PGCE and Overseas Mentor

Julia has many years of experience as a PGCE Higher Education Mentor, whilst being Course Leader In Fine Art and Design at Northbrook College Sussex. The National Diploma in Fine Art offered many different specialist options within art and design, i.e. painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, animation, graphic design, fashion and textiles.

Placements for PGCE students were carefully allocated, with careful consideration for relevant skills and personal development for each course. The selected PGCE students were introduced as trainee lecturers. As a mentee they were given practical, and academic advice during the various stages of the planning, organisation and management of delivering of a course.

Mentees were introduced to the course document, handbook and assessment and evaluation procedures, usually shadowing the course leader and other lecturers during different sessions at the start. As a mentor Julia taught the teacher trainers to understand and gain experience in the following:

  • to study the course document
  • to design a project
  • to plan a session
  • to book and prepare resources
  • to deliver a session (teaching methodology)
  • to evaluate a session
  • to assess the end of a project
  • to improve a project or session.


Overseas Mentor

Whilst running the Foundation Course in Art and Design in Papua New Guinea, Julia acted as a mentor for the national artist Gickmai Kundun, who had gained International acclaim for his sculpture, exhibiting in Australia, India and Fiji.

The government of PNG encouraged expatriate lecturers to become Mentors for National artists. Julia met Gickmai after he had returned from his Commonwealth Award for the Pacific Region in Bombay, where he studied Indian Art for six months. This trip had a great impact on Gickmai. In contrast to India, PNG has a small population of 4 million, clean air, and little poverty, which gave him greater appreciation for his own country. To become a national teacher trainee would offer Gickmai the opportunity to become more involved in the development of his own country and become a future lecturer at the National Arts School.

Gickmai Kundun Gigmai had great skills as a sculptor, who worked in metal, which was unusual as the traditional material for sculpture in PNG was wood not metal. Tradition did play an important role in his work, often referring to traditional village life, childhood memories and nature for his inspiration. His work was contemporary in form and method often reflecting changes happening in PNG through his use of materials, such as re-cycled objects and materials, i.e. car bumper bars and twisted pieces of metal. This led Gickmai to experiment with various polishing and welding techniques.

His innovative approach to sculpture inspired other PNG artists and young people from all regions in PNG, he was a positive role model. The Papua New Guinean students enjoyed seeing him teach.

Together Julia and Gickmai planned a program that included a number of technical sculptor demonstrations by Gickmai in the workshop, involving welding, cutting and polishing in small numbers; project design and assessment procedures. This proved to be a productive training program that addressed the needs of each stakeholder in the context in which we were working, The National Arts School in Papua New Guinea.