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Helping to create a space for healing and hope in Ballarat

6 December 2019

The Ballarat community and the City of Ballarat are partnering on the Continuous Voices Arts Project — a multi-dimensional arts participation program that will result in the design of a dedicated public space to acknowledge sexual abuse survivors.

Over the next 18 months community members will have the opportunity to be involved in a number of arts workshops or through individual contributions.

Participatory art projects that have had success in this area include the recent One Million Stars to End Violence project, which resulted in an installation of stars in the Ballarat Police Station and Stockland Wendouree, and the Monument Quilt Project.

The project will be run with partner support organisations and facilitators including the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA), Beyond Empathy, Care Leavers Australasia Network, Compassionate Ballarat and Loud Fence.

The outcomes of these artistic projects will help create a space signifying healing and hope in Ballarat.

We are currently inviting community members and community groups to be involved in this project via a survey on the City of Ballarat Creative Ballarat website.

This project is for anyone in Ballarat whose life has been affected by sexual abuse and can be accessed at creativeballarat.com.au/continuousvoices

We are interested to hear your ideas about the types of activities that you believe are healing for our community and the ways you would like to participate.

City of Ballarat Deputy Mayor Cr Belinda Coates said the community had made it clear it wanted a space to recognise anyone who has been affected by sexual abuse.

“We need to be community leaders and recognise that people need a public place that will hopefully help them heal and recover from trauma,” Cr Coates said.

“However, it is vital it is the Ballarat community who decides what the format of that public place looks and feels like.

“Other participatory art projects, such as the One Million Stars to End Violence project, have been enormously successful in raising awareness of all forms of violence in a creative yet peaceful way.”

All money raised from a GoFund me page created by Blake Curran, son of clerical sexual abuse survivor Peter Curran, will also go towards the project.

The survey will be open for 12 months, with the artistic activities taking place over all of 2020, starting with podcasts.

All activities in 2020 will work towards creating a public space in Ballarat, with the shape determined in 2021 through these collaborations.

* An exhibition of artwork inspired by the Royal Commission into Clergy Sexual Abuse will also be held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat between July and October 2020.

  • Ballarat CASA Crisis Care line free call 1800 806 292
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Sexual Assault Helpline
  • 1800 Respect (1800 737 732)