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Catherine Oddie
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The ArtsHealth Research & Practice Centre at the University of Newcastle exists to bring together the research of academics and postgraduate students in the creative arts and humanities with those of academics in medical, social and physical sciences to focus on studies that investigate and promote community health and public and community-based arts that facilitate culturally rich, sustainable and social environments.

Interdisciplinary projects will explore emergent issues in arts and health research particularly in relation to developments in therapies, educational strategies, treatments, technologies and environments that aim to promote and enhance individual health and healthy functional communities.

Artists and arts academics at the University of Newcastle are actively involved with community partners in promoting health and well-being in a wide range of contexts.

The ArtsHealth program seeks to inform practice and engage with policy agendas at a local, national and international level.

More than 30 projects are already underway at the University ranging from investigating the role nature and surroundings play in people's wellbeing; analysing performance as a survival strategy in prisoner-of-war camps; assessing art in healing and recuperation; and using creative interventions to build young people's self confidence, self image and connection to community.

Current research strengths include

1. Dialogues between medical science and art

2. Applications and outcomes of creativity in therapies and social interventions

3. Public and community based art links to individual and social health, community and empowerment

4. Culture and identity linked to integration and place and site

5. Art as a means of human connection with, and realisation of, the natural world

6. The philosophical and educational foundations and outcomes of art-making and performance as research and practice
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