Primary and secondary school education in Victoria place a high priority on writing, literature and reading, from early childhood onwards. Government-supported initiatives such as the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge encourage and nurture interest in literature among school students, while teaching focuses on diverse reading lists that present children with a range of Australian and international literature. The Melbourne-based Stella Prize also offers the Stella Schools Program, which provides resources for schools to include great Australian women's writing in their curricula, and Girls Write Up, a day-long festival introducing teens aged 12-18 to the empowering possibilities of writing and storytelling.
Melbourne’s eight universities – Australian Catholic University, University of Melbourne, Deakin, La Trobe, Monash, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Swinburne and Victoria University – play a vital role in the Victorian economy, generating revenues of $4 billion. These institutions contribute immensely to the city’s cultural life, with Melbourne ranking as one of the top five university cities in the world.
Universities are crucial to Melbourne’s literary life: dozens of degree courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels provide places for many hundreds of aspiring writers, students of literature and languages, and translation and publishing professionals. Specialist academic hubs, such as Monash University’s Centre for the Book and its Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, further enrich an academic environment that places firm emphasis on the importance of literature.
In the area of publishing studies, Melbourne is also a national leader, with the University of Melbourne, Monash University and RMIT University all contributing to the city’s publishing industry through comprehensive, vocationally oriented graduate programs. University studies in publishing range from editing and production skills to strategic and commercial aspects of the industry, as well as historical, theoretical and ethical areas. Professional writing and editing courses provided through TAFE institutions are also in high demand, with their many graduates further strengthening Melbourne’s publishing workforce.
The city’s energetic environment for emerging and developing writers is in many ways fuelled by its large number of high-quality creative-writing courses at post-secondary level. The University of Melbourne, RMIT, Deakin, Victoria, Monash and La Trobe Universities all offer quality creative writing programs at levels ranging from Graduate Certificate to PhD, combining creative work with theoretical studies.
Adults of all ages and abilities in Melbourne have access to education in creative writing, with short courses offered by many organisations throughout the city, including the Writers Victoria and Express Media. One of the largest and best known is the centrally located Council of Adult Education (CAE).
Numerous short courses are also run through libraries, community centres and the disability arts organisation Arts Access. We recommend the wealth of information that Writers Victoria provides to its members, and the general community. Check out their website and social media for regular updates.