Terms of reference


The arts (whether visual, performance, craft or literary) play a significant role in promoting the health and wellbeing of patients, staff, clients and visitors to our health services and within the broader community.

The incorporation of the arts in the design of health facilities and delivery of our health services provides an opportunity to promote healthy living and illness prevention, provide support in the management of illness and chronic disease, aid rehabilitation and recovery and provide comfort as part of end of life care.

Through the development of a NSW Health and the Arts Framework, the aim is to look at ways that we can achieve the beneficial effects of the arts across our health system and in so doing, build a sense of community and enhance our individual and collective experience of health and wellbeing and cultural identity.

Defining art and health

The National Arts and Health Framework, to which NSW is a signatory, provides the following definition to help guide the work of the Arts and Health Taskforce:

Arts and health refers broadly to practice of applying creative, participatory or receptive arts interventions to health problems and health promoting settings to create health and wellbeing across the spectrum of health practice from primary prevention through to tertiary treatment.[1]

While recognising the important role that the arts play in numerous therapeutic modalities, the use of the arts in therapy is not the focus of this taskforce.


The Taskforce on Health and the Arts will develop a NSW Health and the Arts Framework to support the integration of the arts across the whole of the NSW Health system.

In developing the framework the taskforce will ensure consistency with the National Arts and Health Framework[2] and the NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework (Create in NSW)[3] , and provide specific guidance in relation to:

  • the range of mechanisms and models for incorporating the arts into the design of health facilities and the delivery of health services
  • the range of governance mechanisms and models for funding arts initiatives across NSW Health
  • a clearing house mechanism to facilitate an exchange of information and ideas on the incorporation and funding of the arts across NSW Health.


The NSW Health and the Arts Framework is to be submitted to the Minister for Health for consideration in March 2016.


The Minister for Health will appoint the Chair and members of the taskforce to provide a mix of expertise in the arts or the design and delivery of health care facilities and services. Members include:

  • Chris Puplick AM (Chair)
  • Margret Meagher, Executive Director, Arts and Health Australia
  • Tracey Callinan, Executive Officer, Arts OutWest
  • Dr Emma O’Brien, Executive Director and Board Member, The Institute for Creative Health
  • Sam Sangster, Chief Executive, Health Infrastructure
  • Kate Dundas, Deputy Secretary, Arts and Culture, Department of Justice
  • Amanda Larkin, Chief Executive, South Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Susan Pearce, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, NSW Health

Attendees include:

  • Shaune Noble, Director, Office of Secretary, Ministry of Health
  • Katherine Thompson, Policy Adviser, Office of the Minister for Health
  • Sharne Hiscoke, Policy Advisor, Office of the Deputy Premier


Appointment of taskforce members and Chair will be for a six month period with the option to extend for a further period of up to three months, at the discretion of the Minister for Health.

Reporting and accountability

The taskforce reports to the Minister for Health.

Code of conduct

Taskforce members will abide by and display behaviour consistent with the NSW Health Code of Conduct.

Conflicts of interest

Members must declare conflict of interest matters.


All members will treat meeting proceedings, discussions and recommendations and all documents tendered as confidential.


Taskforce members will be remunerated sitting fees as prescribed by the Public Service Commission within the Classification and Remuneration Framework for NSW Government Boards and Committees Policy and Guidelines.[4]


The Office of the Secretary will provide the administrative and project management support for the taskforce.

Taskforce members

Chair – Mr Chris Puplick AM

Chris has a major interest and has been an advocate for the arts and has served on various boards and advisory committees including as the inaugural Chairman of the National Film and Sound Archives of Australia, as a member of the Honorary Advisory Council of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, as a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council and of the Board of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts.

Chris is currently a Patron of the Darlinghurst Theatre Company and Chair of the William Fletcher Foundation which makes grants to emerging artists in the fields of painting, theatre design and the plastic arts. He is also a former Senator for NSW in the Commonwealth Parliament and was Shadow Minister for the Environment, Arts and Heritage from 1987 to 1990. Chris is also the Board Chair of the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network.

Tracey Callinan

Tracey is the Executive Officer of Arts OutWest, the regional arts organisation responsible for the development of arts and culture in the central west region of NSW where she carries out the role of Regional Arts Development Officer. Based at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Tracey is attached to the university’s new Creative Regions Lab through the research she is completing on regionally based creative industries as part of a PhD.

Tracey has a background in arts management, education and performance. Before joining Arts OutWest in 2009, she worked for a number of organisations including Arts Council England on the Creative Partnerships program, and Sydney University at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Kate Dundas

Kate Dundas has forged a career in public policy and media management. As Deputy Secretary Arts & Culture in the NSW Government, Kate's role is to provide leadership to Arts NSW and Screen NSW, and work closely with the key cultural institutions to deliver outcomes for the people of NSW.  Prior to this role, Kate was Director of ABC Radio for five years where she was responsible for 60 local radio stations, four national networks, 11 digital stations and associated websites. Kate is on the Council of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. She is a Vincent Fairfax Fellow and has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Charles Sturt University. She also works as mentor of senior executives in both government agencies and not for profit organisations.

Amanda Larkin

Amanda is the Chief Executive of South Western Sydney Local Health District. Previously she worked as the General Manager of Camden and Campbelltown Hospitals and the Queen Victoria Memorial Home. Amanda has a Bachelor of Social Work and an Associate Diploma in Environmental Service. Amanda has over 25 years of experience in health service management working in the areas of community health, corporate services and acute service management in small and large health services.

Amanda currently serves as a Board Member of the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research and the South Western Sydney Primary Health Network. She has done extensive work with management committees and boards of non-government organisations including neighbourhood centres, day care centres and accommodation facilities for men and women. Amanda’s specific areas of focus are leadership, governance, patient quality and safety, and health service planning and development.

Margret Meagher

Margret is founding director of The Australian Centre for Arts and Health Limited, a not-for-profit organisation, established as the peak body for the arts and health sector nationally and representing Australia within the international arts and health field. She is also the executive director of Arts and Health Australia, a national networking and cultural event management organisation, based in Port Macquarie. As a practitioner, Margret is a specialist in designing arts and health programs for hospitals, active ageing and public art projects for community health and wellbeing.

Margret has written and presented extensively on the subject of arts and health in Australia and internationally and has been a Member of the NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on Ageing since 2011. Since 2012, she has held the adjunct position of Senior Lecturer at the University of NSW (UNSW), and is now working with Art + Design UNSW to develop events, festivals and research projects in arts and health and creative ageing.

Dr Emma O’Brien

Emma is the Executive Director of The Institute for Creative Health. She has extensive experience in arts and health projects as a music therapist, health manager, composer, researcher and an internationally renowned innovator in the role of music in wellbeing; specialising in acute health care. Dr O’Brien’s PhD centred on the effect of her specialised method of guided song writing on cancer patients’ quality of life, mood states, distress levels and satisfaction with hospital stay.

Susan Pearce

Susan is the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, NSW Health and currently Deputy Secretary of the System Purchasing and Performance Division at the NSW Ministry of Health. Adjunct Professor Pearce has extensive experience in both nursing and health service management, in metropolitan and rural areas of NSW. In her current role, she has led a number of key initiatives – including the NSW Health Essentials of Care program and the Small Acts of Kindness initiative – both of which aim to support nurses in their important role of providing quality, compassionate care for patients. Susan’s recent appointments include a six month secondment as Acting Chief Executive of the Health Education Training Institute, and as the Senior Executive Lead for the NSW Health Peak Activity Team.

Sam Sangster

Sam is the Chief Executive of Health Infrastructure. He spent his early career with some of Australia’s largest ASX-listed companies and professional services firms in a range of leadership, commercial and project delivery roles. In these roles Sam led operational and infrastructure project delivery outcomes, applying a combination of negotiation skills, commercial acumen, innovation and an ability to build professional teams that delivered outstanding outcomes.

Joining Health Infrastructure in early 2013, Sam is responsible for the delivery of NSW Health’s very significant capital build program (in excess of $2b under construction) across NSW, oversaw procurement for the innovative Northern Beaches Health Service project (now under construction) and the delivery of commercial advisory services for NSW Health’s existing four hospital Public Private Partnerships.

Immediately prior to Health Infrastructure, Sam worked in the public sector in Victoria, delivering multi-billion dollar city-building infrastructures such as Melbourne’s Docklands in partnership with the private sector. Sam holds tertiary qualifications in law, accountancy and computer science, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s course, is a Certified Practising Accountant, is admitted to legal practice in several jurisdictions and, until moving to NSW, held a legal practicing certificate.


  1. National Arts and Health Framework – Attachment One, page 6.
  2. Ibid.
  3. NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework, Create in NSW
  4. Classification and Remuneration Framework for NSW Government Boards and Committees Policy and Guidelines
Current as at: Wednesday 9 December 2015
Contact page owner: NSW Ministry of Health