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If you love being creative, we need you!

December 9, 2019

If you want to develop your creative side, or are an artist looking to explore new avenues, the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria wants to hear from you.

“We are looking for individuals who understand the value of creativity in our lives to become a part of a new train the trainer program at Liscombe House,” Kim D’Angelis, Volunteers Coordinator, said.

The train the trainer program is an essential element of the Creative Arts Therapy program at Liscombe house which has been funded by Perpetual’s 2019 Impact Program.

“Creative Arts is a broad term that can include painting, drawing, printing, scrap-booking, photography, and many other forms of crafting,” Kim said.

“The focus is on creative companionship, where a volunteer spends time with a resident making and creating craft to draw them out of themselves,” she added. “It is not about teaching art and craft.”

The volunteers will work alongside Christine McCombe, a creative arts therapist who will train them in developing listening skills and how to approach the challenges of working with older residents.

The first train the trainer session was held recently with three volunteers – Bruce, Evon and Karyn. The session included time to play with clay and paint, and discussion about the benefits of creative arts.

The 2019 Perpetual Impact Program is enabling OCAV to provide creative arts therapies to residents at different stages of dementia. There are also one-to-one sessions for residents who prefer not to be in a group.

“The aim of the train the trainer program is to make creative arts a self-sustaining program,” Mandy Williamson, Lifestyle Coordinator, said.

“Music, art, and dance are effective at bringing people together, reducing isolation and providing joy and stimulation,” Mandy added.

“This is especially true for people with dementia for whom these therapies have been shown to reduce distress, increase focus and attention, and decrease agitation.”

Research also shows that creative arts and pet therapies can assist in pain management and play a critical role in the delivery of palliative care.

For more information about volunteering or becoming involved in the Creative Arts Train the Train program, please contact Kim on

"I love the fact that Rushall Park residents and volunteers are so active – contributing to life in the village. The sense of the community is strong which is why I put my name on the waiting list" - Maggie Birkett.

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