The Institute of Creative Health
From the desk of Emma O'Brien - Another Big Year
December 2016
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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 
Executive Director

Out of the Shadows - New Project for the ICH Team  Read More

The Institute For Creative Health (ICH) in partnership with the Centre Against Violence (CAV) in North East Victoria have commenced a new project in Wangaratta called Out of the Shadows.  Focusing on the use of music and arts in family violence services, the project is the first stage of a major project, which aims to see musicians and artists embedded in family violence services nationally.   The Goodridge Foundation has generously provided financial support for the Out of the Shadows project.

Q&A with Family Violence Worker Stephanie Metry  Read More

Given our exciting work in North East Victoria with the Centre Against Violence, this quarter's Q&A article is from a young Family Violence worker, Stephanie Metry.


ArtsFront - A New Vision for Arts In Australia
A report by Maz McGann

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Part project, part ideology, ArtsFront is a vehicle for collaboration and engagement, encouraging artists to stand up and take the lead in relation to national arts policy.  It is the brainchild of Norm Horton and Sarah Moynihan with their Queensland based arts company, Feral Arts aiming to bring the arts sector together and develop a cohesive and effective advocacy force. 

University of Sydney
Writer in Residence Fellowship - Call Out. 
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The Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence Fellowship 2017 has been made possible thanks to the generosity of its inaugural Patron, Judy Harris.     The fellowship will support an established Australian writer to create new work within Australia’s leading interdisciplinary centre dedicated to easing the global burden of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions through innovative research and teaching.   

Key Dates and Upcoming Events  Read More

Lots of arts, health and community things coming up in 2017.  Here are some key dates to mark in your diary including conferences, training and fellowships.     

Have You Checked us Out on Facebook Lately??? Read More

We are pretty social!  If you are interested in hearing about arts and health projects, resources and happenings from all over Australia and the world check out our Facebook Page.  We post daily news items and links to resources that you might find interesting, so come on over and say hello to us on the Instittute for Creative Health Facebook Page

Merry Christmas from all of Us here at the Institute for Creative Health.  See you in 2017. 
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