Mr John Phillips

Life before Girton

Since completing my Diploma of Teaching at Deakin University I’ve consistently worked in the areas of video production, audio-visual, ICT, music and sound production. Many roles have been in educational institutions including the Ambulance Officers Training Centre, VOCAM, Monash University’s Biomedical Rehabilitation Technology unit and Bendigo TAFE. Pursuits in other commercial and artistic areas have been ongoing, with music and film my key areas of interest. To home in on this I completed additional studies including a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Certificate IV units in Sound Production and Soundfirm Australia’s Sound Post Production for Film and Television course.

What I Love about Teaching

I find it rewarding to share knowledge and skills with students in a supportive environment like Girton Grammar. I enjoy the feedback loop especially in the more creative areas of my teaching. There are many instances where I am learning from students who have ventured into emerging areas of ICT technology, software, media, music and sound. Students’ creative ways of thinking, finding novel solutions and problem solving is a constant inspiration. I love seeing the application of knowledge and skills in a useful, positive and creative way that may shape students lives in later years. It’s terrific when they realise the possibilities and pathways as they discover and develop their interests, abilities and gifts. The professional facilities and resources at Girton Grammar allow this to happen.

What do you like best about the subject/s you teach?

Girton’s ICT course, ICA30115 – Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology (partial completion option), offers a solid learning platform to commence a learning and career pathway towards tertiary ICT courses, industry options and employment. Students learn work readiness skills through teamwork, problem solving, innovation, creativity and technical knowledge.

We are now in the information age. The ICT (Information Communications Technology) area is one of the biggest and fastest growing employment areas in Australia today. The Australian Computer Society (ACS) works closely with Industry, Education and Government constantly monitoring leading edge developments. Each year, Australia wide, they host the The Big Day conferences for students considering a career in ICT. See

My favourite classroom activity

Students enjoy working with technology on collaborative tasks that offer flexibility and creativity. They have a thirst for new technology and working with software applications. I have experienced high levels of engagement, enjoyment and discussion from team-based learning. Students seem to gain a sense of ownership where their input, ideas and abilities are valued. Space is provided for them to think laterally and work to deadlines producing something that is of use for a client in a simulated work environment. Students are encouraged to think imaginatively and adopt a business and entrepreneurial awareness.

What difference can good teaching make?

The most successful students tend to consistently try their best, invest their time and be organised. If students can focus and put distractions aside they can gain the most from the lessons and their project work. My attributes and thoughts that I hope students benefit from are:

  • Persistence and consistency.
  • Value history, stories, research, note taking, recording and creativity.
  • Learn to reapproach a problem and try other options if something is not working out.
  • Keep an eye on the big picture and trends.
  • Appreciate the achievements of others – how they did it and why they did it.
  • Learn to appreciate how unrelated disciplines can actually be complimentary.
  • Learn to improvise.
  • Luck is where preparation and learning meet opportunity so make the most of it.

Other Hats

I’m involved in the Create IT co-curricular activity at Girton. This draws on my areas of teaching, industry experience and my key interests of music and film.

Throughout my career, I have consistently engaged in music, guitar playing and improvisation, song writing, recording projects and playing in bands outside of work. For more details visit and and

I have also been involved in video and film productions over many years. For samples of projects visit

To keep up to date with current cinema and technology I am a casual projectionist at Star Community Cinema in Eaglehawk. I also love walking for general wellbeing, time with my family and friends, good coffee, reading, maintaining two classic cars and handyman tasks around the home.