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Creative Health + CHALC

What Is Creative Health?

‘Creative Health’ encompasses all arts and health interventions and experiences delivered in partnership with individuals (clients, patients, general public), communities and multi-skilled professionals (including but not limited to medical, nursing, allied health professionals, art & music therapists, psychologists, community workers, artists, educators) across the broad spectrum of health and wellbeing. Participation and engagement with ‘Creative Health’ includes arts forms such as music, dance, visual arts, drama, and creative writing. Levels of participation and engagement may vary across the trajectory of wellness, illness, and rehabilitation, with the aim of improved wellbeing and better health outcomes. ‘Creative Health’ is delivered and experienced in diverse settings, is driven by equity of access, connectivity, celebrates innovation and champions evidence based practice.

Traditionally Creative Health practice was identified with hospital settings and the practice of Creative Health as a specialised aspect of Community and Cultural Development (CACD) work that has emerged in the last decade. 


Creative Health Australian Leadership Collective (CHALC) has developed out of the Health Arts Action Leadership Project (HAALP), which was developed and managed by the Institute of Creative Health from 2017 – 2019.  The Collective aims to build on the legacy of the HAALP Project and to continue supporting strong leadership and connected networks within the arts and health sector in Australia.  It is managed by the Royal Melbourne Hospital Business Development Unit.  

In 2015/16 the Institute of Creative Health developed Arts and Health / Creative Health Leadership Groups Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales.  Rather than develop a group in Western Australia, the Institute joined the existing group called the WA Arts and Health Consortium. Funding was provided through the Catalyst Fund to provide these groups with a greater level of support, develop their leadership skills and undertake seed projects.  The outcomes from all of the leadership groups to date has been significant and you can see the results of their work in the project page.  And some of them have established themselves as independent entities that are developing strong networks and momentum in their states. 

In order to build on this work, ensure all of the groups can become self-sustaining and remain connected, the Royal Melbourne Hospital established CHALC.  Its primary focus is sector development; to strengthen those that do the work, advocate, lead and create within arts and health.

CHALC Aims to build on the sector development work undertaken by the Institute for Creative Health which ceased operations in mid 2019. 

‘Creative Health’ - Arts and Health Definition – from the National Arts and Health Framework (NAHF)

In its broadest sense, arts and health refers to the practice of applying arts initiatives to health problems and health promoting settings. It involves all art forms and may be focused at any point in the health care continuum. It also has an impact on the determinants of ill health by changing individuals’ attitudes to health risks and supporting community resilience.

Arts and health initiatives can be delivered across a range of settings. Benefits can accrue for all stakeholders including government, health service providers, artists, those in health care and the wider community and include improved communication, better understanding, attitudinal change and clinical outcomes. Arts and health activities have their effect through different means and are achieved through experiencing the arts as an artist or creator, as a participant or member of an audience.

The development of the National Arts and Health Framework was lead by the Institute for Creative Health - which was the predecessor to CHALC.  You can access the document via the link below.   

 National Arts and Health Framework