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Unlike other mainstream ‘art therapy’ programs, the MAC.ART program is designed to be an all-inclusive ‘all facility project’.

"We hope that the MAC.ART idea

 will spread far and wide and

 bring pleasure and satisfaction

 and nostalgia and 

 a sense of creation to

 thousands and thousands

 of people in our land" 


Professor Geoffrey Blainey,

 distinguished Australian historian 

(October 2003).


The MAC.ART program development has brought together, in a curious and wonderful symmetry, the various aspects of my life. While my focus these days is in aged care and recreation therapy, my background is in art.


My previous career in the creative arts, over the previous thirty-five years, has involved work as a painter, a graphic artist, and book designer and, in the final ten years of my publishing career, as a published author and illustrator of children’s books. Given that background, art as a recreation therapy in aged care facilities, particularly with my long-standing interest in dementia and degenerative diseases of the brain, has proven to be a natural mix, an ideal synergy.


Besides a first degree in graphic arts, I hold post-graduate qualifications in dementia care and service and a Master’s of Health Science (Aged Service) degree (with distinction). In 2011, I completed a PhD research project in creativity and dementia at Victoria University.



I have created and developed the MAC.ART program with several unique and innovative program design concepts


  • Unlike other mainstream ‘art therapy’ programs, the MAC.ART program is designed to be an all-inclusive ‘all facility project’.

  • Every resident is extended the opportunity to participate in the project as is the staff, volunteers, family and friends.

  • The images are created and designed and drawn by me from the compilation of hundreds of ideas from residents, staff, family and friends. The images are, in effect, the residents’ oral histories translated into graphic pictorial images.

  • The participation of residents is fully documented.

  • The canvas is designed to fold up and move from room to room, so that no frail, sick or individual with dementia is denied the opportunity to participate. The artwork when folded is small enough to be painted in bed, from wheelchairs or draped over walking frames.

  • Participation in the creation of the artwork is structured in ways to produce a palpable sense of pride, achievement, unity and belonging amongst the staff and residents.

  • Elements of the artwork are designed to be a lasting and tangible testament to their shared experience. The name of each contributor is recorded on the artwork.

  • The MAC.ART program is an exercise in 20th century Australian oral history and provides documented case studies in creativity and the aged.

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