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Macksville Hospital community art 2020 Premier’s Awards finalist

Sunday 8 November 2020

In November 2020 Health Infrastructure’s Arts in health infrastructure initiative at Macksville Hospital was selected as a 2020 Premier’s Awards finalist in the Well Connected Communities with Quality Local Environments category.

The Arts in Health Strategy for the new Macksville Hospital engaged with three Gumbaynggirr communities (Bowraville, Macksville and Nambucca Heads) of the Nambucca Valley who came together and decided on the theme ‘mountains to the sea’.

The collaboration of three high-schools, supported by twelve organisations, working across three river communities resulted in delivery of three large-scale woven artworks representing Juluum-nyarr gaagal-gu (Mountains to the Sea).

Through the initiative, art was successfully used to engage and relocate the local community from an established hospital site to a new greenfield site, creating a sense of familiarity and connection for the Gumbaynggirr people to the new $73 million Macksville Hospital which opened in May 2020.

The arts in health initiative at Macksville Hospital is leaving a lasting community legacy with support from many partners and stakeholders including:

Mid North Coast Local Health District, National Aboriginal Design Agency, Aboriginal Reference Group – Macksville District Hospital, Arts Working Group – Macksville District Hospital, Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance, Nambucca Heads High School, Macksville High School, Bowraville Central School, Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative, Bowraville Local Aboriginal Land Council, Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Council, Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council, Bowraville Women’s Group, Country Women’s Association Macksville and Nambucca RSL Club. 

The integration of arts into the design and delivery of health services through Health Infrastructure’s Arts in Health initiatives benefit patients, visitors and staff. The program includes all art forms including heritage, literature, visual, performing and dramatic arts. Studies have shown incorporating vibrant, positive and engaging artwork into hospitals helps promote healing and wellbeing.

Discover more about the process, the people and the incredible artworks here.

For more information on the NSW Premier’s Awards, click here.

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