I am a creative arts researcher and practitioner, on the cusp of completing studies in arts psychotherapy.
I have research affiliations with QUT’s Creative Lab, and Griffith University where I convened and taught in the Disability Studies stream in the School of Human Services and Social Work from 2011 to 2015. In 2015-2016, I led an NDIS readiness research partnership with Endeavour Foundation to gain an improved understanding of people’s experiences of disability services delivery. My research and practice interests now lie in the visual, text and performance narratives of illness and disability. I am a member of Oncology Social Work Australia (OSWA).
I have worked as a social worker and policy advisor, and served as a social inclusion advisor in the government and community sectors.
My memoir of grief following my infant son’s sudden death in 1987 was published in 1991 'Jack’s Story' (Allen & Unwin). I followed this up in 2014 with an essay, 'When Time Stops: The Courage for Joy' published in Stories of Complicated Grief: a critical anthology. I have also written about being deaf in essays such as 'I Hear with my Eyes' (Griffith Review 2006) and 'The Reluctant Memoirist' (Griffith Review 2011) . My book, 'The Art of Being Deaf: a memoir', was published by Gallaudet University Press: Washington DC. March 2014.
My publications include four book chapters; eight peer reviewed journal articles; two NDIS-relevant research reports; and five essays. I have also co-edited two journals; exhibited research-based art works in two art shows; published several commentaries in various media outlets including The Conversation; and written over 14 commissioned policy submissions and reports. My book chapter, Visual Narratives: Contemplating the Storied Images of Disability and Disablement, is currently in press.
My research priorities include exploring the community engagement potential of creative arts narratives of people with disability and illness. In my creative arts research and practice, I consider my own works and looks at the work of other visual artists to find new ways of understanding both the historical and contemporary experiences of people with disability and illness.
In 2016, I exhibited a suite of mixed-media drawing works, ‘Talking back to Diane Arbus’, in The 5 FIVE Show: Queensland Artists Thinking, at the Logan West Library’s Artists’ Walk and in The Four +One Show: Queensland Artists Exploring at WAG Upstairs Gallery. In 2017, I participated in the Everywhere World exhibition at WAG Upstairs with a series of Jungian-influenced works expressing the tensions between my internal world and my urban environment. I am planning a new series of works for 2018, exploring sorrow.