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Arts, health and healing

To transform public health, we need to think creatively
Creative practices have transformative effects on public health. How can we embed the arts to provide better healthcare?

Event details
Date and time:
 Monday 21 October, 6 – 7.30pm
Venue: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free and open to all with online registrations essential

While medicine treats, it doesn't always heal. Growing evidence is confirming what we may have known intuitively: culture is intrinsic to our health. 

The arts play a role in advancing public health because they present a new vision for healthcare — a more connected form of care that enables us to better handle pain, suffering, grief and trauma.

Creative practices — from writing to yarning, dance, music and theatre — allow individuals and communities to express and perhaps reclaim what's been lost from treatment and prevention: spirit, language, country and culture. 

In this event, hear from internationally renowned artists and researchers including Clive Parkinson (Manchester School of Art) and Vic McEwan (The Cad Factory).

Our speakers will present case studies of exemplary practice in the burgeoning field of arts in health, along with a series of provocations for policymakers, artists, health professionals and health consumers.

This event is co-presented with Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC) and the Arts Health Network (NSW-ACT). It is also part of the Big Anxiety festival program, Australia's largest mental health event connecting art, science and people. 

The speakers

Clive is the Director of Arts for Health and the nascent Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change at Manchester Met and is a member of the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance. He was made a Reader in Arts, Health and Social Justice in 2016. He has been closely involved with arts and health developments in the UK, Europe and Australia and he has been central to strategic developments and practical activity in this field. He recently complied The Manchester Declaration, a statement of principles to drive the arts and health agenda across Greater Manchester.

Vic is the Artistic Director of The Cad Factory, an innovative arts organisation based in regional NSW. Vic’s practice involves working with sound, composition, video, installation and performance, with a particular interest in site-specific work. He is interested in creating new dynamics by working with diverse partners and exploring difficult themes within the lived experience of communities and localities. Vic aims to use his work to contribute to and enrich broader conversations about the role that the arts sector can play within our communities. He sits on the Inagural NSW/ACT Arts/Health State Leadership Group and is a board member of Music NSW. 

Nicole is a Research Fellow at the UON School of Nursing and Midwifery and Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychiatry, UNSW. She has worked perinatal and maternal mental health research for over 15 years and is committed to working alongside clinicians and policymakers to achieve the best outcomes for women, children and families.

Akeshia is an Aboriginal woman who completed her Indigenous Mental Health clinician training through Charles Sturt University in 2008. She has been working in a variety of roles supporting the mental health of Indigenous people is passionate about using culture to improve the mental health of her community, the focus of her PhD.

Event information

This event is free and open to all but online registration is essential.

Simply click the 'Register now' button or follow this link.

Entry to ticket holders will be prioritised and given on a first-in, best-dressed basis until the room reaches capacity. If an event is full, this may result in standing room or delayed admittance until an appropriate time.

We recommend early arrival to allow time for finding the venue and securing a seat to the event. Doors open 15 minutes before the advertised start time. 

If you could not register but would like to attend, you are welcome to join a stand-by queue on the night as seats may become available due to late cancellations. Please note, this is not guaranteed so you come at risk of non-admittance.

This venue provides infrared hearing system. You can take the lift down to Level B1 to reach the Auditorium Foyer. There are wheelchair spaces available for seating.

Access requirements

If you have other access requirements or want more information, get in touch with us on 9351 2943 or email sydney.ideas@sydney.edu.au with 'Access | Oct 21 – Art and health' in the subject line at the earliest opportunity to allow us time to organise for any additional services in time for the event.

Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium is on Level 1 of the building opposite Charles Perkins Centre Hub on John Hopkins Drive (next to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital), off Missenden Road.

You can also enter via the Ross Street entrance: the venue is next to the ovals.

Public transport

The closest bus stop is the University of Sydney Ross Street Gate, Parramatta Road (Opposite Glebe Officeworks). It is a five-minute walk to the venue. Use the University Campus Map tool to locate the bus stop. You can take the bus from Central Station (routes 412, 413, 436, 438, 440, 461, 480).

The venue is roughly a 30-minute walk from Redfern station.

There is some on-street parking around Forest Lodge and Glebe.

There is also paid parking available at Western Avenue Carpark. Head to the University's Parking page for more information about fees and opening hours.

Use the University Campus Maps tool to find out more details about parking and access areas: search for the 'Charles Perkins Centre'. 

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