05 Jul 2012
Her Excellency, The Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO will open a new Arts for Health exhibition at John Hunter Hospital on Friday night, which celebrates Gomeroi gaaynggal, a program designed to improve the health outcomes of expectant Aboriginal mums.
The Gomeroi gaaynggal program, led by Professor Roger Smith* and Dr Kym Rae**, was developed in association with Aboriginal community leaders to address reluctance by some Aboriginal expectant mums to seek medical care.
“To help overcome this, we wanted to create a welcoming environment where expectant mothers could access health related advice,” Professor Smith said.
“We developed an arts studio where expectant mothers can work on their art and at the same time talk to health practitioners about health issues including nutrition, diet and exercise.”
The artworks on display at
Dr Rae said that Community Elders also have the opportunity to pass on knowledge and share their own stories with younger mothers.
“The mums participate in research projects designed to develop new knowledge on why Aboriginal people develop kidney failure and diabetes at high rates,” Dr Rae said. “The Gomeroi gaaynggal program is a great example of art and medicine working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.”
“We know the powerful impact art can have on people and it is great to see how this can be harnessed to improve health outcomes for our Indigenous community,” Ms Ackery said.
“Some of the artworks combine material from the scientific aspects of the program with more traditional work in highly original ways.”
“We hope these artworks contribute to helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel welcome at
* Professor Smith is Co-Director of the
The official opening of Gomeroi gaaynggal ‘Connections’ Exhibition will take place in the Royal Newcastle Centre Foyer, John Hunter Hospital at 6pm on Friday 6 July 2012.
The official patron of the Gomeroi gaaynggal program, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of
Media enquiries: Sharna McCarthy on (02) 4985 5362. (HNE-2815)
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