Writers Assembly: Writing the future of health

Writers Assembly: Writing the future of health

The Big Anxiety is a festival of arts and ideas centered around the lived experience of mental illness. There’s a variety of events that RMIT students and staff can get involved in.

Writing the Future of Health is a series featuring Andy Jackson alongside his fellow writers Sarah Stivens, Beau Windon, Alex Creece, Anna Jacobson and Gemma Mahadeo, an assembly of writers with disability.

Andy Jackson is an award-winning poet, essayist and creative writing teacher at RMIT, and was awarded the inaugural Writing the Future of Health Fellowship with RMIT’s Health Transformation Lab.

We caught up with Andy ahead of his involvement in The Big Anxiety festival, a festival of arts and ideas centred around the lived experience of mental illness. 

You will see writers share their visions for what the future of health can and should be, through performance, poetry, essay and memoir at the event.

Grouped image of writers Writers with disability will share works that reimagine and write towards a better and more inclusive future of health.

Writing the Future of Health is a collaboration between six poets who have come from diverse backgrounds with some still being emerging artists and some having been doing it for quite a while to bring out poems and essays that explores what it's like to be disabled now, their predicaments and ingenuity.

Mental health will be discussed in poems in the whole idea of the future of health could be from the perspective of someone with lived experience. 

“I want to explore the ideas, be honest and share experiences with them and tease out the issues in it. While the event is going to be fun, it will also be interesting and important stuff,” said Andy.

The Big Anxiety is an Arts and Creativity festival centred around thinkers, artists and writers who have lived experiences of mental illness.  It brings in new perspectives of those who have lived through mental illness to excess their wisdom, and creativity aiming to freshen the lights on mental illness and shift community understanding.  
The Big Anxiety is a huge festival with lots of things going on with interactive artworks, exhibitions, interesting talks and panels all accessible to every guest. Andy looking out for the interactive virtual reality exhibitions at ACMI and Awkward Conversations. 

“A lot of interactive activities because the exhibition is for relationships and how we engage with each other and how we treat each other with empathy”

“Sometimes these events get pushed to the side. People would think 'oh that's about mental health so that's not going to affect me,' but we know that most people will either have a period of mental unhealth or have someone to them will. This is a way to engage with the stuff that isn't cold or clinical or interpersonal, it's creative, interactive, thought-provoking and beautiful.”

Come and bring someone along to check out The Big Anxiety and Writing the Future of Health and engage in a creative, interactive and thought-provoking experience at The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street on Monday 3 October.

Story: Jamima Yazit

20 September 2022


More student news

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.