Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2390 ..
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Motion (by Ms Burch) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
Health—arts in health program
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.25): I want to congratulate all involved in a wonderful program in the health department. I warn some in this place who seem to be allergic to it that I am going to use the “A” word—arts. The Health Directorate’s arts in health program organises the commissioning and installation of artworks in new health infrastructure projects. It is recognition of the beneficial effects of arts on wellbeing and the human soul. In what we hope is a sterile environment biologically, this program aims to create a fertile and enriching environment for the imagination of clients at our health facilities. In the last financial year the program acquired artworks for the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, the Canberra Region Cancer Centre and the new and refurbished community health centres.
I recently had the pleasure of being at the unveiling of a wonderful collaboration between the arts in health program, the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, artist Bruce Whatley and author Jackie French. Bruce Whatley is a highly regarded and talented author and illustrator for children both in Australia and internationally, and well-known Canberra region writer Jackie French is Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-15 and Senior Australian of the Year for 2015, and she was previously on the board of the Canberra Hospital.
Jackie’s writing is familiar to many in Canberra, including her frequent mentions of the lives of the wombats who regard her garden as their own. Wombat Diary and Baby Wombat’s Week are particularly popular children’s books written by Jackie and illustrated by Bruce Whatley. Bruce has specially repainted beautiful images from Baby Wombat’s Week for the walls of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit ward. The larger than life paintings brighten the lives of the families using the unit at what can be a very difficult time.
Centenary hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit was recently described by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards surveyor Christine Best as the best NICU in the world in her summation speech during the accreditation survey of ACT Health in May. The NICU and special care unit also won the ACT 2015 nursing team excellence award for family integrated care. This was for integrating families into the care of their premature newborns through a greater emphasis on parental education, involving parents in ward rounds, emotional support and the physical environment.
This concern for family integrated care and emotional support encouraged NICU to include art as a strategy to support parents during their stay. The brief was to create a nursery atmosphere that was nurturing and embodied themes of love, care, cuddles, quiet, reassurance and building positive memories. The images from Baby Wombat’s