National Framework for Arts and Health: hurrah - some 'joined up government'

14 November 2013

The National Rural Health Alliance is delighted with the endorsement last week by Health Ministers of the National Framework for Arts and Health. Following its earlier endorsement by Australian Cultural Ministers, the Framework is a welcome boost for health professionals and arts practitioners who have for many years championed the role of arts and health as a means of improving health outcomes.

Gordon Gregory, Executive Director of the National Rural Health Alliance, said: “The Framework is a wonderful tool. We now have formal support from Health and Arts Ministers across Australia for activities proved to have considerable value for human health."

“We see this as an important development in Governments’ acceptance of the crucial place of the social determinants of health. The positive impact of arts and health collaborations can serve as a model for some 'joined up government' in other important areas such as housing, education, and in major programs such as Closing the Gap,” Mr Gregory said.

"The biennial National Rural Health Conference has regularly featured case studies of successful arts and health projects that show how effective these collaborations can be. Delegates at the 12th Conference in Adelaide in April this year supported the Framework and it is gratifying to have Health Ministers signing up to it."

The Framework encourages collaborative partnerships and new approaches by arts and health practitioners. It also recognises the considerable evidence base on the value of arts and health practice, and affirms the role of practitioners involved.

Art in its various forms is a means of communication on health and health-related issues. It is in itself therapeutic and is widely used to complement treatment and management of illness. Arts are also widely used as a means of community development, to sustain communities and develop their capacity to deliver health-promoting environments and lifestyles.

For more information on the National Rural Health’s policy on arts and health visit:

Media Enquiries: 

Gordon Gregory or Peter Brown on 02 6285 4660


So good to hear that the health ministers have endorsed the National Framework for Arts and Health. Congratulations to everyone who has helped to make this possible, in particular Gordon and Peter and the NRHA for their untiring advocacy for arts and health collaborations in communities across rural Australia.

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