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Arts & Health: Spread the Word

Aboriginal arts and health

Spread the Word is a 2012-2013 project of Arts OutWest that promotes healthy lifestyle and raises awareness of chronic disease to Aboriginal communities in the NSW Central West. This Local Community Campaign was developed with funding from the Australian Government through the Department of Health and Ageing.

Spread the Word is delivered in partnership with the Aboriginal Health Unit and the Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Strategy (AMIHS) and will involve a variety of artforms to help educate people about chronic disease and encourage healthy lifestyles. The health promotions officer position receives support from Verto. 

Funding for program continued until 2014 (phase 2)

In July 2013 we foudn out that 'Spread the Word' had been given another 12 months of funding by the federal government. That means we're tweaking the program and offering up another round of arts and health activities to communities in the NSW Central West. To get involved contact Anna or Christine.

List of new workshops on offer


Anna Evans, Health Promotions Officer  (leave a message with the office) 6338 4657 or call (mobile) 0408 867 354

Christine McMillan, Arts and Health Coordinator 02 6330 5228 (Wed- Fri)

Public showcases

Work made 2012-2013 (phase one) went on show at three public showcases at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (May 21, 2013), at the Ninda Gallery Peak Hill (May 24 and Saturday May 25, 2013) and the Platypus Gallery in Forbes (May 31 and Thursday June 1, 2013).

About the program

The program trains Aboriginal artists in graphic design; uses film, animation and hip hop activities; and works with Aboriginal pregnant women and young mothers through belly-casting and other artwork. 

For example, a bellycasting session is attended by health workers who discuss health issues with the participants whilst they work. The participants will take home a completed cast that will remind them of their bond with their child but also the health messages learnt whilst making the peice.

  • Participation and engagement in arts activities
  • Access for health workers to traditionally 'hard to reach' groups of people
  • Exposure to health messages and discussion about dealing with chronic health issues
  • Production of materials (whether that be in music, posters, artworks etc) made by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people about chronic health issues
  • Emplolyment of Aboriginal artists



project funding continued
Project funding received
Anna Evans recruited as the Aboriginal Health Promotions Officer 
Anna talks us through a belly casting session

Health campaign materials

Some of the materials made through the Spread the Word program:

The OC - 'One Mob Forever' produced in Orange with Desert Pea Media in May 2013:


Produced in Condobolin in April 2013:


LiveLonger DHA

More about the Central West Aboriginal Arts Development Program:

Aboriginal Arts Development Officer Career development
Kew-Y-Ahn Gallery, Hartley Dance projects
Marramarra Bulla Exhibitions
  Aboriginal artists of the Central West

More about Arts OutWest's arts and health program:

Background International awards Bathurst Health Service program
  Look Art Talk Sweet Dreams: Arts and Disability
  Published articles  



Bellycasting training with health workers.

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Arts OutWest is the regional arts board of Central West NSW servicing the local government areas of Bathurst Region, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Weddin and Wellington. Arts OutWest is supported by Arts NSW and Charles Sturt University.

The Arts OutWest region is Wiradjuri country.

Website content © 2014 Arts OutWest
Layout and graphic design by SAUCE DESIGN © 2009
Website developed by Hileywood IT

Phone: 02 6338 4657
PO Box 8272 CSU LPO
Bathurst NSW 2795 Australia

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