On Sunday 24 November 2019, NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey and Commission staff attended Mad Poetry events at the Wollongong Writers Festival.
The first event was a Mad Poetry Reading, that was opened by Commissioner Catherine Lourey and hosted by writers David Stavanger and Anne-Marie Te Whiu. All the poets showcased in this reading previously took part in the Mad Poetry Workshop series held in Port Kembla and Wollongong in October, which were proudly supported by the Commission.
“I am so pleased that the Commission had the opportunity to support this event, which explores the deep connection between mental health and the arts and amplifies the voice of people with lived experience,” says Commissioner Catherine Lourey.
“I applaud the facilitators for the wonderful coaching they’ve been doing with the workshop participants and I congratulate all the poets for their outstanding performances.”
Commissioner Catherine Lourey and Commission staff also attended the Losing the Plot panel. This thought-provoking panel explored the relationship between mental health and creative writing, the lived experience in first person memoir and poetry, as well as the power of reclaiming language from institutions. Quinn Eades, Helena Fox and Sam Twyford-Moore joined David Stavanger on the panel to discuss their work and the fine line between page and prescription.