Michelle became the inaugural Director of the Centre for Creative Health in 2016. With a background in arts education, event management and philanthropy, and having a career spanning across many government organisations, Michelle brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as director.
Michelle started her career as a secondary school teacher, before becoming a Tasmania education consultant. Michelle then worked as a Fellow Lecturer at the University of Tasmania where she completed a Master of Education.
Moving into an event management role, Michelle produced a diverse range of events, including stage productions, outdoor river rafting and fishing events; and major events such as Federation celebrations, Special Olympics opening, closing and civic ceremonies, community New Year events, and the bicentenary military tattoo.
Michelle then took a more strategic events role as Regional Event Consultant for Northern Tasmania through Events Tasmania, building the capacity of events to meet national, state and local criteria. This role included collaborating to develop event management tools including the Tasmanian Event Management Guide and helping events meet tourism goals set for the state.
After spending time working in electoral and government roles, Michelle’s focus turned to health. She was Senior Advisor, Events and Engagement for Health Workforce Australia before being appointed as Manager, Major Donors and Bequests for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Michelle has been a member of many state and national Boards, including New Horizons Club, Laurel House, Future Health Leaders, and a range of arts and events organisations. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Chamber Music Adelaide.
Michelle is now able to combine her arts, events and health skills and knowledge with her experience working in government environments and philanthropic organisations to lead the Centre for Creative Health team.
Fiona began working for the Centre for Creative Health in 2017 as the Gallery Coordinator for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and now holds the position of Senior Curator, working across a number of sites in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN).
Fiona assists in creating a healing environment within each hospital through regular exhibition programs, artist in residence programs and special projects associated with the visual arts and galleries program.
Fiona’s arts background ensures she is well positioned to deliver outstanding projects and programs within CCH. Fiona earned a Master of Visual Arts from the University of South Australia in 2012, and a Master of Arts (Curatorial and Museum Studies) and a Master of Arts (Studies in Art History) from the University of Adelaide in 2015.
Undertaking internships with the South Australian Museum and the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (Beijing) led Fiona to work for key arts organisations in Adelaide including the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA) and the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia. From 2016 to 2018 Fiona was an active member of the Board of Co-Directors who ran FELTspace, an established artist-run gallery located in Adelaide’s CBD.
Fiona finds the opportunity to share art with the hospital community to be extremely rewarding and greatly enjoys the challenges of integrating art into the healthcare setting.
Steph’s passion for bringing creative projects to life led her to join the Centre for Creative Health team in 2019 as the Assistant Curator.
Steph has degrees in Art History and Health Sciences (majoring in Nutrition) and experience in the performing arts. In 2018, she was awarded a Master of Arts (Curatorial and Museum Studies) from the University of Adelaide. She completed Curatorial and Project Officer internships at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2018 and a 12-month internship at Artlink Magazine in 2017.
Having previously worked with Country Arts SA, Steph was selected as the Emerging Curator for 2019 by the Art History and Curatorship Alumni Network and Floating Goose Studios Inc. In 2017, Steph was the recipient of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Excellence Award for Marketing and Development Support.
Steph enjoys combining creativity and health as a practicing Pilates instructor in Adelaide’s Western Suburbs and is interested in the relationship between art and self-regulation. She believes in art’s palpable ability to help people lead more engaged and informed lives and is committed to the promotion of contemporary artists.
Jess is a qualified Art Therapist who began working within the Centre for Creative Health at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2019.
Jess gained a Master of Art Therapy from Western Sydney University and is registered with the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA).
She has experience in the areas of disability, mental health and aged care, and has worked in a remote Indigenous community and various community settings.
Jess provides a safe space for patients to take a break from the medical environment and to explore and express their feelings, emotions and experiences through art making. Jess practices a client-centred, strengths-based approach in assisting patients on their healing journey. She aims to give patients a sense of choice and control and helps them to express themselves in image, colour, form and metaphor.
Jess is passionate about integrating creative arts therapies into health care and offering an exciting service to patients of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Brad works with the Centre for Creative Health coordinating the ‘Mule Shed’ Activity Hub at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre. As a Diversional Therapist he offers a creative distraction for patients requiring clinical rehabilitation services.
Brad completed a Master of Visual Art in 2010. His thesis focussed on an illustrated investigation into the notion of personal memory as a crucial facet of human existence.
Brad’s work has featured in 14 solo and collaborative exhibitions. He has also spent time as a woodworker. Brad has broad experience across the South Australian arts scene, working in venue construction and management with the Adelaide Festival, Fringe Festival and Garden of Unearthly Delights as well as undertaking stage and set construction for Slingsby Theatre and the South Australian Film Corporation.
With a strong sense of the impact the environment has on people’s wellbeing, combined with his passion and experience, Brad has now moved into a hospital setting. Working with patients on their rehabilitation journey, Brad offers activities and projects, including visual art, woodwork creations, and gardening as diversional activities.
Brad says it has been a privilege to see firsthand the positive impact of the arts within the medical fraternity, and feels incredibly grateful for the experiences he has shared with his patients and the relationships that have grown from those moments.
Rebecca joined the Centre for Creative Health in 2018. She works as a Diversional Therapist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital focusing on patients with cognitive impairment and sharing her skills and knowledge with staff and patients.
Rebecca completed her training at the City Art Institute in New South Wales before undertaking further study at the University of Tasmania. In 1988, she was awarded the Hunters Hill Bicentennial Award and the Lloyd Rees Youth Art Award.
Having exhibited individually and as a group member in both institutional and travelling exhibitions, Rebecca brings a wealth of experience to her role. In 2000, Rebecca was the Resident Artist for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra before exhibiting at the Adelaide Festival Centre and becoming the Artist in Residence for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2005.
Rebecca has worked on a range of arts projects including the Bride of Art Project at Flinders Medical Centre, the New Arrivals Art and Music Camps, The Big Lounge Project in Adelaide, as well as several other projects and specialty commissions.
In 2009, Rebecca began to exhibit biannually at Flinders Medical Centre and was an Intermittent Artist in Residence there as part of the Arts in Health program. She completed a number of units in Art Therapy before accepting a Residency at Kapara Aged Care Facility in 2017 where she developed many projects in the interactive and diversional environment. Rebecca is currently completing a degree in Dementia Care with the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre to compliment her work.
With a clear passion for both the arts and health, Rebecca is delighted to join the CCH team.
Lou came to the Centre for Creative Health in 2017 as a Diversional Therapist focusing on mental Health patients across the Central Adelaide Local Health network.
After working in a variety of art related position in the UK, Sydney and Adelaide, Lou returned to part-time study in the late 1990s. While studying, she worked as an art tutor for Carclew Youth Arts Centre while also running workshops for clients with mental health issues.
In 2004, Lou graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Art, receiving a Helpmann Academy and Adelaide City Council Award. She was also awarded the Constance Gordon-Johnson Sculpture and Installation Prize in 2005. Lou then continued to work predominantly as an artist in mental health settings, including across a range of hospitals and mental health community centres in South Australia.
Lou has exhibited her own work over the years, but more recently has dedicated her time and energy to supporting creativity in the lives of people who suffer from mental health issues.
Currently, Lou works at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and in the Acute Services unit at Glenside. She finds the work both inspiring and humbling, so often amazed by the talents of so many clients.
Estelles’ role as an Art therapist in Central Adelaide Palliative Care will see her working across the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospital with both Patients in a hospital setting and in the community.
Holding both an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art therapy and Graduate Diploma of Art Psychotherapy from the IKON Institute and as a member of ANZACATA (Australia, New Zealand and Asia Creative Art Therapist Association) Estelle has worked at Central Adelaide Palliative Care since 2015 and supports patients at end of life and their families.
Previous work in events, media and communications has given Estelle a solid background in the area of understanding visual meaning and ritual. Estelle values the importance of human experience and has a passion for celebrating each person’s unique story. The Art therapy process helps patients explore and understand the Spiritual, Physical and Psychosocial aspects of their life, and end of life experience. Supporting people as they gain greater clarity and resolution of their life experience is a large part of Estelle’s role.
Other areas of work include NDIA managed Clients living with a disability; elderly people and working with children in the areas of grief and bereavement; learning difficulties and trauma.
To work alongside and advocate for people at such a difficult time of life is an honour and a privilege. Placing the patient at the centre of their care, and supporting them to find acceptance and peace, is of utmost importance to Estelle’s practice.