The Arts Health Network is an affiliation of academics, artists, health practitioners and allies who provide information, research, resources and activities to broaden understanding of the impact and value of creative arts in improving health outcomes.

We are a peak advocacy and advisory body in the field of creative arts and health.

Our members include artists, practitioners, program developers and leaders, social enterprise creators, social change agents and researchers in arts and health, covering a wide range of issues, approaches and specialist areas.

Our aim is to support, promote and advocate for the use of creative arts in ways that increase health and wellbeing. We bring together two complex areas: Arts, and Health, for the benefit of a third, the community. Our goal is to facilitate interactions and conversations across these two sectors, and to develop and provide resources, support and capacity in the service of our vision of individual and collective flourishing as founded in human creativity and connection.

What we can provide:

  • Consultation and advice on the implementation of the National Arts and Health Framework (2014) and the NSW Health and Arts Framework (2016) at local or State level
  • Consultation and advice on designing, implementing and evaluating arts and health programs, trials and interventions
  • Planning for the role of the arts in preventive health, community health, mental health and health promotion for the future, as well as in specialist areas where members have expertise
  • Connections to others across the sector where relevant



We value health and creativity. We see health and creativity as inseparable and founded in human connection. We understand health as constituted through creativity, culture, community and country.

We value leadership. We understand leadership as collective action, as creating opportunities for all of us, through sharing our vision.

Our values are practices. We practice deep listening and engaging ethically and in partnership with communities, carers, clinicians, artists, organisers: with all who seek health, or who seek to support health.

Left to right: Vic McEwan, Dr Claire Hooker, Karen Kerkhoven, Christine McMillan, Helen Zigmond, Ian Thomson, Michelle Jersky, Christopher Smith.

Other members not pictured are: Gail Kenning, Elaine Paton, Dr Linden Wilkinson, Jennie Pry, Dr Katherine Boydell, Dr John Rae, Dr Paul Dwyer, Diane Busutil.



Committee Members



Dr Claire Hooker

Senior Lecturer, Health and Medical Humanities; Director, Bioethics program, Sydney Health Ethics, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney



Dr Katherine Boydell

Professor of Mental Health. MHSc., PhD

Head, AKT (arts-based knowledge translation) Lab, Black Dog Institute

Director, Knowledge Translation, Maridulu Budyari Gumal – SPHERE (Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise), University of New South Wales



Gail Kenning

Research Fellow-fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), Big Anxiety research Centre, UNSW

Research Associate-Ageing Futures Institute, Neura, Human Rights Institute, UNSW

Arts Practitioner


Diane Busuttil

Dance artist, educator and filmmaker

Master of Research (HDR), Macquarie University, “Cinematic subjectivity in first person story telling”.

Diane recently initiated Creative Caring that brings dance classes within reach of all people with chronic movement restrictions, with a focus on community building for people with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis  https://www.creativecaring.com.au/


Dr Paul Dwyer

Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney


Vic McEwan

Artistic Director, The Cad Factory

Master of Fine Arts (Hons). PhD candidate.



Michelle Jersky

Program Manager: Arts in Health & Community Development | Ngala Nanga Mai pARenT Group Program, Department of Community Child Health 


Karen Kerkhoven

Choreographer MA (Dance), Teacher A.I.C.D. L.I.S.T.D. Adv.Classical Ballet (Cecchetti)

Facilitator Imagine Residency NSW , Creator facilitator of “On the Cusp”


Christine McMillan

Arts and Health Coordinator at Arts OutWest


Elaine Paton

Director, Writer, Performer


Jennie Pry

Healthy Places Manager, Population Health

Finding urban design & placemaking solutions for complex health and social problems


Dr John Rae

PhD, Senior Lecturer, Health Services Management
Associate Head, School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University


Christopher Smith

Writer, Executive Director at Shared Reading NSW


Ian Thomson

Head of the UTS Animal Logic Academy, University of Technology Sydney

Master of Media Arts & Production, University of Technology Sydney



Dr Linden Wilkinson

Honorary Affiliate, University of Sydney

Playwright, Theatre Maker, Performer, Teacher & Researcher


Helen Zigmond

Arts and Health Consultant