Creating for Wellbeing is a collection of stories, advice, information, training materials and activities for community-based artists who are working in partnership with teachers and health professionals for the wellbeing of children and young people. The collection offers valuable suggestions and illustrations for integrating the arts with wellbeing and learning models. It includes pointers for artists working within inter-disciplinary teams where different professional perspectives and abilities combine around these shared aims.


Contributions to the site have been made by a range of presenters and participants within the Artists Training Program (ATP) of the Festival for Healthy Living (FHL), a statewide community-based initiative of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. The Festival brings together artists, health professionals, schools and communities across the state of Victoria and beyond to help build creative and healthy social and learning environments for all. The Artists Training Program has been an integral part of the Festival’s approach since 2008, helping to build greater understanding and more sustainable collaborations. An evaluation of the Artists Training Program 2008 – 2010 was undertaken by Effective Change with the Royal Children’s Hospital and demonstrates the Program’s effectiveness in building the capacity of more than 70 artists across Victoria as well as increasing awareness of the value of the arts within education and health promotion. Training activities and materials featured on this site have been developed for, by and with artists in addition to the FHL’s Guidelines for Professional Learning.

FHL’s Guidelines for Professional Learning

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The materials collected here have been contributed by artists, educators and health professionals with experience in collaborative practice within schools and communities. They introduce some of the potential links between creative and participatory arts practice, mental health promotion, and education.

They include reflective stories, descriptions of workshops and activities, presentations and links to other relevant sites. Also, Creating for Wellbeing features the short documentary film There’s Magic in the Mix, by filmmaker Stefan Markworth, especially commissioned for this site. This film explores collaborative working relationships between artists, teachers and health professionals. It includes interviews with professionals who have worked in the Festival for Healthy Living, as well as examples of their work. It covers key areas such as: What are Mental Health Messages?; The Importance of the Curriculum; Ways of Working Together; Negotiating the Unknown; Solving Problems; as well as personal accounts of professional growth.

Materials on the website are grouped under the following themes:


Written material is grouped under the headings Different Approaches, Working Together, Artists’ Stories, Young People and Children, Planting and Harvesting, and Artists’ Wellbeing.


These videos explore and further expand on some of the themes that are covered through written material on this website.


These audio files accompany some of the themes covered in the written material on this website, and are designed to be enjoyed while on the go!

The sampler of activities and materials on Creating for Wellbeing explore these themes from multiple perspectives and many of the materials complement each other and the film. They are most effective when used within the context of the FHL Training Program. However, in response to strong interest by artists beyond the FHL we have provided a cross-section of some of the presentations, stories, ideas and advice that have “hit the mark” with artists committed to learning more about this exciting area of emerging collaborative practice.

The Festival for Healthy Living is a partnerships program based at the Integrated Mental Health Program of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. The Artists Training Program 2008–2010 has been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts through its Community Partnerships Section, and a broad range of arts, education and health institutions, agencies and individuals.

The creation of this website and the development and production of the documentary film There’s Magic in the Mix have been made possible through the generous support of The Harcourts Foundation, Mr Marc Besen AO and Mrs Eva Besen AO, and the Ray and Joyce Uebergang Foundation.