Festival of Care

A collaboration between South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and UNSW Sydney ADA Innovation Hub + BARC

Pink and purple paint strokes
"The arts offer an understanding of experience, a way to express, to talk about, communicate experience, and then, by extension, a means to work through it, and potentially to inform ways to tailor support that meets people’s needs,” Prof. Jill Bennett.

The ADA Innovation Hub has partnered with the Big Anxiety Research Centre (BARC) to deliver a Festival of Care for hospitals in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD). The festival is designed to enhance the wellbeing of staff in the health facilities across three hospital campuses: St George, Sutherland and Prince of Wales.

A collaborative project led by Scientia Professor Jill Bennet and Professor Michael Balfour, and co-created by ADA designers, creative practitioners, SESLHD leaders and wellbeing ambassadors, the Festival of Care will deliver a series of creative arts-based wellbeing interventions kicking off in May.

Recognising that as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, staff in healthcare facilities continue to experience high levels of workplace pressure and stress, the Festival of Care looks at ways to start conversations as well as provide connections to further support. The program includes a variety of interventions ranging from ambient live music, awkward conversations, artists in residence, craft-making, VR for wellbeing programs and resources, through to age care programs.

Accommodating for a busy hospital environment, where time poor staff often experience work-related stress the festival program's approach centres around: 

  • Curated ambient interventions that permeate the space and transform the environment.
  • ‘light touch’ engagements​
  • Opportunities for return interactions and deeper engagement with our resources and programs
“Sharing stories through different mediums in a supportive environment, can be very beneficial, enhancing agency and capacity for psycho-social wellbeing.”


Facts & figures

  • Three Hospital Sites
    participating in the festival
  • 20+ Collaborators
    contributing to the festival program
  • Co-designed
    SESLHD + Innovation Hub + BARC