Lunchtime Webinar Series 2
1:10-1:55pm 1, 8, 13, 22 Nov 2023 (now completed)

To view a recording of a webinar click on the "Video" box adjacent to each description
1 Nov 2023

Musical value in a loneliness epidemic:
Queer perspectives

This presentation will discuss the progress of an ongoing research project which examines how music mediates social connection among LGBTQIA+ people at queer "scene" events in Victoria, Australia, in order to enrich understandings of how music may help ameliorate loneliness among this group. It will give focus to the theoretical impetus for the research, including discussion of the sometimes problematic intersections between queer theory and current research on loneliness and social connection. It will also discuss methodological concerns and the importance of the multi-method approach being used.

Frederic Kiernan

Dr Frederic Kiernan is a Melbourne Postdoctoral Fellow at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne. His research background is in musicology and the history of emotion, and he is currently working on a 3-year project which investigates how music engagement may help reduce loneliness in young Victorian adults.‍‍

8 Nov 2023

An integrative review of an
intercultural music program

The social and cultural functions of music have been considered within a range of disciplines, with some researchers bridging theory and practice to explore how music practice can address societal issues. One such issue is finding effective ways to promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation, particularly as globalisation has resulted in greater levels of diversity in many parts of the world. Drawing from a range of disciplines, theoretical standpoints and research methods an integrative literature was conducted to explore programs for adults using music to facilitate intercultural understanding and connection. Four search strategies were employed for data collection including: applying inclusion criteria to databases; searching reference lists of relevant articles; using author topic knowledge; and consultation with other experts to identify literature related to specific programs. Twenty-seven papers in English, including journal articles, book chapters and grey literature, describing both qualitative and quantitative studies, were considered in detail. Intercultural music engagement took place in various settings including orchestras, music groups, choirs, song writing workshops and intercultural festivals. While each study is context specific,considering engagement between certain groups in particular locations with concomitant socio, political and historical factors, there are nonetheless converging themes. Underpinned by a range of theoretical frameworks,intercultural music engagement programs are understood to provide a space to facilitate a sense of belonging through both shared goals and space for diverse representation. Programs and events such as festivals provide a contact zone for different cultural identities, and the process of shared music making supports integration and development of hybrid or intercultural identity. While language and culturally diverse pedagogical approaches can represent challenges to engagement, the many modes of music engagement including listening, singing, playing instruments, song writing, dancing, and improvising provide opportunities to bridge differences.

Trisnasari Fraser

Trisnasari Fraser is a registered psychologist with an endorsement in the area of community psychology through the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). She has an interest in the wellbeing of artists and the therapeutic value of community arts. Her research areas of interest are psychology of music, mental health in the entertainment industry, the experience of first and second generation Australian artists and social cohesion and community resilience through intercultural music and dance engagement. Before operating a performing arts studio and agency for close to a decade, she worked as an analyst and change management consultant for five years.


Uncovering the evidence base for the intercultural music engagement framework

Intercultural understanding is to the ability to recognize and appreciate cultural differences and similarities, and to engage with people from diverse cultural backgrounds in a respectful and inclusive manner.  In today’s globalized world, intercultural understanding is increasingly important to collective social harmony. John Berry’s seminal model of intercultural psychology posits that successful intercultural interactions require individuals to have both the cognitive ability to understand and appreciate cultural differences, and the behavioral skills to effectively navigate and interact in cross-cultural situations. Our team has developed the Intercultural Music Engagement (ICME) framework building on intercultural psychology theory, as well as critical scholars in the music and health space. The work sought to identify the factors that contribute to successful music engagements that have been noted as particularly valuable in fostering intercultural understanding and allowing opportunity to navigate difference. The present study aimed to explore and develop the ICME framework with practicing artists, to ensure practical application beyond its theory-based foundations. We collected fieldwork and interview data from with a sample of 15 established intercultural musicians. The results revealed the conditions for ICME to include experiential and embodied work and the need for it always to be informed by context. Also, that both universality and difference were reflected in the practices of the expert intercultural musicians. Evidence also acknowledges power dynamics and the need to adopt a stance of cultural humility, prioritizing cultural safety. Risks of tokenism, appropriation, cultural othering, and symbolic violence were identified. The practitioners all recognized the significant benefits of ICME and when conditions were met, social cohesion, cultural affirmation, empathy, and intercultural understanding could be achieved. We believe the results offer valuable insights, while stressing the need for embodied, informed and critical understandings of what leads to positive intercultural music engagement.

Both of these papers are co-written with Dr Alex Crooke.

Jane Davidson

Jane W. Davidson, Fellow, Australian Academy for the Humanities, undertakes research in performance, musical development, intercultural engagement, and music for wellbeing outcomes. She was Editor of Psychology of Music (1997-2001), Vice-President ESCOM (2003-2006), President of Australian societies MSA (2010-2011) and AMPS (2018-2021), Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (2011-2018). She is currently Head of Performing Arts and Chair of the University of Melbourne’s Creativity and Wellbeing Initiative. Jane is an opera singer and director and has 320+ scholarly contributions and has secured grants and awards in both Australia and overseas.

13 Nov 2023

Arts and cultural activity are crucial for
effective disaster management

This presentation provides an overview of results to date from a narrative review of research on arts and culture in disaster management. We identified 10 themes in a systematic analysis of current peer reviewed published studies: ‘Experience catching’, ‘Sense making’, ‘Psychological recovery’, ‘Social capital’, ‘Equity and inclusion’, ‘Children’, ‘Education’, ‘Place making’, ‘Economic benefit’, and ‘Critical perspectives’. We will discuss these themes, in part as discourses currently shaping current research in this area.

Claire Hooker and Anna Kennedy-Borissow

Dr Claire Hooker is Associate Professor in Health and Medical Humanities at Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney, and President of the Arts Health Network NSW/ACT. Claire’s research in arts and health has particularly explored the humanistic elements of doctors' experiences, for example by using verbatim theatre and drama-based to understand and improve healthcare workplace training, culture and communication.

Anna Kennedy-Borissow is a PhD Candidate and Graduate Research Teaching Fellow in the Arts and Cultural Management program at the University of Melbourne.


What do disaster-affected communities value about
engaging in the arts for recovery?

Anna will present two case studies of ‘creative recovery’ projects following 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires, and share preliminary findings from focus groups with community members on what they valued about participating in performing and visual arts projects as part of their psychosocial recovery.

Anna Kennedy-Borissow

Anna Kennedy-Borissow is a PhD Candidate and Graduate Research Teaching Fellow in the Arts and Cultural Management program at the University of Melbourne. Her research projects investigate the aspects of arts and cultural participation that contribute to recovery and resilience in disaster-affected communities. Anna’s work draws on interdisciplinary literature, interrogating the complex interplay between arts management, creative practice, community wellbeing, and emergency management. Anna previously worked at Regional Arts Victoria as a performing arts touring and professional development program manager. She also worked independently as a theatre producer and performer supporting the development of new Australian plays.

22 Nov 2023

Key debates in dance science

This webinar describes the development of Dance Science, a relatively new field of research and study. Key areas of research to have emerged in Dance Science will be highlighted as well as the challenges for the field moving forward. It includes insights into the presenters’ own research and practical experiences.

Emma Redding and Derrick Brown-Appenzeller

Professor Emma Redding is Director of the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Prior to moving to Australia, Emma was Professor in Performance Science and Head of Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, UK, leading the education, research, and knowledge exchange. She has taught dance technique, improvisation, exercise physiology and research methods alongside her leadership and research work. She has supervised masters and PhD students in areas such as dancer health & wellbeing, physiology, talent development, creativity and dance pedagogy as well as dance for health among other populations. She is on the Research Advisory Board of Help Musicians, UK, serves on the editorial boards and review committees of national and international research journals and funding councils and is currently Associate Editor for two international academic journals. She co-authored the first ever Master's degree in Dance Science and has since played a major role in developing dance science as a recognized field of study in Higher Education through her research, and through her international teaching. She is a founding partner of the UK’s National Institute for Dance Medicine and Science and a Past President of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science

Dr Derrick Browne-Appenzeller is Senior Lecturer in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts. He is a dance and performance science researcher with concentrations in the cognitive psychology and human motor behaviour domains. Before joining the VCA, Derrick was engaged at the University of Bern Institute of Sport Science/Dance Science as co-programme manager and scientific coordinator for the Health and Performance course of the Master of Advance Studies in Dance Science. He was also engaged at the University School of the Arts as a lecturer in Research Methodologies for Art Education. He has supervised masters and PhD students in applied dance physiology, dance-psychology, applied biomechanics,motor control, visual art and dance education. He was the chair of the Research Committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) and is the current Chair of the IADMS Intersectionality Taskforce,where he passionately engages with a team of medical, science, and education professionals in an open dialogue to improve disparities in dance. He has sat on the advisory Boards of The Holland Dance Festival and Korzo Theatre and as a commission member of the Netherlands Council for Culture all in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Lunchtime Webinar Series I
1:10-1:55pm Wednesdays

To register and receive the Zoom link for the webinars please email us
19 Oct 2022

The Score: Participatory theatre for sexual health education in First Nations communities

The Score is a theatre performance and workshop program produced by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company—Australia’s leading First Nations theatre company. The aim is to create a community-engaged, participatory model for theatre in health education (THE) that will address sexual health for First Nations young people, to be delivered in communities, schools, prisons, and health settings. This paper will present the model, as well as preliminary findings from a tour of The Score into rural Victorian communities.

Sarah Woodland

Dr Sarah Woodland is a researcher, practitioner and educator in applied theatre, participatory arts and socially engaged performance. She is currently Dean’s Research Fellow in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, investigating how the performing arts can promote social justice and wellbeing in institutions and communities.


Serving love and art on a dinner plate: A mother’s experience of discovering art and wellbeing in the kitchen

Exploring the kitchen as a space for the consumption and creation of art and beauty. Viewing a mundane chore through the lens of fascination, curiosity and creativity and finding wellbeing through the process of preparing and serving everyday meals.

Anushka Fernando-Goonetilleke  

Anushka Fernando-Goonetilleke is passionate about exploring the nexus between art and wellbeing in the kitchen. She is an advisor to Learn for Life Lanka, promoting social and emotional learning skills in Sri Lanka. Anushka has a Master of Education from Harvard University and is based in the United Kingdom

26 Oct 2022

Broadcasting during COVID-19: Community language radio and listener well-being

This presentation will provide a short overview of our research examining the role of community language radio in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing data from an examination of press reporting and a case study of presenters at a community language radio station in Melbourne, our findings indicate that community language radio has played a vital role in promoting listener wellbeing by communicating information about COVID-19; and by providing a sense of comfort, entertainment and companionship through regular broadcasting. We use crisis communication and resilience theory to consider the vital role community language radio plays for migrant communities during crises.

Amanda Krause (presenter), John Hajek, & Anya Lloyd-Smith (co-researchers)

Dr Amanda E. Krause is a Lecturer (Psychology) in the College of Healthcare Sciences at James Cook University (Queensland, Australia). As a music psychology scholar, she studies how we experience music and the radio in our everyday lives. Her research asks how these experiences influence our health and well-being


 Changing music listening habits to support wellbeing

Many young people rely on music to support their wellbeing, including university students. Prior research has identified that this strategy is not successful for all people, and particularly for those who are inclined to ruminate. A recent investigation has once again highlighted the tendency for more unhappy people to persist with unhelpful music listening habits, rather than adjust them, compared to those who are stressed, but happy, satisfied and with high life satisfaction. This interesting finding suggests that the search for the most helpful approach to distressed young people needs further investigation, and one strategy developed through our research was to create a series of VLOGs, produced by young people, as another approach for raising awareness and increasing motivation to adjust unhelpful music listening habits.

Kat McFerran

Dr Katrina Skewes McFerran is Professor and Head of the Creative Arts Therapy program at the university of Melbourne. She is a qualified music therapist who specializes in work with young people and has published 4 books, more than 100 research articles, a TEDX talk on returning from the Dark Side with music, and a free access MOOC on How Music Can Change Your Life with Coursera.

9 Nov 2022

Stand-up comedy to promote wellbeing in international students

 This presentation will report on the findings of a recent CAWRI initiative in which onshore and offshore international students (undergraduate and post-graduate) took part in a series of stand-up comedy workshops and the ways in which the initiative enhanced the emotional wellbeing of the participants.

Richard Sallis

Dr Richard Johnson Sallis is Head of Drama Education in The University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education (MGSE).  Richard is an internationally recognised expert in the area of Research-Based Theatre  with special interests in drama/theatre education; drama for wellbeing; theatre history; Theatre for Young People; diversity and inclusion in teaching and learning; and  initial teacher education.


Group learning and wellbeing in law students

Group assessments are an integral part of law programs throughout Australia. Collaboration skills are also a Threshold Learning Outcome (TLO). However, few law students seem to have positive experiences when doing group assignments. Many seem to resist it. The first half of the presentation will discuss the literature on group/collaborative learning and assessment. The focus will be on designing effective assessment of group learning tasks.  The latter part of the presentation explores the connection between student wellbeing and group learning.

Victoria Lambropoulos  

Dr Victoria Lambropoulos is Senior Lecturer in Law at CQ University's College of Law, Criminology and Justice. She is also a practising Barrister at the Victorian Bar. Her prime area of expertise is employment and discrimination law. Her current interests include mental health and student well-being

16 Nov 2022

Music-making workshops to support wellbeing for autistic young adults

This project invited autistic people aged 18 to 25 years old to participate in five music workshops led by a qualified music therapist in Melbourne, Australia. The collaborative workshops included a variety of music making experiences, such as: song sharing; singing; song writing; and jamming. We collected qualitative and quantitative data, with results indicating that participants felt welcomed and included in the social music making experiences. They also felt connected to other people in the group and made suggestions for how to improve music workshops in the future.

Grace Thompson

Dr Grace Thompson is Associate Professor in Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne. Grace has lived experience of disability, and has worked with disabled children, young people and families for over 20 years. Her research focuses on understanding how accessible music making can foster relationships and social connection.


 Our Objects – Our Voice

Through the creation of a set of speaking objects which tell the stories of people and their place the ‘Our Story-in-a-Box’ project has been connecting students in rural and regional Australia with their peers in Arab world countries. The aim of the project is to give voice to those who are often unheard, and to affirm cultural identity and develop intercultural empathy. It’s a simple idea with enormous potential. What creative layers could be added to the objects? Could we use this approach to encourage intergenerational dialogue and mitigate social isolation? Let’s talk!

Sharyn Volk 

Sharyn Volk is an Egyptologist, object-inspired learning specialist, and passionate advocate for disadvantaged students. She is co-founder of the not-for-profit Hands-on-Humanities Project and leader of the ‘Our Story in a Box’ initiative. Sharyn believes in the power of objects and story-telling as pathways to opening dialogue and developing intercultural empathy

23 Nov 2022
Overview of project by Fred Kiernan


On Indigenous collaborations
by Aaron Corn


Historical perspectives
by Peter Otto


On collaborations with disabled people
by Anthea Skinner

Varieties of imagination, creativity and wellbeing in Australia

Imagination and creativity are important elements in the experience of wellbeing. And yet understandings of these terms are often still largely Eurocentric and focused on conventionally-abled bodies. This webinar stems from a project that brought together Indigenous and settler artists, writers, and musicians, as well as those interested in the history and philosophy of imagination/creativity and/or creativity and disability. It reflects on the roles played by research methodologies centred on process, in which each participant owns their story; on the ebook designed to echo these conversations; and on the contexts in which an understanding of the varieties of creativity and wellbeing is crucial.

Anthea Skinner, Frederic Kiernan, Peter Otto and Aaron Corn

Dr Frederic Kiernan is a Melbourne Postdoctoral Fellow at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne. His research background is in musicology and the history of emotion, and he is currently working on a 3-year project which investigates how music engagement may help reduce loneliness in young Victorian adults.

Professor Aaron Corn PhD is Inaugural Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Institute at the University of Melbourne. He has a background in music and collections management and collaborates closely with Indigenous colleagues and communities in Indigenous knowledge research. His work engages with legal and knowledge traditions that remain fundamental to Indigenous cultural survival and new strategies for strengthening human cultural diversity in the digital age. He currently serves as Director of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia and as a Board Director of the International Council for Traditional Music Study Group on Indigenous Music and Dance.

Professor Peter Otto is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne, Executive Director of the Arts Faculty’s Research Unit in ‘Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture,' and a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He teaches and researches in the literatures and cultures of modernity, from Romanticism to the new media of today—activities informed by his interest in the histories and futures of imagination/creativity, virtual reality, and plural humanity.

Dr Anthea Skinner holds a PhD in musicology and is currently a McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Her research interests include disability music culture and education, organology (the study of musical instruments) and heritage archiving. Anthea is the coordinator of Melbourne Youth Orchestra's Adaptive Music Bridging Program which provides instrumental music education to young people with disability. She is also a registered archivist, and won the Australian Society of Archivists 2021 Margaret Jennings Award.

Forthcoming in Series 2
Left Write Hook: Documentary as a form of bearing witness 

 This presentation will examine the process of producing and directing a feature length documentary film about the CAWRI seed funded project, Left Write Hook. The film follows the journey of eight female identifying adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse who came together to participate in a boxing and writing workshop as part of a creative arts/ sport recovery and empowerment intervention. Documentary filmmaking is positioned as a form of creative practice research using a reflexive and ethically engaged documentary methodology. Here, the participants are viewed as collaborators within the process (rather than as subjects) so that participants can regain agency through the process of filmmaking. 

Donna Lyon and Shannon Owen

Dr Donna Lyon is a film producer, senior lecturer in the master of producing at The University of Melbourne, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music (FFAM), VCA Film and Television School and Deputy Associate Dean - Academic, FFAM. Donna is Founder of the participatory arts project Left, Write, Hook - an evidence based creative arts and sports intervention program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and trauma that uses boxing and writing to recover and heal from trauma.

Shannon Owen s a filmmaker and researcher working across documentary and animation. Her film production experience ranges from big budget theatrical release docs to award winning animated shorts and her work has screened nationally and internationally at film festivals, on television and in galleries. Recent credits include Guy Bourdin Image Maker (2022) & Left Write Hook (in production).

Musical value in a loneliness epidemic: Addressing a public health challenge using musical aesthetics

Loneliness is now a pressing public mental and physical health concern in many developed nations. Young Australians (aged 18-25) are reporting the highest levels of loneliness in the country. Music engagement can reduce loneliness and foster experiences of social connection, but how this occurs is not well understood. Does the way we think about musical quality — what counts as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ music, and how this informs our behaviour and experiences — play a role? This talk presents some preliminary theoretical and methodological considerations that have arisen in the early stages of a 3-year research project which examines how music might be used better to reduce loneliness in young Victorians

 Frederic Kiernan

Dr Frederic Kiernan is a Melbourne Postdoctoral Fellow at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne. His research background is in musicology and the history of emotion, and he is currently working on a 3-year project which investigates how music engagement may help reduce loneliness in young Victorian adults.

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