Creative Regions proudly partners with CQUniversity to evaluate our projects and programs, with support from our Organisation funding through Arts Queensland.  Dr Wendy Madsen has just completed her evaluation of our 2014 project My Big Bear Story, developed as a tool for counsellors, families and classrooms to highlight the impacts of domestic and family violence on children.

Wendy is Senior Lecturer/ HOC in Public Health at Central Queensland University.  She has an eclectic background, including human movement studies, nursing, history and more recently health promotion. She has developed a passion for community-based health promotion, particularly in regards to understanding social determinants of health and healthy communities. In these areas, Wendy has found a role for history, especially oral history, as a means of understanding the contexts of

communities and as a way of contributing to community identity and narrative. Wendy has also come to appreciate the power of the arts in opening up avenues for health promotion. He

r passion for this has led to a funded evaluation partnership between Creative Regions and CQ University through Arts Queensland from 2017-2020.

This study evaluated our children’s story book My Big Bear Story, investigating how eight child counsellors working with children impacted by domestic and family violence have implemented this tool and its effectiveness.

We are thrilled that the book has been a useful therapeutic tool for the services that have been utilising it.

That particular gentleman got insight into what his stepchild was experiencing. He hadn’t see it and then, of course, that opened up Pandora’s Box of his stuff. That was a nice awakening for that family, out of this one little book (Cassy). (p.8)

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