Meet Margaret

In full bloom

With more than 20 years design and teaching experience, I have helped many people discover their hidden ability to create.

It’s so rewarding to enable people to express themselves and find their voice through art making.

My favourite part?

I truly adore working with people with dementia because I get to witness their joy and wonder in learning new skills, the laughter and disbelief at their capabilities, and their transformation from disengagement to thriving in a few short moments.

I believe that a sparkling connection exists between the arts and health, offering a palette of potential for future healthcare.

Engaging in regular creative activities can complement the medicinal requirements of those in aged and disability care, by helping to meet their emotional needs.

Planting the Seed

The overwhelming grief of losing my elderly parents led me to rediscover the healing power of art.

Through the meditative qualities of writing and drawing, I found meaning and acceptance of death.

Yet I couldn’t shake the guilt.

I was saddened and frustrated by the glaring gap in meaningful engagement available to my parents while in aged care.

They were intelligent creative people. I knew there was more to life than playing Bingo and bus outings.

Following the Light

When I see a spark in the eye of one of my elders as they ‘draw’ on their memories, it lights me up like cracker night! My purpose is to give them a purpose. On a deeper soul level?

My mother was highly creative and wasn’t given the opportunity to pursue it when she went into a nursing home.

She had a tear in her eye one day and when I bent down to kiss her on the cheek she said, “Margaret, I have no purpose, there’s really no point in living anymore.” She stopped smiling and stopped eating and passed away months later. That’s what drives me to do this work.

 Looking ahead to the next generation of older people – who have been exposed to a constantly changing technological world with far more privileges than their predecessors – will expect more from their care and support of their needs. I know I will. 

Creative pursuits such as Artintuit programs will help fill the void and complete the circle of holistic care.

The Sprouting

Drawing was a tiny bud I nurtured and nourished during adolescence.

My obsession with its healing and cognitive benefits stems from my adult career as a designer, published illustrator, and academic researcher and educator.

I developed the Drawing Memories program in 2012 as part of my PhD art and dementia research project, ‘Art for Health’s Sake’. It is a legacy to my artist mother.

I believe that a lot of outrageous laughter and play, guided by compassion and a huge dose of professionalism, is the key to helping people overcome their fear of art making so they can reap the many health benefits it provides.

Watch the Video about Margaret’s Story

“Thank you so much Marg – Uniting Care Ageing, our residents and clients,
and of course staff and volunteers are so much richer for your work”

Former Regional Executive Manager, Uniting Care Ageing.

Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.

Shigenori Kameoka

See more about my experience and qualifications here.