‘How Can The Show Go On’ Performing Arts & Screen Wellbeing Summit was held on Monday 13th November at The Studio, Sydney Opera House

A PDF copy of the program from the summit can be viewed or downloaded here

Wellbeing Summit – Wrap Up and Next Steps with TNN and Members of the NSW Performing Arts Wellbeing Group.

Organised by the NSW Performing Arts and Screen Wellbeing Working Group and produced by Theatre Network NSW, the summit was a response to the high rates of mental illness and suicide for workers in the Australian entertainment industry.

‘How Can The Show Go On?’ asked the 220 participants to consider how they can make effective wellbeing changes as individuals, as organisations and in collaboration with others.

‘The summit is already inspiring and helping different parts of the NSW performing arts sector to connect and draw on each other’s resources and provide insights that actively address the wellness issue challenging people across all parts of our industry,’ said Dr Jane Kreis, Director of Theatre Network NSW (TNN). ‘And the working group is picking up those insights and is determined to work with NSW arts leadership to develop even more accessible platforms and programs that adequately address our industry’s wellbeing regardless of where or how you work in our sector’. These might be peer support programs, a centralised resource hub and the implementation of wellbeing into lead agencies funding protocols. There is much to work on.

If you or your organisation are interested in joining the NSW Performing Arts and Screen Wellbeing Working Group please get in touch with Theatre Network NSW directly through director@tnn.org.au

Summit Wrap by

Theatre Network NSW Director, Jane Kreis

Thank you and I ask the members of the NSW Performing Arts and Screen Wellbeing Working Group to the stage to join me.

The idea of this summit was to bring our industry together to share their ideas and experiences and to find a collective voice. The landscape we are looking at in terms of industry wellbeing has changed significantly since our working group and this summit idea was first seeded, and itʼs through your input that we can collate all the ideas and present to you the priorities we all feel are relevant from today.

As our working group sought information and industry resources, we became more and more aware of significant gaps in our industryʼs wellbeing. Today we have heard from a new national alliance, AAWE, working on a national platform and preventative framework, we have heard from The Arts Wellbeing Collective – an industry led Victorian program, we have heard from amazing pioneers like Fay Jackson and Marie Jepson and a wealth of care and arts sector support providers with insight, sensitivity, and experiences that we can learn from. We have options to seriously consider like sector guidelines and peer worker programs. Like wellbeing incorporated through funding agreements and policy, though institutional duty of care, through our training institutions and of course through our actions as individuals, as friends, as family and as community.

But what has come through all of these ideas is that it is all of our responsibility to look this issue squarely eye and do better. I would like to thank Sydney Opera House and Create NSW for supporting this opportunity for our sector and I would also like to thank you for being part. It is only through these types of unified approaches (sector leaders, individuals, collective action and supportive partnerships) that weʼre going to make headway.

So you are part of this. And so is our sector as a whole.

  • First the ‘I’ or the ‘you’: I’d like you to consider your own wellbeing. And here’s a question for you to answer: What is one thing that you can do from today that you can do differently for your, or another’s, wellbeing?
  • And now the us as an industry: Go back to your companies. Share what you know and tell them why this is a priority. And keep the conversation and the actions it leads to going.

If nothing else this summit proves to you that you are not alone. If you are after information or solutions that are not readily available to you, our working group would like to help you. The ‘how’ is not a one size fits all but rather using and adapting range of solutions for specific needs. Another part of that how is ‘how’ to make those solutions accessible to you on the road, on the office, at home, or wherever else our diverse sector finds themselves at any given moment.

This working groupʼs specific focus is to support NSW performing and screen arts to be better at wellbeing. We are inspired and invigorated by the individual and national solutions emerging in our industry and that, we hope, we have helped to build awareness about and engagement with at today’s summit.

But we want to help facilitate options for you, for NSW people who want to access a range of solutions in our communities. Our working group started with some small but actionable ideas and that has far it has got us to this summit.

We would like to include you in the next steps. If you or your organisation are interested in joining the NSW Performing Arts & Screen Wellbeing Working Group please get in touch with TNN directly through director@tnn.or.au

This working group has been developing a map of who is doing what and where the resources and information are from a national to very local and individual perspectives. Although constantly shifting the routes we hope you’ll be able to follow on that map are getting clearer. Our working group is committed to being here to help to connect, advocate and collaborate.

We have your emails and we will be in touch but a conversation is two-sided so we hope you will also be more in touch with us or people you have met today to improve wellbeing for our industry.

We can do better and we will.

More transcripts, photographs, recordings and resources from the summit will be produced and distributed. If you would like to receive updates please add your name to the email list by contacting director@tnn.org.au


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