Project Description

Project Brief

To offer a range of creative recovery opportunities to the Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, North Burnett and Fraser Coast regions.

Afloat was all about the social and emotional recovery of natural disaster affected communities through creative projects. Creative Regions Ltd has been delivering the Afloat project in the Bundaberg Region since the floods of 2010/2011, funded through the Flexible Funding Program including digital story workshops and ephemeral public art projects.  In March 2013 it was announced by the Queensland Government’s Arts Minister that Creative Regions would receive $200,000 to continue creative recovery work, now including the Rockhampton, Gladstone, North Burnett, Fraser Coast and Bundaberg Regions through the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience program. The programs included:

  • After the Floods – a project delivered in the Fitzroy Basin with artists from Bush TV.  They captured digital stories and participated in key community events to showcase them.
  • Digital Story Program – a team of local artists have been leading digital animation workshops and a series of documentary style digital storytelling projects across the region, engaging with schools, community organisations, government and business in capturing their stories.
  • Weaving Project – Sunshine Coast artist Kris Martin has already led a series of weaving workshops across the region.  This will be followed up by a series of four large scale artworks produced in collaboration with communities that will become part of the stage design for the four major community events in June/July.
  • The Circa Project – Circa Trainers Alyssa Venning and Bree Le Cornu conducted skill-building workshops with Lowmead State School, Rosedale State School and Wartburg State School as well as flood affected dance schools Bundaberg Dance Academy and LA Dance Academy, culminating in performances at the Baffle Creek and Bundaberg Afloat events.
  • The Place Activation project is funded through the Bundaberg Regional Council to work with the community to develop projects that re-activate places in the community affected by floods and tornadoes and encourage people to come together through creativity.
  • Strength in Words is a collaboration between Creative Regions, UnitingCare Community (UCC) and the Bundaberg Writers Club.  More than 30 stories collected through community recovery gatherings facilitated by UCC will be curated, responded to through creative writing and published by mid 2014.
  • Creative Regions is also participating in the Creative Recovery Network.  A forum was held recently with 18 ‘Creative Recovery Community Reporters’? from across Queensland to learn about the online platform and posting stories to contribute to the growing practice of creative recovery.
  • Creative Regions is also supporting a number of artist and community driven initiatives through advisory support and coordination the Sunken Houses exhibition by Brad Marsellos and Heinz Reigler at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery in May 2014 and the Chris Bennie’s installation The Kissing Swans exhibited in February 2014.

This work culminated in four events held in June and July 2014 at the Baffle Creek Sport and Recreation Grounds, Bicentennial Park Mundubbera, Queens Park Maryborough and the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre Bundaberg. The events included:

  • The large-scale woven sculpture that was a symbol of community recovery at each of four events produced in collaboration with lead artist Kris Martin.
  • Projection of digital stories and digital animations collected through the project
  • A curated series of performances utilising local artists
  • Supporting market style stalls promoting organisations that have assisted with recovery including fundraising food providers A documentary about the impact of the Afloat Project is in production and will be published on our Vimeo Channel in December 2014.


For two hours I wasn’t really thinking of anything but weaving my basket.

– Weaving workshop participant November 2013?

– it was an excellent opportunity to talk.

– Weaving workshop participant November 2013?

it builds relationships and spirit.

– Weaving Workshop December 2013?

Being a community reporter can help heal yourself and others through the journey.

– After the Floods participant, January 2014?

My girls really enjoyed it.  Helped them to process what happened.

– Digital Animation Workshop participant, February 2014

How to let go of the emotions by spilling them onto the page  – there was a lot hiding inside I wasn’t aware of.

– When asked what they learned from participating in a writing workshop, February 2014


  • Creative Producer – Shelley Pisani
  • Producer/Director – Rod Ainsworth
  • Director of Photography – David Quarrell
  • Camera Assistants – Rob Cullen, Jacob Zunker
  • Editor – David Quarrell
  • Administration – Wendy Zunker


  • Afloat Producer – Shelley Pisani
  • Project Manager – Ainsley Gatley, Event Networx
  • Project Support – Wendy Zunker
  • Stage Manager – Di Wills
  • Videographer            – David Quarrell, Associate Media
  • Camera Assistants – Simon Hardenne, Rob Cullen, John Cullen, Jacob Zunker, Norm Quarrell
  • Photographers – Paul Beutel, Traci Thornton, Gerry Brookes
  • Event Equipment – Mal Brown and Corporate AV


Major Project Funders:

  • Afloat was funded in 2012 and 2013 through the Flexible Funding Program of the Queensland Government delivered through the Bundaberg Regional Council
  • Afloat was funded in 2013 and 2014 through Arts Queensland’s Creative Recovery – Building Resilience program, an initiative of the Queensland Government.

Additional Project Funders:

Footprints Project

  • Arts Queensland
  • Bundaberg Regional Council RADF
  • The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture.

Afloat Weaving Project

  • Regional Arts Fund delivered through Artslink Queensland
  • Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government initiative supporting the arts in regional, remote and very remote/isolated Australia.

Kissing Swans

  • Arts Queensland
  • Bundaberg Regional Council
  • The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture.

Afloat Circa Project

  • Arts Queensland
  • Bundaberg Regional Council RADF
  • Gladstone Regional Council RADF
  • The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Bundaberg Regional Council and Gladstone Regional Council to support local arts and culture.

Finding Strength in Words

  • UnitingCare Community/Lifeline
  • Rotary Club of Bundaberg East
  • Rotary District 9570
  • Queensland Writers’ Centre
  • Bundaberg Writers’ Club

Creative Recovery Network Forum and Sustainable Graffiti Project

  • Arts Queensland through the Creative Regions Ltd Small to Medium Organisation Grant 2013
  • Feral Arts
  • Contact Inc

Project Sponsors:

  • WIN Television
  • Bundaberg Broadcasters
  • Bundaberg Region Rising
  • Digital Powerhouse
  • Bundaberg Live
  • Security Assessment Specialists

Project Partners: 

  • Bundaberg Regional Council
  • North Burnett Regional Council
  • Gladstone Regional Council
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • UnitingCare Community
  • Event Networx
  • Associate Media
  • BushTV
  • Creative Recovery Network
  • CQUniversity
  • Red Cross
  • LA Dance Academy
  • Bundaberg Dance Academy
  • Gatakers ArtSpace
  • Education Queensland
  • Human Ventures
  • Burnett Mary Regional Group
  • Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
  • ABC Wide Bay

Project Artists:

Weaving Project 

  • Kris Martin
  • Yasmin Matahari
  • Juhye Song
  • Simon McVerry

Circus Project

  • Alyssa Venning
  • Bree Le Cornu

Digital Animations/Stories

  • Kelli McGregor
  • Fiona Dyer
  • Human Ventures Team
  • David Quarrell
  • Jacob Zunker

Sunken Houses

  • Brad Marsellos, photographer
  • Heinz Riegler, composer

Finding Strength in Words

  • Bundaberg Writers’ Club Members
  • Shane Foley, Illustrator
  • Aimee Courtice, Designer

Kissing Swans

  • Chris Bennie


  • Sue Berry

Place Activation

  • Carl Wockner
  • Craig Walsh
  • Christine Turner
  • Bronte Young

After the Flood

  • Tom Hearn
  • Kate Leahy
  • Lisa Clarke

Sustainable Graffiti

  • Damien Aidon
  • Sandra Aidon

Empowered Exhibition

  • Sue MacLean
  • Sally Spencer
  • Valerie Bennett
  • Jo Williams
  • Marnie Coster
  • Trevor Spohr
  • Ann Brown

Community Events

  • Stella Hutchins
  • Bianca Hodges
  • Pete O’Brien
  • Trevor Stewart
  • Circa
  • LA Dance Academy
  • Bundaberg Dance Academy
  • Michael Pincott
  • Kate Anbeek
  • John Franks
  • Helen Morris
  • Stallan Sisters
  • Cilla Slack
  • The Undercover Experience
  • Matthew Barker
  • Trish Milne
  • Third Time Lucky
  • Brooke McElligott
  • Dirty Creek Boys
  • Peter Knight
  • Spargo Brothers
  • Carl Wockner

Research Project

  • Dr Wendy Madsen
  • Madonna Chesham

Special Thanks:

  • Communities of Depot Hill, Stanwell, Bajool, Nagoorin, Builyan, Ubobo, Boyne Valley, Lowmead, Rosedale, Baffle Creek, Gin Gin, Bundaberg, Burnett Heads, Bargara, Cordalba, Givelda, Monto, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Maryborough, Tiaro and Burrum Heads.
  • Community Recovery Team from UnitingCare Community/ Lifeline
  • Creative Recovery Network
  • Feral Arts – Sarah Moynihan and Norm Horton
  • Lenine Bourke
  • Scotia Monkivitch
  • ABC Open
  • CQUniversity, Bundaberg Campus – Wendy Madsen and Madonna Chesham
  • North Bundaberg State High School
  • Bundaberg State High School
  • St Johns Lutheran Primary School
  • North Bundaberg State School
  • Burnett Heads State School
  • East State School
  • Cordalba State School
  • Givelda State School
  • South State School
  • Peta-Maree Jacobsen and Bundaberg Dance Academy
  • Leigh-Ann Pashley and LA Dance Academy
  • Liberty North Bundaberg
  • J Music Australia
  • The performers and volunteers who contributed their time to the events