The RegenerART Project

A celebration of regeneration, resilience, reflection, healing, and community bonding through trauma informed guided creative expression.

Tumut Art Society

This important community outreach program was provided for communities in the Snowy Valleys region affected by the Black Summer bushfires.

View Part One:


Warning: the information below contains a description of the Black Summer bushfires and the effects on the community and may be distressing.

In 2019-20, the Dunns Road fire which began west of Adelong; the East Ournie Creek fire originating just north of the Murray River; and the Green Valley fire which started east of Albury, converged in the Snowy Valleys forming a mega blaze that burned for 50 days decimating 4,293 square kilometres of forests, plantations and prime agricultural land. Two lives were tragically lost. 242 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Away from the jostling television crews that had descended on other communities, few Australians knew that the communities of the Snowy Valleys were the most severely impacted on the Australian mainland.

In response, Tumut Art Society (TAS) recognised the role creative expression could play in recovery and developed RegenerART: Recreating a Positive Future, a creative workshop outreach program for the severely impacted rural communities of Talbingo, Adelong, Batlow and Tumbarumba over an 18-month period in 2020-21. Participants were offered support artistically, socially, mentally and emotionally by professional art tutors trained in Mental Health First Aid and Bushfire Clinicians from the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

In 2022-23, TAS returned to affected communities with a touring exhibition of works created by community members and a two part documentary that consolidated and expanded upon the workshop outreach series aimed at normalising help seeking for mental health, strengthening community connections and social inclusion, building capacity and economic opportunities, and enhancing the cultural life of the Snowy Valleys.

The positive impact of RegenerART: Recreating a Positive Future was recognised in 2021 when Tumut Art Society was shortlisted as a finalist for the New South Wales Mental Health Matters Award in the Arts and Media category.