The Ninth Wave by The Farm and Co3 Contemporary Dance. Photo by Jess Wyld.

Festival of Outback Opera

Festival of Outback Opera by Opera Queensland. Photo by Glenn Hunt.

Auto Cannibal

Auto Cannibal by Australasian Dance Collective and Beijing Dance LDTX,
Choreographed by Stephanie Lake. Photo by Jade Ellis.


Zoom by Patch Theatre. Photo by Matt Byrne.

Trash Talk

Trash Talk by The Strangeways Ensemble. Courtesy of Merrigong Theatre Company.

So long suckers 2

So Long Suckers by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Photo by Simon Pynt.

Curious Legends

Curious Legends

Black Cockatoo

Black Cockatoo by Ensemble Theatre. Photo by Prudence Upton.


Whoosh by Sensorium Theatre. Photo by Peter Foster.

River Linked Live Virtual Concert

River Linked Live Virtual Concert. Photo by Abram Rasmussen Photography.

HOTA Home of the Arts

HOTA Home of the Arts. Courtesy of venue.

The Butch is Back

The Butch is Back by Reuben Kaye. Photo by Rebekah Ryan.

The Role of the Creative Arts In Regional Australia: A Social Impact Model

This project will address the challenge to effectively target regional arts funding to programs and activities that build capacity and have lasting impact for end-users. It delivers a framework for evaluating the arts, to argue for the arts to be included in a broader understanding of community and national well being and success. The research field sites have been chosen in consultation with our partners as communities whose capacity and challenges are reflected throughout much of regional Australia.

An Australia Research Council Linkage project, this work presents a rare opportunity to address the long-standin problem facing regional and remote communities in Australia of how to strategically communicate and effectively evaluate the social impact of the creative arts in their communities. The consequece of this ongoing issue is the lack of policy for regional arts funding that responds to community capacity and need.

The Centre for Social Impact defines it as “the net affect of an activity on a community and the well-being of individuals and families.” While social impact is an increasing field of research and investigation its application to the creative arts has not been significantly understood or examined from an end–user perspective. This research collaborates with two geographically opposed regional communities, central wetern Queensland and the northwest corridor of Tasmania, both of whom face considerable challenges while also having a vibrant and activated creative landscape.



The ARC Linkage Project will deliver the following outcomes:


  • New high-impact arts consultation, delivery & evaluation frameworks for regional and remote communities.
  • Delivering value to industry and sector by improving impact of existing investments and promoting strategic use of limited funding to improve outcomes for regional and rural Australia.
  • Authentic research outcomes for advocacy to government and policy-makers for evidence-based change in government policy and investment in regional Australia.
  • Building capacity for digital innovation in regional Australia through pilots of trans disciplinary ideation in digital R&D
  • National and international partnerships with leading agencies and individual in digital innovation and regional arts




  • A series of online tools for community consultation and evaluation openly available for all organisations that regularly work in regional arts;
  • A digital evaluation framework that reflects the rapidly changing funding environment for the creative arts; and
  • A national symposium to disseminate the findings of the research to key industry organisations.


Project Updates:



Project Lead:


Queensland University of Technology (Associate Professor Sandra Gattenhof; Dr Donna Hancox; Professor Helen Klaebe)