Welcome to 2024

Hello and Happy New Year to all those interested in arts and health – under all the many names it goes under: creative health, creative wellbeing, community cultural development, culture and health, socially engaged arts practice, the creative therapies. 

I wish the nurture and joy of creative practice for all of us in 2024. 

And 2024 looks like a busy, active and exciting one for our sector!

First, Please join us! 2024 is a year of reconnection, of listening to our sector and returning to our mission to see and celebrate work in arts and health, and to share knowledge in our networks, to support each other in the work we do and value. 

Our first meeting will be in person on Tuesday March 5 4pm-6pm at the Black Dog Institute, corner Hospital Road and Francis Martin Road Randwick (part of the Prince of Wales Hospital complex). There’s a kitchen there and the courtyard and hopefully some creative engagement. Please come! Register at  https://events.humanitix.com/arts-health-network-nsw-act-reconnect-and-re-energise

Second, please do become a member if you are not already! It costs $20 and lets you vote at our AGM (November) and be more involved in our work. Email gail.kenning@unsw.edu.au or apply at https://www.artshealthnetwork.com.au . Those of you who are members: thank you! Invoices will arrive by email. 

Third – we are looking for a new social media intern! This unpaid role can be adapted to support your career and previous interns have found both high level connections and pathways to careers through their work. Please contact claire.hooker@sydney.edu.au for more information or see our other post about this role. 

Fourth – there are a lot of events in 2024!

  1. Big Trauma Big Change – Big Anxiety Research Centre (BARC) 21-23 March 2024 UNSW, Kensington (with on campus festival events 13th-23rd). https://www.events.unsw.edu.au/event/big-trauma-big-change-building-tomorrow-today 
  2. Leading Creative Schools conference – CREATE Centre 22 & 23 March 2024  University of Sydney. Register and more info: https://pay.sydney.edu.au/V96/booking?
  3. Fostering Creative Health Conference – CAWRI 18-20 April 2024 The University of Melbourne – Hybrid (online/in person).  Submission Deadline 9 February 2024. https://www.cawri.com.au/news
  4. International Teaching Artists Conference (ITAC 7) – Centre for Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) University of Auckland 5-7 September 2024. More Information at https://www.itac7.ac.nz/ and at https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/giving/donate/select-an-area-to-support/education/centre-for-arts-and-social-transformation.html
  5. Empathy Symposium: Art, Empathy and Compassion. 4-6 December, 2024 Melbourne, Frankston Art Centre https://www.monash.edu/medicine/nursing/empathy-symposium

Please follow our socials Facebook Twitter/X LinkedIn and Instagram as a lot more events, jobs, new projects, new research, and what’s happening around the country are shared there. Please like, follow, comment, share, invite others to follow – that’s how our network grows. 

Many of us have high hopes for the continued expansion of our sector under favourable policy conditions in 2024. From the social prescribing trials in Queensland to the Special Envoy for the Arts the Hon Susan Templeman at the heart of the Federal government, to the Federal Government’s hope that we will ‘activate’ their ambitious cultural policy from last year, Revive, to the operationalising of arts health programs through the Arts and Health officer within Health Infrastructure NSW … our sector is well placed to flourish. Not that there isnt a lot of work ahead. Let us do it together.

Claire Hooker


AHNNA 2024

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash