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Arts and Health Australia

Arts and Health in Primary and Acute Care

John WaldronJohn Waldron

John is co-founder of Blue Sky View, a Sunshine Coast based company that excels in developing valued and engaging creative projects, exhibitions and events. Typically Blue Sky View projects are developed in collaboration with local and state government authorities and with education, arts and health sector partners.

John has over thirty years experience in the arts sector as an artist, art educator, curator, consultant and manager. For over twenty years he worked as an Education Officer and Gallery Director for government and corporation, managing innovative facilities and programs.

John has project managed a range of public art activities and curated many social history and visual art exhibitions some of which have toured throughout the country and presented at regional, state and national venues. East Coast Encounter an exhibition that re-imagines the encounters by Cook with Aboriginal people in 1770. John is Co-Curator for the exhibition which is currently on show at the Australian National Maritime Museum and which will undergo a 14 venue tour through to 2017.

Recently Lend Lease has engaged John as Independent Curator for the Living History Program, Brisbane Showgrounds, a 15 year regeneration project for the site. This curator position is a first for Lend Lease, Australia.

John is an active member of the arts and heritage sector. He is currently Chair of Museum & Gallery Service Queensland; Vice President of Qearth a not-for-profit consortium of environment/arts/heritage professionals; Board member for SCAIP (Sunshine Coast Arts Industry Precinct); Industry Advisor for Arts Queensland; and member of FabLab International.

In September 2013 John was nominated a Cultural Champion and added to the Cultural Champions Wall of Fame for his contribution to the Queensland arts and culture sector and particularly for his work serving on arts and heritage boards and coordinating Indigenous cultural revival projects and the ASSI 150 years commemorations.

In August 2014 the Makeway Lab project received funding from Arts Queensland to develop and deliver the program for people living with kidney disease.

The Makeway Lab

The Makeway Lab is a Health and Design (Arts) initiative that uses creativity, technology and expertise to enable social change. A mobile or integrated hospital space, the Makeway Lab is a makerspace, programmed to improve the mental and physical health of hospital patient and disadvantaged groups. The space is equipped with interactive and digital design and fabrication technology such as, iPads, portable 3D printers, digital scanners and cutters.

An example of social innovation, in time the Lab will be programmed for a range of patient groups, including Oncology, Stroke and Rehabilitation patients; children and their families; and others.

This presentation will outline the development of the first program designed specifically for people living with kidney Disease; a project that will establish a collective of designers, artists and makers who are dialysis patients. The project will provide them opportunities to re-skill or develop new skills in digital design, production and business. It will also provide opportunities for research into the quality of life and wellbeing of beneficiaries

The project is being developed by Blue Sky View (BSV) a Sunshine Coast based company that delivers exhibitions, projects and events in partnership with artists, community groups, corporation and government.

The demand for this project is evident when considering that in 2012 'there were a total of 11,446 people receiving dialysis treatment in Australia, which presents an increase of 4.1% from 2011 alone'. (Kidney Health Australia, 2014).

The life of these people is dependent on being connected to a dialysis machine for close to 800 hours or the equivalent of 22 working weeks a year.

Program partners encompass Blue Sky View (project development and delivery); Kidney Health Australia (participant support); Materialise, international leaders in 3D printing for the health sector (software and equipment support); University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) (development and research support); Griffith University, Queensland College of Art (digital fabrication support); Edgeware (business training); Arts Queensland (funding partner).