Showing off our Arts & Health work


The landmark arts and health programs of the NSW Central West will be front and centre when Arts OutWest presents at an international arts and health conference.

The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing is the 8th annual international arts and health conference. It will be held in Sydney November 16-18 at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Tracey Callinan and Christine McMillan from regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest will co-present on arts and health programs in hospitals in regional NSW. They’ll talk specifically about the programs managed or supported by Arts OutWest in collaboration with Western New South Wales Local Health District.

Christine McMillan and Tracey Callinan

Christine McMillan and Tracey Callinan

They will highlight the successes and challenges of establishing arts and health programs in Bathurst and Orange Hospitals and tailored programs for new hospitals in Parkes and Forbes. Tracey and Christine will also conduct a practical workshop at the conference around designing arts and health programs in hospitals and community health services.

“It’s an enormous honour to be asked to share our work in this area with a wider audience,” Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan said. “We will be highlighting the essential role of community consultation and building strong relationships in arts and health work as well as lessons we have learnt from different approaches to working with the health sector,” she said. “We’ll share insights on all stages of the process of building an in-hospital arts and health program from issues like infection control through to selecting the right artists. We’ll also touch on some of our arts and health work that happens outside of hospitals.”

The conference has attracted a range of top international speakers and will be attended by health professionals, artists working in the field, policy makers, academics as well as representatives from each tier of government.

The overarching theme of the conference is ‘mental health and resilience through the arts’.  Key areas of practice and research will be explored: mental health and resilience, creative ageing, arts and health in hospitals, healthcare services and health promotion.

Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan has overseen Arts OutWest’s arts and health program since 2009. She has most recently been a member of the state government’s NSW Health and the Arts Taskforce, leading to the release of the state’s first NSW Health and The Arts Framework.

Christine McMillan has been Arts OutWest’s arts and health coordinator since the inception of the program in 2008 and has become a widely respected expert in the field.  A practicing artist, Christine has managed the arts and health activities at the new Bathurst Hospital and the major new culture and arts program as part of the redevelopment of Parkes and Forbes Hospitals. She’s also designed and ran arts programs around ageing and disability across the Central West region.

Arts OutWest are currently managing the cultural and arts program in Forbes and Parkes hospitals, an ongoing program at Bathurst Hospital, a pilot arts and dementia program at JRV in Forbes, Aboriginal health and engagement projects and a regional artist run initiative for people with and without disability. Past projects have includes arts and disability, Aboriginal health promotions and support of the Orange Arts and Health program.


More about the conference:

More about Arts OutWest’s arts and health program:

More about the NSW Health and the Arts Taskforce:

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