Artistic opportunity to support 2019 east-region bushfire recovery

Published on 13 January 2020


Up to nine local artists across Baw Baw Shire, Cardinia Shire and Latrobe are being sought to participate in a creative program to support recovery and build resilience following the east-region bushfires of February and March 2019.

Expressions of interest are now open for the role of Creative Recovery Artist Facilitator. Up to nine positions are available across the region, three from each Local Government Area.

Appointed artists will work closely with affected communities impacted by the 2019 bushfires in the Bunyip State Park, Walhalla and South Yinnar areas by working with the community to develop creative projects in those regions.

The project will be led by Amanda Gibson, Lead Mentor at the Creative Recovery Network, who has significant experience in working with bushfire affected communities.

Amanda was the project lead on ‘The Tree Project’ – where a group of blacksmiths collaborated to forge a metal tree honouring the people who lost their lives during the 2009 bushfires. This project had significant impact and included contributions from local and international artists, eventually becoming the subject of a documentary Forged from Fire. A brief article covering the project is also available via ABC News.

With support from Amanda, appointed artists will engage with local communities, businesses and groups to identify a potential project or initiative. As part of the program, appointed artists will receive recognised training in physiological and mental first aid, emergency management and facilitating community meetings to help prepare them for engaging with the communities or individuals who have experienced the disruption and harm caused by bushfire.

Recruitment of the artists forms the first of a three-phase process for the development, with the implementation and showcasing of creative recovery projects across the region taking place over the next two years. It is expected that appointed artists will be part of the ongoing program post this first phase engagement.

Interested artists are invited to apply, with applications closing at 12.00pm on Friday 14 February 2020. Indigenous Australians, people from culturally diverse communities, and people with a disability are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the role or to apply, please download Expression of Interest - Creative Recovery Artist Facilitator (Print Version)(PDF, 257KB) .

The program is facilitated by Creative Recovery Network in partnership with Baw Baw Shire Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Latrobe City Council and Lifeline Gippsland. Creative Recovery Network is a specialist service provider and advocate for culture and the arts within the emergency management sector.

Quotes attributable to Baw Baw Shire Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“This is a rare opportunity for local artists across the three regions to take part in impactful creative recovery with a lasting legacy for their communities. We encourage all interested artists to apply for this unique and meaningful opportunity.”

Quotes attributable to Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Jeff Springfield

“This project will provide an opportunity for local artists to bring the community together to creatively tell their stories and create a platform for reflection and commemoration of the Bunyip Complex fires. Artists from all mediums are encouraged to apply for the Creative Recovery Artist Facilitator roles.”

Quotes attributable to Latrobe City Mayor Cr Dan Clancey

“Latrobe City artists can play a lead role in creating and delivering a vibrant and inclusive creative project for the communities of Yinnar and Yinnar South. The project will enable artists to collaborate with likeminded creatives, while working with local residents to develop an attraction that will acknowledge community resilience.”

Quotes attributable to Lead Mentor at Creative Recovery Network Amanda Gibson

“Creativity is a potent catalyst for social connection, compassion and ultimately resilience. This program is about sustainable community building and creative resilience. In other words, to have locally based people who have the skills and understanding to pick up community stories and aspirations and produce meaningful and transformative work. If we can train people to fulfil that role, this will have a profound effect on the resilience and the connectiveness of those communities.”

Media interviews

All media are welcome to contact Amanda Gibson, Lead Mentor at the Creative Recovery Network, for media interviews and further comment on the project.

Phone: 0431 795 099

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