Arts Reside Here

Arts Reside Here


‘The arts’ come in many guises and play diverse roles in remote, rural and regional communities. To explore this in more depth, FRRR received support from the H&L Hecht Trust to undertake the Art Resides Here project. Authentic community voices and stories from five Victorian communities were captured by Julie Millowick, photographer, photo-journalist and creative producer.

Each community had engaged with the arts in a different way and for different purposes, and over the years, each had been supported by FRRR to deliver arts-based projects. Their stories were shared at Artlands Victoria in October 2018, and the beautiful photos and words from the community have now been published in a book. Hard copies are now in communities, and copies have also been sent to local libraries in the featured towns, as well as the National Library.

This is a great advocacy tool for the power and place of culture and the arts in disaster management.

Our Stories – Beyond the Disaster

Our Stories – Beyond the Disaster

Our Stories – Beyond the Disaster 2021

This report was released in 2021 by the National Mental Health Commission as part of the national framework for responding to mental health and wellbeing issues following a disaster.

The report, entitled Our Stories – Beyond the Disaster, was conducted with 26 participants from two natural disaster settings: 12 people from the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley communities who were significantly impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires; and 14 people affected by 2019 monsoon flooding in Townsville and North West Queensland.

The project gathered stories from people who had lived through natural disaster and also looked into individual, family and community responses to find out how local challenges and adaptations can be implemented on a national level.

The recommendations focus on services working with disaster management and call for trauma-informed  human-focused support, with points that could be highlighted to support creative process and programs.

This report forms the basis for the development of the National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework.


Regeneration – Little Pocket, Beechmont Qld

Regeneration – Little Pocket, Beechmont Qld

The Little Pocket is a grassroots organisation based in Beechmont Qld with community and the natural environment at their core. In response to the Sarabah Wildfire of 2019/20 Regeneration was established to gently facilitate a meaningful creative process that builds community connections, capacity and resilience through courageous conversations, sharing of stories and community-engaged creative practice. A range of creative projects evolved to build community connection, creating space for recovery, regeneration and resilience,

Arbour Festival – Snowy Valleys

Arbour Festival – Snowy Valleys

Recovery     Celebration    Hope

Not far from from the charred silence where the iconic Sugar Pines Plantation once stood in the Snowy Valleys NSW, is the Pilot Hill Arboretum. It is a place every bit as grand, and it survived the flames.

For 50 days in 2020-21 the Arboretum, and nearby towns, were energised with artworks and events. The Multi-Artform Festival was designed to gather a community in celebration, memory and growth one year one from the Dunns Road fire, one of the many impactful events in what came to be call the Black Summer.

A year after the loss of the iconic Sugar Pink Walk an invitation was given to come together at Pilot Hill Arboretum to take part in a quiet and intimate remembrance.

Arbour Festival was a project by the mountains, for the mountains. The key artists involved in the project were bushfire-affected artists from the region impacted by the Dunns Road fire. The project’s curator, Vanessa Keenan, has won awards for her work on disaster-recovery projects, and herself sheltered from the flames of the Dunns road fire.

The project is coordinated by the team at Eastern Riverina Arts, an organisation with more than two decades experience leading community art projects.

For 50 days in a forest clearing, from 28 December 2020, surrounded by soaring trees that survived the blaze, visitors will be able to experience ephemeral Installation Artworks in a variety of traditional and contemporary mediums.

Leading local bushfire-affected artists will be front and centre in transforming the Pilot Hill Arboretum.

A curated series of workshops, talks and adventures will take place to plant new ideas and give visitors a reason to take a summer holiday in the mountains.

Rain Coming

Rain Coming

The City of Hobart public art program commissioned Tasmanian artist, Alex Miles to create an artwork along the Rivulet Track in response to those communities impacted by the May 2018 floods in the Rivulet catchment area. The aim of the project was to acknowledge the destructive nature of the natural world and its incredible force and to consider how this could be harnessed to build community cohesion, connectivity and resilience through a creative re-imagining of place and space by a site-specific, responsive public art work.

Built around the statement “…through stronger connections with nature and with each other we become more resilient,” a new public artwork, entitled Rain Coming, was installed in the linear park running beside the Hobart Rivulet in late 2019. Commemorating the May 2018 flood event, and celebrating community resilience, the sculpture features an abstract portrayal of a family of black cockatoos flying down the hill and landing in an area where flood levels were at an extreme.

“Many believe that when the black cockatoos fly down from the mountain, it is a sign that rain is on its way,” artist Alex Miles said, explaining her inspiration for the concept.

At the point where the birds are situated, fragments of stories, experiences and reflections from local residents have been inscribed into the existing sandstone paving.

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