Issue 8
Monday, 05 October 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Attending one of the art classes, from left, Eva San, Varunika Ruwanpura and Christine Pheeney
Attending one of the art classes, from left, Eva San, Varunika Ruwanpura and Christine Pheeney

Wellbeing at the centre of student-run creative art classes

By Carl Pfeiffer

Providing students with an outlet to express themselves creatively is the aim of a wellness workshop established by two Charles Darwin University Higher Degree Research (HDR) students. 

An initiative of PhD students Eva San and Varunika Ruwanpura, the HDR Student Wellbeing Workshop is run monthly and designed for students to take part in art and free writing sessions to complement their graduate studies.  

Eva said the “therapeutic art-making” workshop allowed students to interact with each other and express their creativity.  

“It’s a good place for students to connect and create a supportive community,” she said.  

“Students can come out of their shell and express themselves. Many have been working in isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions.”   

Varunika said the creative process associated with the workshops provided students with an avenue to take a break from thesis writing. 

“Thesis writing is fantastic, but it can also be a very stressful process for students,” she said.  

“We have students that come to create something, but it also helps them mind-map what they want to do in their thesis writing.  

“It happens very naturally, we find they really open up and love talking about the process … everyone comes up with different emotions.”  

To become involved in the next student wellbeing workshop, HDR students can contact Eva San (yenkengeva.san@cdu.edu.au) or Varunika Ruwanpura (varunika.ruwanpura@menzies.edu.au).