Promoting Aboriginal health through the arts: overview of supported projects

Public health Aboriginal Australians Arts Australia Victoria

This paper provides an overview of organisations and arts projects VicHealth supports and explores the role of arts in Aboriginal culture and the associated positive health impacts.


Engagement with the arts can have powerful impacts on health, wellbeing and the strengthening of communities. For more than two decades VicHealth has been supporting the arts because of the great health promotion opportunities it provides. We know that access to the arts helps people connect socially and participate in their community’s cultural life. The role of the arts in exploring and communicating social concerns, giving voice to hidden issues and allowing self-expression is also a major contributor to health.

Since 1987 VicHealth has forged many significant and enduring partnerships with art organisations. We continue to invest in programs and research that build social connections and celebrate cultural diversity. Over the past 20 years we have also developed effective partnerships with Aboriginal organisations working to enhance the health, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal Victorians.

VicHealth supports Aboriginal communities to strengthen and present their arts and culture. The arts provide an opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal identity, share stories and highlight race-based discrimination and intercultural relations to a wide audience.

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