Australian Defence Force personnel are finding new confidence through art, thanks to a program using creativity to help them rebuild resilience.
Participants in the ADF Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Training and Skills (ARRTS) Program undertake four weeks of creative development at the University of Canberra’s Inspire Centre.
They are mentored in music, visual arts or creative writing.
At the conclusion of their program, the latest intake shared their works at a showcase at the centre on June 6, featuring visual art, creative writing displays and music performances, to demonstrate to family and friends how their new skills had helped build their resilience.
Head of ARRTS Brigadier Wayne Goodman said the program allowed Defence members an innovative way of rebuilding confidence.
“The ARRTS Program offers our service personnel, who may not be feeling on top of things, the opportunity to re-set through one of our three creative streams,” Brigadier Goodman said.
“We want people to take part in a program that offers them new skills and rebuilds their resilience, all in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.”
The program’s artistic director Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Grey said many participants benefited.
“We’ve now had 196 people come through the ARRTS Program,” Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Grey said.
“Many people report one of the main outcomes is that they have a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth.”
The program, which is supported by a team including nursing officers, psychologists and a physiotherapist, is held twice a year, with the next scheduled for November.