Workshops open for the Quirky Creative and Wellness Festival

September 26, 2014

Gwydir Shire Quirky Creative and Wellness Festival people are urged to book for workshops now.

There are over 65 workshops available across the shire, including arts and crafts in the widest sense, workshops to boost your mind, body and soul, as well as talks and seminars dealing with stress, mental health and wellbeing.

With a vast array of workshops on offer from millinery to Origami and Yoga to healthy eating, the festival presents a great opportunity to learn new skills, discover your inner creative genius or find inner peace with activities that appeal to all ages.

While there are some great creative activities, there are also some serious and potentially life-saving seminars such as SCARF training on offer in six locations throughout the shire.

SCARF is an initiative of Farm-Link and is a wellbeing and suicide prevention education program for community members. SCARF stands for (S-suspect C-connect A- ask R-refer F-follow-up).

The aim of this Community Education version of the SCARF program is to deliver unique quality training in suicide prevention, with a strong focus on health and wellbeing. It is an interactive presentation and comments are encouraged throughout the training, as the hope is for participants to gain new knowledge and skills in mental health and suicide prevention.

There will be SCARF workshops on offer throughout the shire at Warialda, Yallaroi, Coolatai, Gravesend, North Star and Bingara. The first workshop will be held at the Roxy Theatre in Bingara on Tuesday September 30.

The festival kicks off on Saturday October 4 at Cranky Rock, Warialda with a family-friendly concert featuring Brian Cadd, Indigenous artist Roger Knox and local duo Little Poppies. The concert will be a sensational start to a week of feel-good fun. Tickets for this concert are only $10 with kids under 12 free. Patrons are encouraged to bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy a night of entertainment under the stars.

A shuttle bus will be available free of charge and will leave from the Bingara Visitor Information Centre at 3.15pm and 4.00pm on the day of the concert; a seat on the bus can be reserved when purchasing your concert tickets either online or through the Bingara VIC.

Other connected events will include exhibitions throughout the Council area, men’s health nights and a Gala Day on Sunday October 11 at the Ceramic Break Sculpture Park, between Warialda and Bingara, where there will be artist markets, wellbeing stands and entertainment.

The focus of the festival is to showcase and celebrate local arts and artists, and provide access to new and exciting creative experiences, while raising community awareness about mental health issues. The festival will also promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhance the coping capacity of communities, families and individuals, and increase mental health recovery.

The festival has been made possible by a partnership between Gwydir Shire Council, The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW, Carers NSW and Anglicare Northern Inland, with generous donations by The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW and Carers NSW.

The aim of the funding is to raise awareness of mental health issues, implement measures such as training for suicide prevention (particularly as the Shire faces one of the worst droughts in history), and give people in the Gwydir Shire access to referral services that can provide counselling, support and advocacy.

To register for a workshop or book for the Cranky Rock Concert please visit the festival website

For more information ring the Bingara Visitor Information Centre on 02 6724 0066