Creative Ageing Symposium

Creative Ageing Symposium

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Date and time


Q Building

16B Honeysuckle Dr

Newcastle, NSW 2300


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Join this full day symposium that links arts, science and the aged care sector to promote healthy ageing through creative arts engagement.

About this event

The Creative Ageing Research Team at the University of Newcastle, Australia invites you to contribute to a one-day symposium focused on the impact of engagement in creative activities for older adults. The theme for this event is “Widening participation in creative activities for older adults”. This event will be held at the University of Newcastle's City Campus in the Q Building, Honeysuckle.

The program includes discussions of three wicked questions; keynote talks by renowned researchers in the field, brief research presentations, and concludes with a panel discussion. There will also be some interactive workshop tasters in creative writing, song-writing, dance and artmaking.

We hope you will join us!

The event is hosted by the two of the founding members of the Creative Ageing Research Team

• A/Prof Helen English, School of Creative Industries

• Dr Michelle Kelly, School of Psychology

The event is by invitation and refreshments and lunch will be provided.

A full agenda will follow.

Keynote speakers

The symposium features presentations from two leading researchers in Australia:

Professor Jane Davidson - University of Melbourne

Jane Davidson chairs the University of Melbourne’s Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative which investigates what it means for people to achieve wellbeing and how creativity can be harnessed to achieve this aim. Her work includes ageing and life course enquiry, exploring adaptation across a range of social and cultural contexts. She has a strong network of international partners, being the successful recipient of research grants in Australia and internationally. Current Australian Research Council research projects explore the psychosocial impact of music engagement for older adults and intercultural music engagement for social cohesion, community resilience and intercultural empathy. She has published extensively and is former editor of the journal Psychology of Music. Academic leadership has included: Acting Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (2021-22); Head of Performing Arts (2020–2021); Associate Dean Research (2018-2020) and Associate Dean Engagement (2016-2018). From 2011-2018, Jane Davidson was Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) where she led the Centre’s Performance Program as well as Arts Industry Partnerships, Education and Outreach and Media and Communications.

A/Professor Genevieve Dingle - University of Queensland

Genevieve Dingle is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology with a research interest in how groups and communities can influence mental health and wellbeing of adults of all ages. She is leading an ARC funded project to examine how social prescribing to community groups may help people to overcome loneliness and social isolation. She is an AHPRA registered clinical psychologist and supervisor with 20+ years practice experience in adult mental health and addiction treatment services. Her translational work includes the development of the Tuned In program (music listening based emotion regulation program for young people); and the Singing for Health program (group singing and song reminiscence for older adults in STARS hospital rehabilitation). Genevieve coordinates the UQ Music, Dance & Health interdisciplinary research group, is a member of the National Executive committee, Australian Music & Psychology Society (AMPS) and the Arts Health Network QLD (AHNQ) committee.

About the Creative Ageing Research Team

The Creative Ageing Research Team was founded by A/Professor Helen English from the School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Sciences and Dr Michelle Kelly and Professor Frini Karayanidis from the School of Psychological Sciences. It includes a growing group of researchers and students from the two Schools at the University of Newcastle with expertise in music, artmaking, art design, as well as clinical psychology, cognitive ageing and neuroscience.

The team collaborates with researchers at the University of Melbourne and aims to develop evidenced-based creative activity programs that can promote wellbeing and brain health of older adults. The group seeks to identify the key ingredients in creative activities that bring benefits, to compare the effects of different creative activities and to ascertain optimum duration for engagement. Overall, they aim to develop creative programs that are engaging and stimulating, and suitable for a range of deliveries and different living environments. Their current research is funded by the ARC and Dementia Australia.

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