When I’m performing it’s like I’m so much more confident. In that moment, I don’t have any worries in the world. It’s like heaven. I love it. – Meg Mac, chart-topping singer-songwriter and graduate of The McDonald College
Does that sound like your child? Do you want to support your child’s natural abilities but find it hard to fit lessons/training/auditions around school and homework? If so, The McDonald College in Sydney’s Inner West might be the solution to your dilemma.
Centrally located in North Strathfield, the independent co-ed performing arts school nurtures talented students from years 3 to 12.
Its unique immersive approach emphasises academic excellence while allowing students to pursue their passions for two hours every day with dedicated tuition in either acting, ballet, dance, music, musical theatre or elite tennis. With all the coaching provided in-school, students can focus intensively on their training free of the demands involved in commuting to far-flung extra-curricular activities.
To develop their gifts fully, students often need to perform or compete at an elite level. The McDonald College offers students flexible schedules to help them meet their out-of-school commitments while ensuring that they maintain their academic studies.
Many students have the gift of natural ability but require specialised support to convert their gifts into the talent necessary for outstanding performance.
These students do best when their exceptional qualities are cultivated and sympathetically managed says principal Maxine Kohler.
“Gifted and talented children are uniquely special and are often acutely aware of their difference in relation to their peers.
“Teaching these students requires a deep understanding of the personality traits that feed their creativity,” she says.
In 2013, the college added tennis to its roster of specialist programs partnering with Voyager Tennis Academy. With two international championship wins this year, the school won the NSW Tennis Award for Most Outstanding School.
Powering every star is a deep well of creativity. In supporting and celebrating this characteristic the college produces not only excellent performers but high academic achievers well prepared for the modern workplace.
Once considered the preserve of artists, performers and advertisers, creativity is of increasing practical value throughout our fast-changing global economy.
At the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, it was named, along with critical thinking and complex problem solving, as one of the three primary skills requisite for success in the next decade.
With the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence entailed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, humankind’s unique creative capacity is of greater importance than ever, the WEF predicts in its 2016 The Future of Jobs report.
“Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes,” the WEF says.
This WEF’s prognosis is borne out by Year 10 acting student and entrepreneur Ali Kitinas who, at 16, is believed to be the nation’s youngest CEO.
Her beauty product company Freedom Scrub recycles coffee grounds to produce an ethical and sustainable skin cleanser. A portion of the profits is donated to the Hope Foundation Hospital providing health and medical services to impoverished children in Kolkata, India.
The social enterprise has attracted wide media attention and Ali counts Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson as a mentor but performance remains her first love.
“I’m a very passionate performer, but I always knew that it would be really hard to gain financial security in that field,” she told Mamamia. “That’s why I went into business, so that I could have the financial security to pursue my other passions.”
Talented, accomplished and ambitious: Ali’s self-assured dynamism is emblematic of the The McDonald College ethos.
“Our environment is supportive and nurturing of creativity enabling us to graduate students that are lateral thinkers and excited about life beyond school. Whether their chosen career is on the stage as a performer or in the world of medicine, law or global business, our students are confident communicators, distinguished leaders and diverse role models,” says Principal Kohler.
Meg Mac interview – Poncho TV
Iconic Australian film Romper Stomper to be recharged as Stan original TV series — Media release, Screen Australia, August 1, 2017
Mojean Aria awarded 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship — Inside Film, June 2, 2017
The 10 skills you need to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution — Alex Gray, World Economic Forum website, January 19, 2016
At 16, Ali Kitinas is Australia’s youngest CEO (and her mum’s boss) — Belinda Jepsen, Mamamia, June 15, 2017