Hidden Places, Hidden Lives: community forum

Using creative arts as a community development and engagement tool in socially disadvantaged communities


Wednesday 20 August 2014



Podcast available HERE (37MB mp3 format)

The Hawke Centre in collaboration with Seniors Information Service presents a Forum on the use of creative arts as a community development and engagement tool in socially disadvantaged communities.

In this Forum we will explore how to bring Creative Arts projects to life in a community setting from conception to performance and the impact projects such as these have on the health and well-being of those involved.

Using  theatre and photography as exemplars, PJ Rose, Artistic Director of No Strings Attached Theatre Company and Leanne McPhee, community photographer of the Hidden Places, Hidden Lives SALA exhibition will discuss the joys and lessons of working in and with communities and individuals who have specific needs.

Dr Fiona Kerr of the University of Adelaide will discuss how important creativity is to the workings of our brain, bringing new ideas from across the world on ways we can grow and connect the integration of arts and socialisation. Jenny Hughes of Seniors Information Service will discuss lessons learnt in developing and delivering community engagement and social participation projects.

Please join us for what will be an engaging and insightful Forum and visit the Hidden Places, Hidden Lives SALA exhibition in the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery either prior to or after the Forum.


Seniors Information Service

Co-presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Seniors Information Service


Jenny Hughes is the Chief Executive of Seniors Information Service and is a member of several not for profit Boards and Committees.

Jenny has over 25 years’ experience in community services, community engagement and social planning fields across all tiers of Government as well as working in the private sector and at one time running her own consultancy.
Jenny’s work includes a strong focus on projects which foster social cohesion within a community development framework and supporting and increasing community engagement across a wide range of sectors and issues.

Leanne McPhee is a fine art photographer, community arts facilitator, and social policy analyst.  Her work indulges both her analytical and creative sides that from time to time merge. 

She has worked for local government, non-government organisations, the university sector and in the criminal justice system, with a diversity of community groups, including young and older people.

Leanne has developed the first community wellbeing indicators framework for a metropolitan local council in South Australia, introduced youth service delivery models, community engagement frameworks, advised on corporate governance and undertaken strategy development for the arts, community wellbeing, food security and public health.   She has also lead community development projects using photography and film as a creative community engagement technique, and developed leadership and mentoring programs with and for young people.

As part of her fine art photography practice, Leanne investigates identity in living and still life forms and teaches a number of 19th century and alternative photographic workshops.  She holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Criminology, Diploma of Photo Imaging and is currently studying sign language.

PJ Rose is a theatre director, radio producer, community arts organiser and former university lecturer. She's worked in Nicaragua, Indonesia, the USA and Australia with youth, adults and elders in Indigenous, multi-cultural, multi-gender and disability communities. From 1999-2004 she was Program Manager at Radio Adelaide. In September 2004 she rejoined No Strings Attached where she'd also been artistic director from 1997-1999.

Dr Fiona Kerr
is an organizational and neural complexity specialist at the University of Adelaide, and has run her own consultancy for 25 years working in organisational psychology, transformation and futurising across the public, private and tertiary sectors. Fiona is an advisor to governments in Asia, Europe and Australia on fostering creativity and innovation, and increasing cognitive creative capacity. She is currently writing a book on the neuroscience of collaboration and creativity.


While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.