During August, IRL Hub is offering its workshops free of charge to Melbourne schools as a way of supporting teachers through the (again) rapidly changing restrictions and demand for remote learning. More details is over on the IRL Hub’s Workshops page.

What it's all about

Interactive Remote Learning Hub, or IRL Hub is a live project, that is in the middle of innovating and developing itself for the education sector.

We aim to provide a service whereby schools and classroom teachers can commission our presenters, who are professionals from across the arts and entertainment industry, to develop interesting and engaging workshops for students across primary and secondary schools.

As our world grapples with the ever-changing environment of a global pandemic, IRL Hub is a platform where teachers and members of the arts and entertainment communities can come together and collaborate to develop exciting, engaging and interactive content for students of all ages.

The core IRL Hub team is a mix of professionals from the world of arts and live production and education, and we are driven by the belief that there is a unique opportunity for a collaboration between the two sectors.

Our presenters are drawn from a variety of areas in the arts and entertainment fields, and often have qualifications and specialist knowledge from outside their current discipline. Amongst our first team of presenters, we have people who have formally studied in law, history, international public health policy, foreign languages, music and much more.

Our aim is to eventually support all subject areas with workshops and programs that build students’ digital literacy, have robust connections to the curriculum and learning outcomes, and that provide an engaging way for teachers to present their students with information and develop skills.

Why choose us?

Members of the IRL Hub team are teachers themselves, and so we understand how vital it is to ensure content is engaging, relevant and targeted towards student’s needs. It also means we understand the administrative hurdles of working in a school environment. To help ease the process we offer:

    • workshop/lesson templates with clear learning intentions;
    • matched curriculum points;
    • clear instructions using straightforward digital technologies;
    • all presenters have relevant Working with Children Checks for their required state (copies (can be provided to schools upon request);
    • detailed risk assessments available to customise depending on your school’s requirements.

Due to the fast pace at which IRL Hub has developed, this isn’t a comprehensive list and will be updated fairly regularly as we move forward. If there is a specific requirement or concern you have, please feel free to get in touch with us directly – chances are we’re half way through developing what you’re after.

How does it work?

Our presenters and teaching consultants have created several general workshop concepts which map to general learning outcomes.

Have a look through the presenter page to see who covers what subject areas and the workshops that are available. If there’s nothing that suits you at the moment, you can get in contact with us directly to discuss your needs as we are rapidly developing more workshops with our presenters.

The workshops which are now listed online can be customised for your students’ specific syllabus requirements. Get in touch with us and we will adjust the workshop and help you develop it into a template formally matching the activity with learning intentions and outcomes.

See an example

The presenters for IRL Hub have been chosen based on their proven track record of delivering engaging performances and their enthusiasm for communicating ideas. Our presenters do not replace teachers in these workshops, but will tailor their talks, performance or materials to support teachers’ lessons.

Once you are satisfied with the customised workshop plan, will schedule a time suitable for you and your students, and IRL Hub will send the supervising teacher an invitation for a Zoom meeting (a similar program to Skype, but better).

IRL Hub can present its workshops via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or your school’s chosen platform. This is new territory for lots of us, so we will work together to find a solution that’s suitable for your class.


Meet the IRL Hub Team

Carrie Hardie

Carrie is a live entertainment producer, specialising primarily in comedy shows.

From humble beginnings producing a regular comedy show in a bookshop in Sydney, Carrie has produced live comedy shows across Australia, as well as in the UK at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a live stand up special for ABC TV that was filmed in London.

She holds a degree in Arts and Sciences (History and Philosophy of Science), and before she crossed over into the glamourous world of show business, Carrie was the manager of the NSW Stem Cell Network, managed academic conferences at the University of Sydney, and was the first producer and program coordinator of a TEDx conference in a vocational education institute.

Carrie is the owner and operator of Serious Comedy, a comedy touring and production company that specialises in working with fantastic comedians who present smart and interesting works.

Serious Comedy is a joint venture partner in IRL Hub.

Toby Sullivan

Toby Sullivan is a professional theatrical producer who has worked for some of Australia’s largest Festivals and theatres since the early 90s, including the Melbourne Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (where he was Associate Director), and Malthouse Theatre.

Toby has led the Education Programmes at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival including the national Class Clowns comedy competition; and Malthouse Theatre, delivering workshops, VCE resources, work experience programmes and the landmark Suitcase Series project for young theatre makers.

As an independent producer, Toby has worked to develop and tour new shows by kids comedy superstars The Listies, and produced an ambitious, multi-platform respectful relationships project that compassed the No Means No Show and developed The Talk DVD.

Toby is the director of The Milstead Performing Arts Company, a joint venture partner in IRL Hub.

Jess Penny
(Education Consultant)

Jess Penny is a high school Drama and English teacher who is known to dabble in theatre production.

Before discovering her calling in education, Jess worked for several years in the independent and commercial theatre scene. After graduating with a Bachelor of Communications Theatre Media (CSU), with honours in Communications Cultural Studies (UTS), Jess joined the Sport for Jove family, working in a variety of roles including stage manager, production manager and company stage manager.

What followed was a series of contracts with a variety of theatre companies, including Victorian Opera, which ultimately took her to Melbourne where she began her long term employment with Opera Australia.

Jess’ credits with Opera Australia include the New Year’s Eve Galas at the Sydney Opera House and working within the producing team for the Opera’s musical sector on musicals such as the King and I, Anything Goes and most recently My Fair Lady. In 2018 Jess joined the non-for-profit inclusive theatre company Midnight Feast as associate producer, and worked closely with the company to produce their Sydney Opera House debut.

Jess now works as an English and Drama teacher in Canberra, and loves bringing her experience in the arts to her teaching practice every day. Jess is volunteering her time to IRL Hub to help make sure our workshops are not just interesting and exciting, but also have a strong connection to curricula and learning outcomes.