An historic site with heritage buildings, it is a working Mental and Disability Hospital with a Forensic Facility; all of which need to remain open for the benefit of the long-term residents who know the Morisset hospital as ‘home’. Many residents have few independent domestic living skills.
However, other entities could share the grounds and enhance the experience for both residents and staff as well as the local and broader communities.
The Morisset Hospital History Sub-committee of Lake Macquarie & District Historical Society Inc. do wonderful work and could give talks and tours.
The Chapel has regular Friday services and could be a lovely venue for changing spiritual art exhibitions.
There is a fully set up wood and metal work building that could bring new skills and artefacts to enhance the experience of all
at the hospital.
There is an Aboriginal Healing Circle that could be the focus for education about Aboriginal culture.
Many under-used or disused buildings could house on a permanent or changing basis various arts disciplines and film studios, etc.
And much more flowing from the creative juices in the arteries of an Arts Heart.
The Arts Heart Vision
Imagine having uplifting art created on site in dis-used or under-utilized buildings bringing new energy and joy to those who live, work or visit the Morisset Hospital. An arts centre that is respectful to its hospital, its history and environment, caring for local fauna and flora, and providing food that also enriches all.
The Arts Heart would be an Australian First – an Arts Centre dedicated to promoting God inspired or Spiritual Arts across many faiths in the grounds of a working hospital facility – arts that bring joy, that uplift, enrich the soul and foster healing.
(There is no such cross-cultural arts centre in Australia, and I am unsure if one exists elsewhere.)
It has been proven many times, - the arts bring healing and energy to challenged ‘urban' environments.
There are opportunities for this to start simply with an artist-in-residence process
that could gradually develop to include many kinds of multi-media, dance, theatre, music, etc., as well as the visual arts with classes, workshops and displays with arts, historical and environmental tours.
There are many people who have held this vision for some years and have garnished much support from diverse sectors in the community.
Please support the vision of an Arts Heart in the Morisset Hospital as a central or core element bringing inspiration, healing and revitalising to an important historic and residential care facility.
Kangaroos and Environment
When you Google ‘’Morisset and Kangaroos’’ there are literally hundreds of reference entries from trip advisors and others, both Australian
and international, promoting the Morisset Hospital as the place – just north of Sydney
- to go by car, train or bus, to see Kangaroos.
The Lonely Planet states - “The best place on Earth to see Kangaroos.”
This means thousands of tourists come each month to the Morisset Hospital to see, touch and feed Kangaroos and enjoy other wildlife in the beautiful park setting of Lake Macquarie.
This causes issues for the Hospital Staff.
Arts Heart proposes working with local environment and social enterprise groups and the State Government authorities to develop a more organised approach, so the staff and residents are not negatively impacted.
Visitors could be directed to stay in specific locations, enjoy the arts, hospitality and responsible food approach for the wild-life. Wild-life talks could be arranged. Then the tourist visitations could safely and financially bring benefit to the local community and contribute to the costs of maintaining the facilities and environment responsibly.
Some of Lake Macquarie and Sydney's creatives and professionals banded together on Monday evening to create the steering committee to for the Arts Heart at Morisset Hospital. Lake Mac Today was there to document the occasion.
For more information on the who's who of the Art's Heart committee click here
Read Lake Mac Today Articles about the progress and proposed ideas behind arts heart here