Change and Adaptation

02. 08. 2016

Laugh Yourself Well

Artists:  Nancy Bates  l  John Baker  l  Barbary O’Brien  l  Tis Milner-Nicholls

A series of comedy and cartoon workshops throughout the Southern Fleurieu, Murray Mallee, Adelaide Hills and Mt Gambier regions 

From October 2012 to 2013, 75 workshops were held with 10 different Aboriginal groups, engaging more than 770 attendees in the disciplines of comedy, songwriting, performing, cartooning and prop development. Emerging from these workshops have been 4 performances to 460 people, an assortment of cartoons and a CD.

Each workshop and activity focused on the theme of healthy life choices, the barriers and pathways to better lives and tackling smoking.

The workshops were held with Aboriginal participants from

  • Murray Bridge North School
  • Mobilong Correctional Facility
  • Mt Barker High School
  • Victor Harbor High School
  • Victor Harbor AYAC
  • Raukkan Community Council
  • Pangula Mannamurna Inc
  • Mt Gambier Bringing them Home Group and Strong Fathers’ Group

Community members/groups were encouraged to share stories in a series of comedy workshops and forums around health and lifestyle choices, which were translated into puppetry, cartooning outcomes.

Musicians Nancy Bates and John Baker supported the groups to develop a number of songs featuring positive health messages.  Six of these songs have been complied into a CD and distributed to participants from Mobilong Correctional facility.

 Partner Outcomes

  • Positive health and wellbeing engagement with Aboriginal clients focusing on tackling smoking
  • Reduction in negative health behaviour for Aboriginal clients
  • Exploration of harm minimisation strategies for Aboriginal clients

From the  Laugh Yourself Well project several new projects were developed with the Keep it Corka team.  NAIDOC 2013 – Nancy Bates and John Baker performed songs written in the workshops at an Elders Lunch in Murray Bridge.  NAIDOC 2014 the creation of brightly coloured masks and umbrellas for the NAIDOC march, No Ifs And or Butts ceramic workshops and This Baby Life.

Matthew Bennett

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2011 - 2014


Artist Residencies


Country Arts SA in Partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Alexandrina Council, Government of South Australia and Medicare Local


Alexandrina Region

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.