The Art Cabriolet takes an Massey Fergusson TE20 tractor from Newcastle to Melbourne to support children braving trauma.
The Art Cabriolet is setting out to put a spotlight on the importance of creative art therapy. The not-for-profit organisation is taking on the mammoth mission of travelling from Newcastle to Melbourne in 10 days with a donated Massey Fergusson TE20 tractor along with an old fire truck to reach, support and raise funds for hundreds of Australian children braving trauma.
Kicking off on Monday 15 May, the ‘Tractor Man’ will drive into metro, suburban and regional towns in New South Wales and Victoria.
The journey will see a support team of volunteers, artists and art therapists visit designated hospitals, hospices, schools and homes to create art with and for children who are experiencing challenging circumstances.
Local residents in each town will also be encouraged to paint their stories on both vehicles, making the Massey Fergusson TE20 tractor and the old fire truck moving pieces of communal art.
The Art Cabriolet, CEO and Founder, Caroline Liuzzi, said the aim of the Tractor Man initiative is to not only raise funds, but to also put creative art therapies on the agenda as an effective way to emotionally strengthen children dealing with physical or psychological distress as a result of trauma.
“Traditional verbal counseling or talk therapy doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, we have found that children and adolescents living through trauma find it challenging to confront and deal with their situation. Often they’re non-verbal and are less capable and comfortable in expressing themselves through words,” she said.
From reducing stress, anxiety and depression to emotional release and sparking imagination, there are many proven benefits associated with creative art therapies. Research supports creative art therapy’s profound impacts in the areas of mental health, behaviour, stress reduction, depression, family issues, addiction, trauma and chronic pain management. In fact, studies show a significant reduction in symptomology and hospital stays when an individual is engaged in creative art therapy.
“We support hundreds of children dealing with accident trauma, long-term illness, end of life trauma, disability, temporary or long-term challenging family circumstances, social isolation, poverty or family violence. Our art therapists provide help and counseling to children in a safe, creative and visual way.
“Creative art therapy is not recognised as allied health in Australia and we’re falling behind compared to other countries across the world that rely on it as an innovative way to strengthen the mindset and empower people in seemingly powerless situations,” Ms Liuzzi said.
The man behind the wheel of the Massey Fergusson also known as the ‘Tractor Man’, Derek Percival, said through this initiative, he hopes to help spread the word and assist The Art Cabriolet with reaching as many children in need as possible.
“I wanted to donate and drive a Massey Fergusson TE20 tractor, because I wanted people to understand how important creative art therapy is for children going through trauma,” he said.
“When I learnt about The Art Cabriolet’s work, I wanted to help increase awareness of creative art therapy and raise funds to go towards providing a permanent arts hub for the organisation, so they can reach more Australian children in need of support,” Mr Percival said.
Ms Liuzzi said, “An arts hub allows children to discover creative art therapies in a non-clinical environment, which will help impact our reach and open doors to delivering more tools to empower children braving trauma.”
To donate to this important cause, visit www.theartcabriolet.org.au.
The Tractor Man journey begins in Newcastle on 15 May and ends in Melbourne on 24 May.
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