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garden of the mind
An award winning immersive performance inspired by stories shared by locals about recovery and living with mental distress.

An award winning immersive performance inspired by stories shared by locals about recovery and living with mental distress.

The project culminated in a multi-faceted performance event of music, video, installations and performances on Saturday 12 October 2019 at 7.30pm at the State Mine Museum, Lithgow.

The show is supported by local mental healthcare providers and was based on real stories from real people within the community. It will highlight the challenges faced by people with mental health conditions and use these as the basis for songs, poetry, comedy and spoken word.

James Daley, Lead Creative Developer for Trybal Productions, said the aim of the show is to enhance the social and emotional well-being of both the participants of and those who come to view the show.


“The project has the potential to help reduce the feeling of isolation and provides opportunities for informal and formal support. It will be fun and nurturing, and will help to build the resilience needed to sustain people through hard times,” he said. “What makes this show so powerful is the fact that it is entirely based on the lived experience of Lithgow residents,” said James Daley.


Garden of the Mind is Lithgow event of the year

The 2019 Lithgow Outstanding Event of the Year Award was presented to TryBal Productions for The Garden of the Mind.

The award was made in recognition of the significant contribution that special events make to the Lithgow region. The award was presented as part of Australia day activities in Lithgow in January 2020.

Thanks from the Tribal Minds team also to:

  • To all those we interviewed during this project, thank you for entrusting us with your stories and allowing us to share them with the community. Your stories have resonated with us all and we believe they are incredibly important, as they will help this community work to eliminate stigma around mental health.
  • Mic Clarke from the Lithgow community mental health team for supporting us and deepening our understanding of trauma informed care.
  • To Leanne Walding, the community hub manager of Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre for her ongoing support, encouragement and inspiring enthusiasm.
  • The Hoskins church for the privilege of rehearsing in such a beautiful and welcoming space
  • Ray Christison and his team for welcoming this project to the state mine museum.
  • The funding generously supplied by Wentworth Health Care primary health network and for their continued confidence and trust in the project.
  • Arts Out West for ensuring the project ran smoothly behind the scenes.

Visit the Trybal Productions website

Winner of the 2019 Lithgow Outstanding Event of the Year award.

Strategic area: arts and health

Location: Lithgow  

When: 2019

Funded by: Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN), community grants under the Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities initiative.

Arts OutWest auspiced the funding for this project on behalf of Trybal Productions and worked on the project as part of our arts and health work. Arts and health coordinator Christine McMillan supported closely with the team on the development on the project.

Partnering with: Trybal Productions

Trybal Productions team: Katrina Douglas (Director), Sean Bacon (Video Artist), Peter Kennard (Musical Director and Composer), Erin Darcy (Song Writing Facilitator and composer), Mike Smith (Production Manager), James Daley (Producer), Sue Daley (Marketing and Communication)

Featuring: Mahala Williams, Lee Vincent, Mic Clarke, Tanya Marquardt, Ariel Elliot, Bev Coombs, Helen Swinton, Georgia Swinton, Suzanne Day, Raydyn Murdock, Erin Darcy, Zenka Haas, Robert and Jenny, Saaskia Girdler, Patrick O’Reilly, Paul Meverley, Sam Williams, Kate Aeberli, Bob Suter. Artwork and photography featured in installations: Abstract Flame, Abstract Leaves, By the fire, Waterfall, by Andrew Norris; Seeds by Sue Daley; Lithgow my Town by Saaskia Girdler.

Image credits: Sue Daley