about us

We are an education and support agency committed to creativity and mental health

Case Study

Helping Injured workers 'return to life'

Our Return-to-Life approach of skilling up people to find creative practices proven to regulate and reduce a range of mental health symptoms.

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Case Study

Our Impact in the Music Industry

Working in partnership with peak bodies in the music industry, we are delivering Mental Health First Aid training to Artist Managers

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We believe

A creative habit
can transform lives

Creativity as part of self-care is proven to be an empowering way to look after your mental health. Our work focuses on making these accessible to everyone.

Everyone is
creative

We start life dancing, playing, drawing, singing. MakeShift is here to unlock the innate curiosity and creative in us all.

Being curious
takes practice

Learning to understand what happens to us when our mental health is challenged helps us work out what to do next

Community
connection

The impact of playfulness and creative habits is felt even more so when we find others to share this with

The wisdom of
First Peoples

We acknowledge and have so much to learn from the traditions of First Nations Australians in looking after each other in community. We are committed to learning and action.

Muddy hands,
clear head

Our inner critic stops us from creative practices. Getting our hands dirty, it turns out, is great for our minds and wellbeing.

Our Story

We have been working in ways that connect creative practice, adult learning, social connection and wellbeing since 2013.

What started as a grass roots local way for community members in the Illawarra, South Coast NSW to learn from each other, has grown to become a national movement of learning and connecting creativity for mental health.

We started as Wild Rumpus, and grew to Makeshift. The journey has been a colourful exploration of what humans need to thrive...

1

Wild Rumpus

Wild Rumpus was founded in 2013 as a platform to cultivate ways for the exchange of skills in DIY, creativity and sustainability in the Illawarra, South Coast NSW.

We curated a program of fun, taster workshops, at low cost, for the community to learn from each other.

Anyone in the community was invited to teach and share their skills. And hundreds, thousands of people showed up to learn.

2

From sewing to seedlings...

Power tools to pottery, baking to beach fishing- our low-fi workshop program brought not only new skills to eager learners, but cultivated a community of connectedness around shared interests, and gave value to lost skills.

Thousands of people on the South Coast NSW learnt fun stuff, found new friends, new skills, new interests. We worked in partnership with other community groups to bring play to the front of building resourcefulness.

3

Makers Markets

From 2013 - 2016 we hosted and curated a vibrant, beloved Makers Market, showcasing the craft and skill of regional artisans and makers, with skill exchange, workshops and entertainment thrown in too.

We supported emerging makers and artists to bring their work to market, with 25% of stalls allocated to young and new crafters.

We wanted to shine light on the ways that community harnesses resources, makes and creates, and organises in ways that are economically and socially empowering

4

Immersive creative experiences

We designed Australia's first multi art-form creative retreat, Jamboree, which brought people from all over Australia to Mt Keira for one glorious weekend of forest, feasts, fire, and a sublime workshop program of art, cooking, plants, writing, and craft traditions.

The experience of unplugging for a whole weekend was a reset button for many busy, overstretched people.

5

Workplace Training

As we grew to understand the impact that making time for play, creative immersion and social connection has on people, we brought our offerings to workplaces, delivering high quality experiences for teams and leaders.

We designed workshops with Psychological Safety at the forefront - the essential ingredient for functional, high-performing teams.

We worked with clients like IKEA Australia, Atlassian, local Councils, and NGOs.

6

Community Engagement

With our experience in community development, we applied our event management and creative cultural project expertise to walk in partnership with a range of groups, organisations and businesses.

Whether we were working with social housing tenants, young writers, emerging social entrepreneurs, older people or refugees, our work has always infused play into bringing people together.

6

MakeShift!

Over 7 years, we watched as GP's started referring patients to our classes. People started telling us that while learning how to keep chooks, or grow vegies, or cook greek food was fun, the impact was that it makes people feel good. Better. Less stressed. More connected.

We designed MakeShift - a social prescribing program that applies creative practices for the purpose of supporting, improving and maintaining mental health. This is now our core work, bringing the innovative application of art forms to mental health support and treatment.


MakeShift is built around a community of teachers, artists, & advisers

OUR TEAM

Lizzie Rose

Co-Founder / Program Coordinator / Creative Director

Caitlin Marshall

Co-Founder / Program Facilitator / Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Caroline McLaren

Business Partnerships & Operations / Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Kiara Mucci

Communications & Media Lead

Pete Golsby-Walsh

Brand & Information Design

CREATIVE PRESCRIPTION STRATEGY GROUP

Dr. Mark Baxter

Clinical Psychologist, The Psychology Spot

Dr. Pippa Burns

Researcher & Professor

Dr Mark Melek

General Practitioner, The Village Practice

MAKESHIFT BOARD

Olivia O'Leary

Chairperson

Megan west

Secretary

Megan Corbett

Treasurer

Dr Jackie Bailey

General Member

CREATIVE PRESCRIPTION FACILITATORS

Marcelo Baez

Illustration & Drawing

Emma Saunders

Dance & Movement

Helena Fox

Writing

Elana Stone

Music & singing

Narelle Happ

Plants & Gardens

Kiara Mucci

Painting

Nina Kourea

Food & Cooking

Michelle Elliot

Textiles