The Central Highlands Arts and Advisory Committee (CHACAC) welcomed two new members this month.
Professor Anita Milroy and Mellissa Chick were endorsed as successful nominations to the committee.
Central Highlands Regional Council Councillor and committee chair Gail Godwin-Smith congratulated the new members.
‘We are excited to welcome Professor Anita Milroy and Mellissa Chick, two very capable people with a passion for the arts, culture and heritage, to the Central Highlands Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee,’ Cr Godwin-Smith said.
‘Their contributions will be greatly valued and we cannot wait to hear their ideas.’
CHACAC is a council run committee to improve arts, culture and heritage activities in the region. It supports activities, events, festivals, provides input to council strategies and assists with project funding.
Interview with new member Mellissa Chick
What is your background?
I’m a schoolteacher in Emerald and have lived in the Central Highlands most of my life. I’m a very creative and artistic person and have dabbled in one craft or another. From beads, silver smithing and making wearable art pieces to fabric and textiles.
I’m passionate about art in the Central Highlands as our area is unique but there is so much diversity that should be celebrated and shared. A lot of talented people live in our communities and I want to provide opportunities for these people to share their talents. Through my passion and interest, there is no better place to help than being part of a network promoting and enhancing art within our region.
What are you hoping to contribute to the committee and ultimately see it achieve?
CHACAC is a wonderful group and positive and focused committee. I’m excited to be invited to join and bring new ideas to the group. I’d like to be part of the promotion of benefits of arts. This means helping to increase the number of people who visit arts and culture events in our region. I’d like to see the Central Highlands recognised as a hub for art. To do this, we need to increase the amount of art, culture and heritage events and ensure they are inclusive and appealing to the wider community and visitors.
I’d also like to see sustainability. We already do so many amazing things like grants for short courses, multicultural fair etc, as a community group we need to continually build on and promote these events and opportunities.
Lastly, my big focus would be to get an annual arts weekend. The idea is short courses which run for half a day, five sessions in total from Friday to Sunday afternoon. These courses are the vehicle to bring people together, socialising and offering an opportunity to learn a new skill, have fun and boost our mental health.
What are arts, culture and heritage to you and why is it important?
Arts, culture and heritage is like my compass. In an ever busy, changing world we often make little, if any, time for ourselves. When I’m frazzled, unsure of lost, taking time out for my crafting makes me more settled, focused and realigned. Art is often not the end product but the journey. Taking the time to learn a new skill, create something with your hands or just taking a breath from the chaos of life. It can be a tool for stress, rediscovery and time for your own wellbeing and mental health. Art is a feel good, learning to laugh at yourself when you paint an ugly picture or elation that you made an accurately sewn garment. It’s fun and imperative to every one of us.