ACRE 3 Seminar – September 1 2017

acre3-fb-banner.jpgACRE 3 will bring together farmers, mental health workers,
artists and community leaders from regional Victoria and NSW to
discuss innovative and successful programs making a difference in
rural communities.

Presenters have provided the following abstracts:

Robin Yetman from the Patchewollock Music Festival:

An experiment with the arts to help create community pride and well being.

A description of how the Patchewollock Music Festival originated from humble beginnings and how a vision was created from a single idea. We will outline the subsequent growth of the festival over the years and the reasons for continued success showing how the event has been able to remain free to visitors and still be financially stable.

Robin will describe the resulting benefits to the local community and surrounding region, and perhaps what the future might be.

Alison Kennedy from the National Centre for Farmer Health,
(Hamilton VIC) ,

The Ripple Effect: bringing community together to beat rural suicide

The Ripple Effect is an innovative digital research project responding to higher rates of stigma and suicide in rural farming communities. The project has been designed to engage with Australia’s rural community and promote the sharing of personal stories and information, build understanding and facilitate communication. This presentation will highlight:

  • the groundswell of community engagement in the Ripple Effect project from across Australia and internationally,

  • elements of project design ensuring participants felt part of a peer-based Ripple Effect community,

  • examples of digital storytelling and postcards shared by members of the farming community with a view to reducing stigma, encouraging support seeking and, ultimately, prevent rural suicide and better support all those affected.

Dr. Keith Mullette from Somewhere Down the Lachlan (Forbes NSW)

The Somewhere Down the Lachlan Sculpture Trail and other ventures.

Forbes is a drive through agricultural town on the Newell Highway where it crosses the Lachlan River. It is one of six such towns in the Lachlan Catchment.

Like other rural towns it is declining slowly, largely due to changing agriculture. This will continue as mining ceases. The Forbes Arts Society has initiated the “Somewhere Down the Lachlan Sculpture Trail” stretching from around town along the stock route down river to Condobolin. The purpose of this high class sculpture trail is to encourage travellers to stop, to look, and to discover all of the visual arts treats that lie in the catchment. The first sculptures, including the large AMAZING sculpture, (designed and constructed by the local farmers and tradespeople), are now in place.

From this our vision has grown to involve all local government areas in the river catchment to work together formulating a plan to utilise each town’s special arts activities and ensuring we are not needlessly competing.

There are plans for more associated activities that can piggy-back onto this arts attraction, such as “bird watching down the Lachlan” and other historical ventures. To assist in funding this 15 year, multi-million dollar project the Society has initiated a high class, innovative foodie event “Grazing Down the Lachlan”, (an outstanding tourist event in its own right), to run for the first time this September. Details of these and other components will be discussed as well as their planning, the helps and hindrances, and other problems of undertaking such a project.

Artist and farmer presenters Trevor Flinn (Dunkeld VIC) and
Peter Redfearn (Moulamein NSW)

TWIG stands as a shining example of how artists and farmers can work together to create events that not only bring communities together but also celebrate the individuality of each farming landscape.

Mutual respect between farmer and artist is a vital ingredient of a successful TWIG, with the visiting artist thriving on creative freedom, but also requiring a certain degree of creative input, periodic assistance and encouragement from their host.

By far the most important ingredient of TWIG is trust, which is something that has to be cultivated carefully in an age of increasing anxiety and cynicism.

The often surprising and memorable outcomes which resulted from TWIG injected those who took part with a renewed sense of optimism, purpose, enthusiasm, and connectedness, and occasionally planted the proverbial seed for ongoing collaborations between artist and farmer.     

Vic McEwan the Artistic Director of the CAD Factory, (Narrandera NSW)

We often discuss the impact that the arts can have in developing future artists and developing arts audience; but less often is the discussion had about the potential for the arts to address complex issues that exist for individuals and for our communities.

Vic McEwan will present example of his arts practice and the work of The Cad Factory, the multi arts organisation based in the regional town of Narrandera NSW which he runs with his partner, Sarah McEwan.

The Cad Factory’s deep exploration of ideas around mental health, environmental health and community health are leading the development of socially engaged arts practice that navigates the fine line between ethical community engagement and development of new modes of arts form; with the understanding that intrinsic to the very fabric of arts practice are ideas of communication, of discover and of truth.


The art of farming, community and mental health seminar

Friday 1 September 10.30am – 4.30pm,
Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery. 

Enquiries and reservations:


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