Wellbeing experts highlight the power of arts and culture to improve health and wellbeing for all
Wellbeing experts, practitioners, and policymakers from across the globe are coming together in Melbourne to advance the vital role of arts and culture in contributing to better quality of life outcomes for all Australians.
As the Australian Government begins to implement Australia's first National Cultural Policy in over a decade, the Performing Creativity, Culture and Wellbeing Conference will showcase new evidence-based research highlighting the benefits of creativity to our mental, physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.
With a keynote presentation by World Health Organisation Arts and Health Lead Christopher Bailey, the conference will feature panels and plenaries by wellbeing experts and policymakers, including Emeritus Professor Stephen Clift and Australia Council for the Arts CEO Adrian Collette.
Topics to be discussed include new arts-based interventions suitable for an ageing population, the need for truth-telling in relation to wrongs of the past and the impact of these wrongs on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, supporting disaster-affected communities through cultural participation, and a discussion of the new National Cultural Policy, ‘Revive’.
Conference co-convener University of Melbourne Professor Jane Davidson said the conference would spotlight the role creative practices can play in addressing some of society's most pressing issues.
"Having endured some of the longest COVID-19 lockdowns in the world, Victorians have become more aware of the fragility of their mental health," Professor Davidson said.
"With our health system in crisis, we need new mechanisms to support better health outcomes more than ever.
"We know that arts and cultural interventions can boost wellbeing, and it's time that we made the benefits of engaging with these creative practices available to all Australians.
"I am excited to bring this incredible network of researchers, practitioners, and advocates together to leverage new opportunities that place arts and culture at the core of our society, alongside health, education, and basic services," Professor Davidson said.
The Performing Creativity, Culture and Wellbeing Conference will run from 16-17 February, at the Ian Potter Southbank Centre, 43 Sturt Street, Southbank.
The Conference is hosted by the Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative and Creative Arts Music Therapy Research Unit at the University of Melbourne.
Experts are available for interview on request and media are welcome to attend. Images available upon request.