News » Creating wellbeing: Creativity and imagination in community health practice

Three men playing instruments in a gardne. In the foreground are the backs of the heads of the audience watching.

Creating wellbeing: Creativity and imagination in community health practice

On a sunny autumn afternoon on 16 March 2021, nearly 50 community members and staff gathered in our Community Garden to participate in a musical workshop exploring creativity and wellbeing.

The workshop was facilitated by musical trio Spirit Lines featuring:

Community members and staff attended from across our organisation, including social support, allied health and community nursing, community programs, refugee health and Aboriginal health.

Spirit Lines guided attendees through music and discussion relating to the theme of connection to community, a sense of home, our culture and belonging, finding pride and identity in ourselves. In the lead up to the workshop, attendees were invited use resources around them, art and creativity to create an image to be shared on the day based on this theme.

As a Community Health Nurse and Diabetes Educator, Deb facilitates a weekly group called Art Matters where creative and art practice are included to promote health, social connection and wellbeing. At the workshop, she invited members of the audience to share the creations brought along and encouraged all the group to reflect on their own connection to culture and place and their sense of identity.

It is not every day we have live music by Grammy award winners in our garden! It was particularly special see to see community members connect through music after a time when we have not been able. It was exciting to see creative methods applied for a creative project!

“It was wonderful event to take part in after a complete isolation for many months without mixing with others people due to the COVID 19. I cried tears of joy when I heard the live music for the first time thank you” – Wafa, client.

This event was delivered as part of the Creativity and Wellbeing Research Initiative (CAWRI) project in partnership with researchers from Centre of Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne.

The project goals are to:

Explore how YCH supports community members to promote health and wellbeing through art and creativity.
Explore what wellbeing means to people in terms of connections to culture and in the context of chronic conditions, illness and adversity.
For more information please contact Ju-Lin Lee (for the CAWRI project) or Deb Thorpe (for Art Matters).