Upskilling: learning for fun

January 13 2016

This is the second in our two-part series looking at awesome ways to learn new stuff. In the first part we talked about learning for your career and the amazing online providers that are bringing content from the worlds best universities and businesses straight to you, for super affordable prices. Truly a way to set yourself apart from your colleagues (and get the word ‘Harvard’ onto your resume!).

In this post, we’re talking about learning for fun – giving yourself joy by learning something new that makes your heart sing. In the last post we recapped on all of the hidden benefits of learning (it’s great for your health, your self-esteem and your happiness) – they all apply here.  There’s so many great courses out there at super affordable prices that might help you find your kinfolk and have a wicked-awesome time doing it.

But shouldn’t your passion and your work be the same thing?

Well, yes, in a perfect world, of course. Some of the things I’ll list here may very well cross over with your work (goody for you)! Likewise, some of the learning platforms I listed in the part-one have got LOTS of general interest stuff that may not be related to your job and fall in the ‘joy’ category. So some blurring of lines, yes, but I ultimately I know there’s something for everyone between these two posts! Maybe learning about something that looks like a hobby will ultimately lead to a new career!

Enough jibber jabber! Onto the finds!

I can’t describe Work-Shop better than they do: Work-Shop is a creative concept that will broaden your horizons and help you unleash your inner awesome. We provide affordable short courses in life skills and alternative art. We’ve teamed up with Australia’s brightest creative minds to share their knowledge and help teach you a new skill. From 3D printing and stencil art through to music and gardening – life skills and personal development through to cooking doughnuts and mushroom foraging, we offer a broad range of fun and creative short courses to suit our time poor lives. We will inspire you to pick up that pen, paintbrush, hammer or sewing machine and flick the switch that will kickstart a whole new way of life.

I cannot wait to try: Phoneography 101 (foundations of phone camera photography) and Hand Lettering Basics but am suuuuper intrigued by ‘AirBNB’ing Your Space’ and ‘Hoop Dreams’ (teaching you hula-hooping) which is sold out a month from now! A peek at the Sydney offerings reveals topics including “Ukulele For Noobs’, ‘Laughter Yoga’, ‘The Art of Taxidermy’, ‘Tattoo Illustration’ and ‘The Coffee Shop Networker: The Art of Meeting People, Anywhere, Anytime”. I am seriously intrigued by everything!

Delivery Method: face-to-face in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
Price: Less than $100 – most around $50 for a couple of hours.
Topics: 1,037 classes held and counting!

Learning for fun: has some way fun offerings


The School

The School is the brainchild of Megan Morton, one of Australia’s most fabulous stylists. Megan and the team at The School offer tuition in a range of creative and stylish topics, that will truly set the right side of your brain (you know, the creative side) on fire. In a good way.

I discovered The School a couple of years back when a dear friend bought me a voucher to attend their Vignette class, which was amazing and wonderful and creative and full of fabulous people and super delicious snacks and was so fun, and so lovely I swore I’d do more and haven’t managed to since. Most classes are offered in Sydney with occasional interstate jaunts.  Megan is visiting Brisbane in July and delivering her iconic Styling workshops plus hosting ‘Instagram Debunked’, ‘Robyn Holt Small Business Makeover’ and ‘Extreme Knitting’.

Delivery Method: face-to-face in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tasmania
Price: $95 for kids Watercolour 101, $160 for Instagram short-courses, $450 for Meg’s Masterclasses and $840 for some full-day workshops (like Calligraphy as a Business.
Topics:  Home Styling, Tech (instagram and photography), Business and Craft (there’s heaps – check them out under the ‘Making’ tab).

Meg Morton's The School: Extreme Knitting

Learning for fun: Meg Morton’s The School offers Extreme Knitting


Bunnings Adult DIY Workshops

Did you know Bunnings does a bunch of free DIY workshops? Free should be further explained that by the time you’ve learnt the basics of the skill, you’ll need to buy a bunch of stuff to execute it at home which… oh how convenient! Is located in the Bunnings store you’re in!

That said, the topics are pretty tricky to learn elsewhere (except well, YouTube, which is where we turned last time we needed to fill a hole in the wall) and include things like ‘How to Maintain Power Garden Equipment’, ‘Mosaics’, ‘How to Lay Tiles’, ‘Constructing a Structural Frame’, ‘How To Plant Your Winter Vegie Garden’ and ‘How To Build a Timber Deck’ to name a few.

There’s also a bunch of Kids DIY workshops where are in hot demand during school holidays. The kids ones actually sounds awesome – woodwork, sustainability, fun with paint.

Delivery Method: face-to-face at your local buntings store, check the website for what’s on near you
Price: FREE
Topics: DIY around your home and garden

Bunnings DIY Workshops

Learning for fun: Bunnings DIY Workshop Team ready to roll!


The Australian Institute of Creative Design

The AICD (Australian Institute of Creative Design) offers a bunch of courses ranging from 1 day to full Diploma’s in Fashion, makeup, Beauty, Photography, Interior Design and more (along the same vein). They are also running a bunch of ‘Holiday Courses’ which are exclusively short courses on fun topics like ‘Footwear Design’ ‘Intro to Swimwear Design’ ‘Special Effects Makeup’ ‘Street Style Image and Fashion Flatlays’. Theres courses you can sign up for over a bunch of Saturdays as well (‘Drawing Fundamentals for Beginners’ takes my fancy). I really want to do all of these things. Except Brazilian Waxing. Yeah, no.

Delivery Method: face-to-face in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast
Prices: from $99 for day courses. Six week course is $650. Full diplomas $16,500 (a full year).
Topics: All things Fashion, Beauty and Style

Australian Institute of Creative Design

Learning for fun: a snapshot of the Australian Institute of Creative Design homepage


Some of the rest…

There’s a squillion different things as you can imagine, in the interest of being snappy, here’s some dot points to continue to inspire:

  • Amaaazing makeup skills via Napoleon’s Makeup Academy in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. From $295.
  • Floral arrangements, Terrarium Workshops, Flowers to wear via That Flower Shop in Brisbane. Brisbane institution Perrotts also offers a range of courses!
  • Your city council likely runs a list of upcoming classes and workshops. Brisbane City Council’s list is here and includes orienteering, heritage tours, painting with light, and learning how to use iPads and Facebook – something for everyone!
  • Website revealed a whole range of courses from Flying Trapeze Workshops to Jewellery Making to Meditation and more. (The link included shows all of Australia, be sure to narrow it down to your city.)
  • Have a secret desire to do magic!? Brisbane Magic School has you covered!
  • Is cooking your thang? My Dad lurrves BBQ school in Brisbane and we’ve all benefited from his new skillz!
  • Want to learn to paint over a glass of wine? Wildly popular Cork and Chroma will not disappoint on either fronts! (Well its BYO, so the second part is kinda on you.) Classes are $55.
  • Have you got a novel hiding inside of you? Consider the Queensland Writers Centre who has a bunch of courses online and face to face, including some taster courses that are free.
  • What about a language? French at Alliance Francaise Brisbane, Spanish at The Spanish Cat, Italian at La Bella Figura – google is clearly a friend here.
  • Dance – Mad Dance House offer Adult Dance class across a variety of genres
  • … but not Burlesque! BB le Buff’s School of Performance teaches Burlesque, Fire Eating, Tap Dancing, Musical Theatre and Hula Hooping!

My quest for sublime finds usually starts with google and google is surely the gateway to finding the right class or workshop that will bring you joy! Do make time to do something fabulous for you this year, lovely things, and have a giggle along the way!

What fun thing would you love to learn this year? Do share in the comments below! 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *