Student works on displayOn Saturday, 20 June, Carina State School, a primary school in Brisbane, Queensland, held its first carnival in 16 years, and it also set a new standard for Australian schools by being an exemplar Creative Commons Community.

The school held an amazing School Carnival Art Gallery in which Creative Commons licences were applied to all of the student works. Creative Commons music was played in the gallery, which avoided any additional costs or copyright concerns, and the school has plans to use Creative Commons licences in future activities.

Student works on displayThe school has taken a proactive approach to copyright by using the Creative Commons licences, and has introduced them to their students in a fun, creative and practical way, in the first event of its kind in Australia! We commend Carina State School and encourage other schools to use Creative Commons licences in similar ways.

So, how did Carina State School create a Creative Commons Community?

Notice: This is a real art galleryThe carnival art gallery was organised by the P&C with support from parents and staff. The students used some class time to create their artwork with the help of their teachers. The P&C obtained notice boards and frames for the artwork with the tremendous support of their Carnival sponsors, Officeworks, and a grant from the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund – Doboy Ward. A small team of dedicated parents and staff helped to mount the artworks and set up notice boards for display in the school hall. And, voila: the hall was transformed into an Art Gallery! The P&C also sourced a playlist of ‘easy-listening’ CC-BY licensed music to be played in the background!

When planning the event, the P&C considered copyright issues surrounding the sale of student artwork to the public. After some discussion it was settled that the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public Licence (CC-BY-NC) should be adopted for the artwork.

Artist attributionSelection of the CC-BY-NC licence meant that the students would be attributed (recognised) for their work, but also that it could not be exploited commercially without the student’s (or their guardian’s) permission. The P&C informed the parents of the licensing decision, and their response was overwhelmingly positive.

The Principal of Carina State School, Mr Alan Rowell, noted that frequently, student work isn’t taken seriously. So it was important for the school to respect the artwork as well as make sure they legally dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s. They decided that utilising Creative Commons licences were the best way to achieve all these goals. The school found CC licence stamped onto back of artworkthe licences easy to understand and simple to apply. The P&C purchased a stamp to mark the back of the artworks with the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial logo, and they have plans to use it for other school material and events. Each artwork also contained a small tag on the front indicating the name of the student (attribution), their class, the name of the work, and the CC-BY-NC logo. Each artwork was judged by the staff at the school, and a winner was selected from each class. Winners were presented with a blue ribbon and small gift.

The Art Gallery was a huge hit! Nearly every student chose to exhibit their artwork, and some works were even sold prior to the event. The artworks were fabulous! Purchasers paid $5 for each artwork, with a requirement that it remain on display until 2:00pm on the day, being an hour before the Carnival was drawn to a close. You can find more pictures of the Art Gallery HERE.

First prize winning artworkTake home message: Creative Commons licences work!

They’re a simple way to overcome copyright concerns and allow for greater dissemination and sharing of artwork, culture and information generally.

The earlier and more engrained Creative Commons licensing is in our education system the better the outcome for our schools, children and Australia generally. The school sector pays over $90 million a year in educational copyright licensing fees, and this doesn’t allow for unrestricted use of material, adaptation or sharing of content with the community at large. Creative Commons Licences are how we get around the locked-down world of copyright and generate a more creative and open Australia.

If Carina State School can do this, then your school can too! Use Creative Commons licences wherever possible and encourage the use of openly licensed resources in your school. For more information, see

Where can other schools obtain information and support on Creative Commons Licences?Student artwork

AusGOAL ( and the National Copyright Unit have teamed up and frequently provide this type of support to the education sector.

AusGOAL is the Australian Governments’ programme for opening access to publicly funded information for re-use by the community. It provides support and guidance to facilitate open access to publicly funded information and data.

The National Copyright Unit (NCU), on behalf of the Copyright Advisory Group Schools, represents schools in Australian on copyright matters. The NCU manages the Smartcopying website, which is the official guide to copyright issues for Australian Schools and TAFE and undertakes a broad range of activities in relation to copyright that provide significant benefits to the school sector.

All Australian State and Territory Departments of Education support Creative Commons licences. The Departments are in the process of licensing their websites and publications under Creative Commons, and the Queensland Department of Education and Training has completed that work. So, it is great to see schools such as Carina State School teach students and the school community about Creative Commons licences.

We encourage your school to follow the lead of the Queensland Department of Education and Training, and Carina State School and its P&C, and give Creative Commons licences a go! If you have questions or need any assistance the NCU is always happy to provide support. NCU and AusGOAL are also members of Creative Commons – Australia.

You can contact the National Copyright Unit on (02) 9561 1204 or email at [email protected]

Well done Carina State School!

More about Carina State School

Carina State School is a state government primary school in Carina (a suburb of Brisbane), in Queensland. It has a student population of approximately 280, and it will be celebrating its centenary in 2017. Additional information on Carina State School can be found on the school’s CC-BY licensed website, and on the My School website. We also note that the Queensland Department of Education and Training licenses its website under CC-BY.

You can find out more about the Carnival on the Carina P&C’s Facebook webpage, where comments, photos and other aspects of the Carnival are being displayed and also on the Carina Carnival website created for the event.


first photo: ‘Op Art’ by Antony.
second photo: ‘ANZAC’ by Max J.

All the above photos were taken at the Carina State School Carnival Art Gallery, 20 June 2015 by Baden Appleyard. The photographs and the artworks are licensed under the . A copy of the licence can be located at:­nc/4.0/