Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Melbourne icon-chevron-right Level up your life with a short course at CAE

Level up your life with a short course at CAE

Don’t put off it off any longer – enrol in a class now and start pursuing your passions

By Time Out in association with the Centre for Adult Education |
Woman walking past a wall covered in graffiti
Photograph: Supplied

It’s easy to fall into a humdrum cycle: get up, go to work, eat a sad desk lunch, go home, sleep. The things that we once loved doing – or the things that we’ve always wanted to try – get overlooked.

We think it’s time you put your passions first, and the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) is here to help. For over 70 years the CAE has taught Melburnians everything from pickling to painting to speaking Polish, with more than 300 short courses to choose and learn from.

Need some inspo? Here are five CAE classes that will help liven up your life.

Visit CAE's website for the full list of courses and to enrol. 

Woman in studio shaping a clay sculpture of a woman
Photograph: Supplied


The art of shaping, glazing and firing clay has certainly made a comeback in recent years. Learn how to master the art for yourself at one of CAE’s ceramics short courses. The centre has a purpose-built ceramics studio where you can learn how to make everything from vases to sculptures and jewellery. Everyone from total beginners to seasoned ceramicists is catered to and all materials are provided. Why buy a nice pot for someone’s Christmas prezzie when you can make your own?

Hand drawing with charcoal on a white surface
Photograph: Supplied

Painting and drawing

Painting and drawing are the building blocks of all visual art forms. Contrary to popular belief, anyone can be taught the artforms, as the skilled teachers at CAE can attest. Wise up on the fundamentals or expand your repertoire: CAE runs classes in oils, acrylic, watercolours, pastels, abstract painting, botanicals and cartooning. Classes run during the day, in the evenings and on the weekends, so you’ve got no excuses not to pursue your creative side.

Hands holding a pasta nest
Photograph: Supplied


If you don’t know a microplane from a mandoline, head into CAE and get kitchen ready. There are hands-on courses for those who like getting stuck into things and demonstration-style classes for those who like to take a backseat. With the silly season on the way, it’s an ideal time to pick up a few more tricks (they even run a course on how to create an easy but elegant Christmas feast), or try out a new style of cooking – CAE offers classes in Malaysian, French, Thai, Italian, Vietnamese, Spanish and Greek cuisine.

Pair of hands trimming a rose
Photograph: Supplied

Floristry courses

You can’t just whack some flowers in a vase and call it a bouquet. Floristry is an art and there’s no better time to learn it than in spring. As the mercury rises, sign up for one of CAE’s hands-on floristry courses. There’s a one-day floristry workshop, wedding floristry and contemporary floristry workshops available, plus you’ll get to take all your bouquets home. Each class will show you how to identify, prepare, arrange and maintain flowers to keep your bouquets looking fresh for as long as possible.

Hands working with fabric
Photograph: Supplied


Being able to make, fix and maintain your own clothes is game changing. Take a hold of your own fashion future by learning to create your own garments. Learn to knit like a seasoned nanna, dye in the traditional Japanese shibori style, discover how to make patterns like a pro or school yourself up on the intricacies of sewing using a machine. You’re in good hands at the CAE too, with the tutors having previously worked at institutions like the Victorian Opera and the Australian Ballet.