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Making Time: Arts and Self-Care

A space to reflect and build capacity and mechanisms in caring for self and communities. Are you working in the arts? With communities in complex settings? Working on your own or with limited resources? Ever felt like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?

Gain tips and tools for your wellbeing at the Arts and Self-Care Forum with renowned facilitators including: psychotherapist Craig San Roque; Director of Education and Training, Phoenix Australia, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health Darryl Wade; and Jiman (central west Queensland) and Bundjalung (northern New South Wales) woman, Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson.

Explore methods to plan and manage your self-care while examining how the sector can advocate together to care for the practitioners and artists.

Speakers: Professor Judy Atkinson, Associate Professor Darryl Wade, Dr Craig San Roque, Liss Gabb, Richie Hallal and Karen Jackson.

Click here to read more about the speakers.

WHEN: Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October, 10am – 5:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space and Jack Kennedy Meeting Room
COST: $100 waged / $60 unwaged / $60 Pay-It-Forward

FCAC is offering a Pay-It-Forward system to enable participants for whom price is a barrier to attend the forum.

  • If you would like to Pay-It-Foward to someone, please purchase a Pay-It-Forward ticket when making your booking. BOOK NOW
  • If you would like to register to recieve a Pay-It-Forward ticket, please click here.


Empathy, Innocence and Gun for Hire
Presenter: Craig San Roque

This session investigates some personal and spiritual consequences for an artist working in intercultural borderzones and under psychic pressure. Many artists hired to handle complex situations are exposed to unbearable tensions. Like creativity implies being able to face and hold destruction. Empathy is a valuable human quality, but innocent naivete can kill.
An artist, as an instrument of creation, can negotiate with destruction. Destruction without and destruction within. In what way is this to be managed? By what skill? Craig will present a schema of such tensions and opportunities, and tell stories to show artists working under such pressures, and succeeding.

Self-Care and Helping Others
Presenter: Darryl Wade

Join Darryl to talk, listen and learn about stress, reactivity and tensions, stressors and triggers in a practical session reviewing some simple strategies to deal with mental health in yourself, others and communities. Begin your personal Stress Management Plan.
1. Know about stress
2. Understand reactions and difficulties coping in response to stressors
3. Recognise the signs of stress and difficulties coping in yourself and others
4. Review some simple strategies to deal with stress and mental health problems
5. Seek peer or professional help when needed
6. Begin to develop a personal Stress Management Plan

The Arts in Healing
Presenter: Judy Atkinson

The use of art as a therapeutic expression is effective for people experiencing generational violence, trauma, and incarceration. Judy Atkinson makes associations between children and prisons, dispossession with the Indigenous Australian story, and dissociation with the refugee story.
Participate in this exploration of language, listening and story. Identify the critical need for supervision. Create your own materials for self-care. Arts give language to make people safe…

Understanding Barriers to Self-Care
PANEL: Lenine Bourke, Karen Jackson, Richie Hallal and Liss Gabb

Focusing on self-care can be difficult. This conversation looks at ways artists, managers, and community practitioners might build self-care strategies into the ways they work. By identifying strategies for the person, panellists will also consider stategies for the sector that can be engaged with more effectively.

Chair: Lenine Bourke, Director Community Partnerships, Australia Council for the Arts
Karen Jackson, Director, Moondani Balluk, Victoria University and Member of FCAC Indigenous Advisory Group;
Richie Hallal, Independent Director and Creative Producer, Previous Director at Outback Theatre for Young People, Industry Mentor for FCAC’s Emerging Cultural Leaders Program;
Liss Gabb, Team Leader, cohealth arts generator (health centre and arts program working with marginalised communities)

Yoga Nidra
Friday 30 October , 9.15am and 1.00pm, $5 on the day

Yoga Nidra with Carisma Dewi Martorejo is a systematic method of initiating complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. During the 20 – 30 minute guided meditation, one appears to be asleep however the consciousness is working at a deeper level of awareness. As an ancient practice derived from the Sivananda and Satyananda lineage, it promotes health and well being and may help to reduce fatigue, anxiety, stress and insomnia. Yoga Nidra balances the entire nervous system, regenerating prana or life force.


Session 1 – Thursday 29 October

10am Acknowledgement of Country (Uncle Larry Walsh)
10:15am Welcome and Introduction (Jade Lillie)
10:30am Empathy, Innocence and Gun for Hire (Craig San Roque)
12:30pm LUNCH
1:30pm Self-Care and Helping Others (Darryl Wade)
4:30pm Reflection

Session 2 – Friday 30 October

9.15am Yoga Nidra
10:15am Arrive and Welcome
10:30am The Arts in Healing (Judy Atkinson)
1:00pm LUNCH // Yoga Nidra
2:00pm PANEL: Understanding Barriers for Self-Care in The Arts
4:00pm NEXT STEPS: Sector, Self-Care and Actions
5:00pm Social Event FCAC Bar Open
7:00pm Close

See media release here

Sean Curham, Stand Up Lie Down (2014)
Spectres of Evaluation. Image by Daniela Rodriguez


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Date & Times
  • Thursday 29 October and Friday 30 October
    10am - 5:30pm
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