Art assisting transition to work for sufferers of mental illness


Georges River Council has awarded Jubilee Community Services more than $20,000 through the NSW State Government’s Stronger Communities Fund Program to fund a Mental Health Arts Development (MHAD).

Jubilee Community Services Coordinator, Maree Gunn, said she was excited to learn they had been successful in gaining $21,800 in funding.

“We get great outcomes from this group and make a real difference to people’s lives,” said Ms Gunn.

“The funding will go towards art skills development courses for adults experiencing mental illness.

“The programs offer socialisation opportunities in a non-threatening environment with like-minded individuals who are going through similar issues and are therefore understanding of and empathetic with each other,” added Ms Gunn.

“We also have some previous participants working as Assistant Art Tutors in each program, providing them with a ‘soft’ re-entry into the workforce and restoring confidence to regain employment.”

Courses offered include pottery, mosaics and ‘Digi Pics’ or digital imaging courses and are being delivered in partnership with the St George Creative Art & Craft Centre in Penshurst and St George Potters in Arncliffe.

It is hoped that once participants develop their artistic skills this will lead to cultural and economic benefits through creative production, exhibitions and sales.

Georges River Council Administrator John Rayner acknowledged how important it is for people with mental illness to find social support within their community.

“Taking part in normal social activities helps people with mental illness feel less isolated and less stigmatised.

“I would like to congratulate the group on its successful grant application and I look forward to hearing of this projects success,” he said.

More than 60 applications were received by Council requesting funding through the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund Program.

Of these applicants, 27 were awarded funding ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. A total of $1 million in funding was granted to local community groups.

MHAD course information:
Digi Pics will commence at the start of Term 2, this year – on Tuesday afternoons from 12.30 – 2.30pm at the St George Creative Art & Craft Centre, St Georges Road, Penshurst ( next to the old Pole Depot).

It will be facilitated by Howard Matthew and classes fill up quickly so those interested and eligible should call Maree Gunn on 9579 6322 to register.

Term 3 will offer Mosaics on Monday afternoons, again at St George Creative Art and Craft Centre.

Pottery will be offered at St George Potters, Corner of Hirst and Edward Streets, at Arncliffe on Monday afternoons through Term 4, 2017 and Term 1, 2018.
For more information, please contact Council via 9330 6400 or visit