Well it’s that time of year again, when you look at the calendar and say, “Christmas is only a few days away” and you wonder where on Earth the time has gone? Fortunately I get to write up this annual review for our newsletter and it quickly reminds me of how busy we have been and all the good things that have happened in 2016.
We started out year with the Creativity Hub in Lithgow in full swing with our partnership with Westfund Health. From January through to July we provided young women in Lithgow opportunities to engage in creating and recording their own songs, we connected with the broader community of Lithgow through the Creativity Hub drop in sessions which saw many community members take up leadership of the groups, and the palliative care and chronically ill patients at the Lithgow Hospital were provided with music therapy at the hospital bedside and in their homes.
Our partnership with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse kept us busy from February onwards with the establishment of out Music and Cancer Care Project starting in the first half of the year. We recruited a great music and health team of music therapists, a choral director, musicians, and a research assistant, to work with cancer patients and their families, staff members , and volunteers at Lifehouse and the results have been amazing. We are looking forward to continuing our work with the Lifehouse team into 2017 and hopefully embedding this work into other health care facilities throughout Australia.
Like so many arts organisations this year, we were disappointed not to receive government funding in 2016, which supports our ongoing sector development work. Regardless, the Institute has continued to provide advice and support for organisations and individuals who work in arts and health or hope to in the future.
We are very proud of the work being undertaken by our Leadership Groups, with some great professional development and networking opportunities presented as a result of the hard work and commitment of our Leadership Group members. Despite the minimal resources to fund our sector development work, the Institute is committed to further developing arts and health leadership in 2017.
Rounding out 2016, we have been working very hard on a pilot project that sees us partnering with the Centre Against Violence in North East Victoria. We are presenting a series of intensive music, song writing and visual arts workshops in January for family violence survivors. Whilst the project is discreet in size and nature at the moment we hope to expand our work in family violence in 2017 and see the use of arts and music more widely within family violence services nationally.
Yes, it has been a big year and we couldn’t have done it with out the support of so many. A big thank-you to our partners and supporters including The Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation, The Goodridge Foundation, Westfund Health, Lithgow High School, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Notre Dame University, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Henry Davis York and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
We couldn’t have achieved all this without you! We know better than anyone that the numbers just tell part of the story but check out these stats….
328 hours of live music for the patients, staff and visitors at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse
285 interactive music therapy sessions in the hospital setting in Lithgow and Lifehouse
49 young women at risk participated in songwriting and recording sessions.
720 experiences of music and health at the Lithgow Creativity Hub
12 new arts and health positions created
15 community volunteers engaged and supported
1386 hours of professional mentoring and development provided by ICH
71 Leadership Group Members
1000 arts and health news and resource items posted on social media
400 responses to enquiries about arts and health
1 brand new AA rated website!
In this newsletter we have a Q&A with one of our newest collaborators a member of the Centre Against Violence, Stephanie Metry and a review of Arts Front by Maz McGann We are very proud of our work and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better 2017! Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
Dr Emma O’Brien
The Institute for Creative Health