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Small SA farming town with a big project to prove art can improve health and wellbeing

Small SA farming town with a big project to prove art can improve health and wellbeing

A small farming town is taking its health into its maintain creative hands.

Key facets:

  • The SA farming town of Pinnaroo will trial Australian-first arts and health stare
  • Flinders University researchers will engage with 200 participants
  • The stare will test whether or no longer arts can cut melancholy, blood strain

South Australian mallee town Pinnaroo was last year named the state’s Agricultural Town of the Year.

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And now it is showing off its more artistic side.

The neighborhood is starting off to prove that arts activities — including scarf making, pottery, weaving, podcasts and performances – can have real advantages on the health of a neighborhood.

They are calling it the Pinnaroo Project and have secured funding, artists and a team of researchers from Flinders University in what is believed to be an Australian-first health and arts stare.

The project was the brainchild of the town’s Mallee Arts Community, which shaped seven years ago as a chance to create arts activities within the predominantly farming neighborhood on the border of South Australia and Victoria.

Plan to be one of many neighborhood’s participants is Julie Wallis, who owns a farm at Pinnaroo with her husband and is without doubt one of many co-chairs of the Pinnaroo Project.

When her young folk have been younger she operated a hair salon from dwelling however when that was sidelined by sickness she grew to develop into to art as a way to relax.

“I earn after I am working with my hands I am in the second,  [it creates] meditative pondering and actions, being lost in the strategy of making.”

Woman sits in chair while man wearing gloves and mask collect fingerprick blood test.

Artist Julie Wallis is a co-chair of the Pinnaroo Project and took part in the Flinders University stare to accumulate baseline health data from the neighborhood.(

Equipped: Pinnaroo Project Facebook


While Ms Wallis has since returned to hairdressing, she has also persevered with art and carved out a profession making glass plates, bowls, wall art and silver, glass, copper and titanium jewellery.

She said it was important for her mental health and sense of wellbeing.

“Art has for many years been an essential way of existence for me,” Ms Wallis said.

This sense of wellbeing was the seed for the Pinnaroo Project.

“We seen how small and delicate arts activities can make a big difference to folk and their sense of wellbeing and connection,” Ms Wallis said.

And it appears to be like there is an established connection between art and mental health.

Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute has been engaged to measure the health outcomes of the project.

Its researchers, led by Professor Robyn Clark, query to locate an improvement in melancholy and wellbeing over the next three years.

“That’s a major drawl in nation towns at the second, so that’s our main point of curiosity and we are hypothesising we can be able to improve these scores,” Professor Clark said.

She said another measurable final outcome may be blood strain.

“We can decrease blood strain in two ways by much less anxiety and adhering to their medicines because they are in a unprejudiced correct place and develop into more compliant to their health and taking care of themselves.”

A man and woman in masks and gloves with two people sitting in chairs at a sports clubroom.

Researchers attended a local training session at the Pinnaroo football and netball club to recruit participants for the health ogle.(

Equipped: Caring Futures Institute


Accumulating baseline health data

The research team no longer too long ago visited the town to recruit participants and accumulate baseline data including blood strain, diet, weight, blood sugar, ldl cholesterol, activity ranges and mental health.

By visiting local groups including the men’s shed, football and netball club, bingo and colleges they have been able to assess the health of 182 residents, ample to make the stare significant for the town of between 700–1200.

Professor Clark said the data would remain anonymous.

“We may no longer gain exactly the same folk however as long as we have the same proportions of each age and sex neighborhood we can be able to be able to generalise our data and indicate improvements, we hope,” 

Flinders Professor Clark said she hoped the health stare would allow the Pinnaroo Project to develop into a mannequin for other communities.

“Right here is extremely, very special. Right here we have a neighborhood that’s going to address its maintain health and wellbeing by selecting itself up and doing these creative projects and measuring it scientifically,” Professor Clark said.

“We have examples of arts and healths projects in the literature, in the science. They enact work however no longer anything fancy this in Australia or South Australia that I do know of.”

Small SA farming town with a big project to prove art can improve health and wellbeing