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Arts and Health Australia

The 'FIVE' Project: Addressing Mental Health in Fifo Communities Through Arts Participation

In partnership with Rio Tinto Iron Ore, DADAA has commenced a two-year pilot project addressing mental health issues specific to regional Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) communities. Called FIVE, the project will develop local community arts and cultural development projects in targeted communities around Western Australia.

The partnership model is bold, multi-layered and unprecedented in how it brings the CACD and resources sectors together to address one of the State’s most challenging social issues: the FIFO phenomenon and its effects on both individuals and their communities.

FIVE workS in five very different socio-cultural contexts – each, in some way, part of the FIFO network – to address highly complex mental health issues unique to each community. Long-term goals are to reduce stigma around mental health and to facilitate peer-to-peer connection within communities, through both on-the-ground and online initiatives that enable storytelling and promote social inclusion.

Experienced artists work with participants to develop individual projects in each community, crafted to address local community needs and resulting in artistic outcomes in each location. In addition, a single, over-arching collective work – consisting of a moving collaborative sculpture and a digital installation generated by renowned artists Craig Walsh and Hiromi Tango, in consultation with communities – will travel across the State and internationally.

Evaluation of the pilot is extensive and will culminate in measuring collective impacts, results of which will be shared with the broader arts and health sector.

Our conference presentation will share a number of facets of FIVE, including: innovative partnership model; FIFO mental health in WA; CACD processes as applied to FIFO communities; evaluation frameworks; and ways in which FIVE addresses State Government strategies around mental health prevention, regional arts expansion and community resilience.

David DoyleDavid Doyle

David is the Executive Director of DADAA, Western Australia, an Arts organisation dedicated to Arts for Social Change that has over the past 16 years been at the forefront of the Australian Arts and Disability movement.

David has worked across Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya and Ireland to extend cultural participation for people with disabilities and mental illness. David Holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (ANU), Graduate Diploma of Education (ECU) and is an accredited Partnership Broker through PBAS UK. David is the Editor of Proving the Practice - evidencing the effects of community arts on mental health, he has written widely on Arts and Health practice in Australia.

As an arts worker throughout the 1990s David focused on regional Community Arts and Cultural Development projects and Disability Arts Festivals with a focus on cultural inclusion. David was awarded the National Arts and Health Leadership Award in 2009 for his work in the Australian Arts and Health sectors and the Western Australian State Arts Business Leadership Award for his work in sustainable partnerships, between communities, the business and Arts sectors.

Andrea LewisAndrea Lewis

An experienced editor and published author, Andrea works as a contract writer, editor and project manager across the community and higher education sectors in Western Australia. She is currently communications coordinator for DADAA's FIVE project, a regional mental health partnership with Rio Tinto Community Investment. From 2001 to 2006, Andrea worked in marketing and public relations at Curtin University, managing the publications office, and from 2006 until 2007, she was marketing coordinator for the Western Australian Community Foundation. Andrea received a PhD from Pennsylvania State University in 1995, and subsequently taught English literature and critical thinking at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Peter WrightDr Peter Wright

Dr Peter Wright is Associate Dean (Research) and Associate Professor of Arts Education and Research Methods at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. He works across the Arts with a commitment to personal, social and cultural inquiry, agency, education and expression, health and wellbeing. His research interests include teaching, learning and healing in, through, and with the Arts; Artistically-based approaches to research; Creativity and Socially Engaged Arts; Applied Theatre; Transformational Learning; Teacher Development in the Arts; and Participatory Arts. Central to this work is an interest in social justice, social pedagogy, and social inclusion, and the way they are mediated in and through the Arts. He has contributed to and led a number of competitive externally funded research projects including funding through National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, The Australian Research Council, and national reviews for the Australian Federal Government.

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