Offering unique opportunities in the Arts

Established in 2008, the Rowville Institute of the Arts (RIA) is a full-time academic and Arts program that caters for aspiring performing and visual artists, and is situated at Rowville Secondary College’s Eastern Campus. This unique program increases student engagement and improves student outcomes.

The curriculum is grounded in world’s best practice and caters for 5 specialist arts practices – Dance, Drama, Media, Music and Visual Arts. As well as engaging in a broad Arts program, RIA students also study a range of core subjects that include Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities and Italian.

Students’ Arts experiences are enriched in a variety of ways including:

  • workshops led by industry professionals
  • excursions and incursions
  • an integrated curriculum that explores context, theory and practical approaches to arts immersion
  • authentic arts experiences, including regular performance opportunities and exhibitions
  • opportunities to explore their potential as an artist in the creative arts industry.

This focus ensures that every student in RIA has a rich, varied and meaningful experience that excites and motivates them to explore and extend their creative passions and talents. The school continues to build a culture of student performance and exhibition within the school, local and wider communities.

Facilities include a media studio, studio arts rooms, music practice suites, a music recording studio, a black box drama studio and the College’s 500-seat Performing Arts Centre which also houses our professional dance studios.


Students use and explore dance styles, dance elements and practices designed to develop technical skills, theoretical knowledge and an understanding of dance in context


The immersion program exposes students to a broad range of theatrical experiences, conventions and performance styles. Students explore theatre across time and culture and develop skills in characterisation, improvisation, expression, performance, interpretation of texts and script writing.


Media specialism enables students to develop critical and creative abilities and mastery of media tools. The students develop audiovisual literacy through the exploration of radio production, mastery of Photoshop, the display of images, digital photography, animation and video production.


Music specialism students develop expressive skills and the ability to convey feelings and thoughts artistically. An active contribution in curricular and extra-curricular ensembles, bands and choir promotes passion, creativity, self-discipline and confidence.


Visual Artists explore a variety of materials and art forms, the principles of design and the significance of art styles and artists over time. We encourage a spirit of experimentation and risk-taking that promotes creativity, innovation and independence.


In addition to their core curriculum and specialism studies, all students in Years 7 & 8 undertake general studies in Dance and Drama, Media, Music and Visual Arts as part of the Broad Arts component of the RIA program.

In Year 9 & 10, students take part in a varied offering of Broad Arts electives. In 2022, electives include Dance Styles, Musical Theatre, Short Film Production, Music Performance, 2D & 3D Visual Art, Audio Engineering, Food as Art and Theatrical Make-up & Design. These subjects are available to all students, regardless of their specialism.

Our Mission and Values


Rowville Institute of the Arts is designed to provide unique opportunities for students who are passionate about the arts and driven by creativity. RIA is a strength-based educational program for students to nurture potential and develop talent and curiosity through authentic arts experiences. We focus on students’ interests and provide a breadth of opportunities in all areas of the arts, so that students’ awareness of themselves as artists and learners are enriched.


Teachers within the RIA program are all highly qualified educators and practising artists in their own right. Have high expectations of students and provide an environment in which students excel.


RIA aims to:

  • Nourish imagination and creativity in its students.
  • Increase student achievement in both specialism subjects and targeted subjects across the broader curriculum.
  • Increase student motivation to learn.
  • Support and develop the skills of teachers to work collaboratively and creatively.
  • Encourage links between different learning areas.
  • Explore the efficacy of the visual and performing arts as a delivery mechanism across the curriculum.
  • Provide Individual Pathways and Individual Learning.
  • Programs Support 21st Century Learning through the utilisation of technology and flexible learning spaces.
  • Promote peer mentoring.
  • Improve the ethos of the school.

TESTIMONIALS | What our students say about RIA

“RIA is like a family to me and has allowed me to feel comfortable and more of myself every day of the week. I feel that RIA has given me many qualities that are essential in life such as really helping me build confidence and learning to work independently as well as in a team. These contribute to helping in personal life as well. RIA is such an accepting and non-judgmental program filled with genuine and encouraging people, which helps build the foundations for self-belief and to be who you want to become. “
Brooke B, Dance Specialism

“I didn’t start off in RIA, I was originally in General Excellence. It just wasn’t for me and I was looking for more of a creative challenge… Once I changed over to RIA, I immediately felt like I belonged. I felt comfortable with likeminded people, as a result I started to feel happier. My grades also improved. This was because I enjoyed the subjects and focusing in class was easier.”
Dillon G, Media Specialism

“I feel that dance specialism has taught me to work my hardest, and in my future studies to persevere and try my hardest at all times, and that working hard pays off and helps your dreams come true.”
Jess D, Dance Specialism

“During the first week of school, I found it pretty challenging to find my way around. But my friend and I overcame that pretty quickly because we’d spend each lunchtime exploring the school, so it became more familiar to us… The other challenging part of starting RIA was going from being the biggest kids at primary school to feeling like I was surrounded by giants. But I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the giants in the upcoming school musical…I really like that I get to do the normal subjects that you would expect at school but then I get to do a whole lot of what I am passionate about. It makes school more interesting and we are lucky to have really talented teachers to help us.”
Liesl P, Music Specialism