead of nurturing their creativity and opening their minds to what can be confronting, thought provoking and beautiful. I am probably a little too idealistic to be a real teacher these corporate eduspeak days but it’s nice to see someo
    ne like you who still values what art, drama, dance and poetry can do for the human condition.

    Justine 🙂 xx

  10. fionasteel
    July 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Hey Justine
    Thanks for your thoughts. I’m glad the blogs are helpful and hopefully encouraging. I don’t think that any teacher can be too idealistic because the young people who are our students are idealistic and hopefully as passionate about learning as we are about teaching. Carpe Diem… and don’t let the corporate eduspeakers take over the world!
    Fiona

  11. August 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Fiona,
    Just read all your Munchen writings- you are such an entertaining writer! Love your games and hope I have learnt from them and will have the wisdom of Fionasight when Im in Germany, indeed anywhere out of the Land of Oz!
    looks like you are enjoying yourselves and I wish Max all the best in the competition.
    See you at your local on August 25… how early does it open?hahahaha … maybe a coffee is best. We arrive at 7am.

    Love to you
    Tina

  12. sharon cloete
    March 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Fiona
    It’s been great reading all about YOU………….WOW, what an amazing life you’ve lived all because you dare………….GOOD ON YOU! I, on the other hand, am very content with life on the farm, with all its ups and downs……….never a dull moment, always something beautiful to see AND the solitude is so theraputic!!

    Sorry, got off the topic. Just want to register for your course on Friday 10 May at Orange regional gallery. Am I using the right site??? (Probably NOT!)

    Sharon Cloete
    Mullion Creek Public School

  13. March 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks Sharon.
    You really have been extra clever finding my old blog.. more up to date info about my workshops and a booking page is at http://www.fionasteel.com.au/
    Can’t wait to catch up at the workshop. I will contact your school and register you.
    Fiona

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