Zakiya Kurdi is a senior educator currently based at an inner city primary school in the north-west of Melbourne. She has extensive experience in generalist and specialist teaching, and has worked in both state and independent schools.
She has coordinated and led various programs and professional learning teams over the course of her career, including Visual Arts, English as an Additional Language (EAL), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Language Other Than English (LOTE) programs.
In her Specialist Programs Coordination role, she collaborated with numerous artists and professional partners from the wider community to deliver innovative, creative projects. During this time, she collaborated with musician Erica Rasmussen to deliver a rich Arts program for the classroom (Foundation-Six), and developed a number of community projects including The Falling Colours of Autumn whilst working together in the school.
Zakiya has completed a Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts Education at RMIT University Melbourne, a Post-Graduate Certificate for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Leadership at Monash University. She is a member of the Golden Key National Honour Society at RMIT University.
Erica Rasmussen completed a Master of Music Performance in Percussion and Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Melbourne with Timothy Hook and Robert Cossom. While there, she was awarded the J.S Bach prize and received a scholarship to study with Montreal Symphony Orchestra timpanist Andrei Malashenko at McGill University (Canada). In 2009, Erica received a grant from the Cybec Foundation to participate in a Winter Music Creative Residency at the Banff Centre, Canada.
Erica has managed and directed of number of professional and community projects since 2009. She has been successful in receiving a number of grants to help fund the projects, including Moonee Valley Foundation, ArtPlay and City of Melbourne. The projects include Falling Colours of Autumn, a community art and music project at the Incinerator Arts Complex in Moonee Ponds, Paint What You Hear, a series of workshops where children respond to live music using paint, and a multi-disciplinary project, Silhouettes, Inside Outside at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne.
Erica is Director of Crashendo!, an El Sistema-inspired music program at Laverton P-12 College. She is also a percussion teacher and regular teaching artist and workshop director at ArtPlay and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Erica is an avid performer, enjoys playing various gigs around Melbourne and is co-founder of Tungsten Duo and the award-winning percussion trio, BED Percussion.