Participate Co-create Advocate: Amplifying voices from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality
Past Event

Participate Co-create Advocate: Amplifying Voices from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality

Design @ QUT


Fri 19 May 1:00pm - 3:00pm


Free, booking required


The Hangar, RMIT University
Building 516, 25 Dawson Street, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia


Seating available

This hands-on workshop demonstrates the potential of arts and design for social change and advocacy, focussing on ageing and aged care. Guided by social and interaction designers, participants get hands-on experience translating policy submissions (from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety) into emotive and engaging found poems, integrated with visuals to become a collaborative digital art installation.

The event comprises a 1 hour facilitated poetry workshop which will guide the participants through the process of creating both found/erasure poems and original lyric poems about ageing and aged care, and another 1 hour facilitated interactive visual design workshop which guides participants on subsequent visual interpretations of poetry snippets through collages from media images and composing text strings for machine language algorithms to generate imagery; with text and image subsequently being published (live) into a collaborative interactive artistic visualisation installed in the workshop space.

The event – at the intersection of social justice, policy, design, and art – aims to galvanise the public to engage with aged care, and our personal and societal stake in it. In 2020, the Royal Commission delivered highly distressing findings and responding to these is a singular opportunity to reform Australian aged care and redress the marginalisation of aged care residents—a vulnerable demographic whose voices too often go unheard. However, the stories of neglect, abuse and change shared are not resonating with the public in their current form. In this workshop, we share techniques and outcomes to show how innovative art and design can provide older Australians with more visibility in aged care policy debates.

Participants do not need any specific prior experience, just curiosity and eagerness to explore how arts and design might trigger social change and engagement with issues of ageing and aged care. The event is part of a project funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant (DP210100859)


Assoc. Professor Jen Seevinck

Jen Seevinck designs participatory and interactive digital media installations, with current work focused on visualising witness testimonials from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality to actively engage the public with critical aged care issues (part of a 2020 ARC Discovery award).

Her collaborative approach to interactive art making has fostered transdisciplinary partnerships to create innovative design outcomes for health and community through to citizen science. She has been active in the electronic arts and research space for over 20 years producing multiple research outputs and exhibiting at conferences and contemporary art galleries in Venice, Beijing, Tokyo, Australia and the U.S.A. Currently Jen is Associate Professor in Interaction Design and Visual Communication at QUT, a chief investigator in the QUT Design Lab and leading the 2023 initiatives in the QUT More-Than-Human Futures research group.

Professor Evonne Miller

As well as two co-design workshops for Singapore Design Week (2022 & 2019), Evonne Miller has facilitated 40+ design sprints, co-design and participatory arts-based research workshops for industry partners including Queensland Health and The Big Anxiety Mental Health Arts Festival. Evonne has $4M in research grants and has authored 100 + publications and 4 books, including Creating Great Places (2020), Creative Arts-based Research in Aged Care (2021; winner of the 2022 Australasian Journal on Ageing Book of the Year), and the forthcoming Redesigning the Unremarkable (2023), which explores how the often neglected elements and spaces of our built environment – from trash bins, seats, stairways, streets, bikeways, underpasses, parking lots, and shopping centers – must be thoughtfully redesigned to enhance human and planetary health.

Dr Sarah Johnstone

Dr Sarah Johnstone is an early career researcher and design strategist, specialising in co-design and ‘designing for diversity’ with a specific interest in developing accessible, inclusive, and low-fi creative engagement methods for engaging with people with varying skill sets, perspectives, and abilities. As part of her doctoral research project, Sarah designed and tested creative methods for engaging with CALD women with a focus on fostering ecologies of care based on an inclusive, pluralistic, relational, and eco-centric approach to delivering social services.

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah is an MPhil design researcher with a focus on interaction design and visual communication. As part of her research project, she is investigating interaction design to prompt conversations about Australian aged care, using a practice-based approach to create an interactive augmented reality design outcome. She has completed her Bachelor of Design at QUT and has received an Adobe creative award for her final undergraduate project in augmented reality.

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