Friday, 18 October 2019

Visual Arts Night 2019

Of course I didn't get away with failing to report on Visual Arts Night!
Robyn Coleman, who exhibits regularly at Creative Doctors Visual Arts Night has provided me with some reportage so that those of you who didn't make it will have an idea of what went on.

Here's what Robyn had to say:

"We had a wonderful night on 3rd October at our annual Creative Doctors Visual Arts Night, with exhibitions of some fascinating works.

Howard Gwynne provided an interactive display of "inner life " photos. Participants identified the photos they most connected with their own inner life and that of their parents. There were some fascinating photos and putting self-adhesive dots on the photos allowed people to see which were the most popular. Interestingly a very disapproving photo of Queen Elizabeth II scored the most dots to represent our parents inner lives. Therapy anyone?
Howard also displayed a favourite piece of glass art  made by another member, Marc Grunseit, that represented beautifully the inner and outer aspects of life. 

Marc was there too. He has finally retired from making glass art, for which he is internationally acclaimed, and has moved on to other sculptural media. He brought a new sculptural piece for us to admire which illustrated that his talent extends way beyond his old medium. If you have an orthopaedic interest you may be able to identify some of the materials he used in the photo

Work by Kai Lin Lie

Work by Sadhana Desai
Kai Lin Lie showed us the life studies she has completed in only one term of study at the Royal Art Society in North Sydney. Fabulous work!

Another former doctor, Sadhana Desai, is now devoting most of her time to art and exhibiting with the Kuringai Art Society. She showed us the beautiful wildlife inspired work she has been doing. She has been experimenting with depicting Australian wildlife incorporating patterns and shapes reminiscent of her Indian heritage.  The results are startling.

Tom Klug and his recent sculptural work

Tom Klug brought his fantastic surrealist-inspired photographs from a few years ago, and a wonderful sculpture that is part of his current artistic interest.

Robyn Coleman and part of her
Sydney to Hobart series

I presented four works that are to be exhibited in the 75th Anniversary Sydney to Hobart Race Exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Hobart. I also provided some earth pastel cards from my Antarctica and Flinders Ranges series which were popular. (These are also available from my instagram site @robyn_coleman)

Julie Gottlieb and her work

Finally Julie Gottlieb presented some of the haunting portraiture for which she is so well known.

Cliff Hing's creative streak is taking a slightly less visual path. We all enjoyed sampling the products from hte Hunter Valley vineyard and winemaking venture (Baringbah) that is his current  creative obsession (read more about it here) and the delicious catering so generously provided by Judith Babich of Active Locums

Thanks to the committee for organising the event. It is always a pleasure!"

And many thanks to Robyn for contributing that post.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Visual Arts Night was fantastic but let's move on to the next big thing!

I'm going to get into trouble for not paying enough attention to the wonderful people who came to see the art on display at our Visual Arts Night on 3rd October, but I'm too excited about the next event to dwell on the past!

Sorry, but Writers Night is my favorite and this year we are going back to the old tried and true formula of inviting Creative Doctors to read tidbits to us from their best and latest work.
We are also going back to the Heritage Room at Moore Park Golf Club which has proven to be such a
successful venue in the past. The food is always  great and the windows provide an excellent view of  sun sinking over the golf course with the evening cityscape decorating the other horizon.

If you're not too busy working on the essay you are writing for the 2020 Calibre Essay Prize (click on the link NOW - entries close 15th January!), your short story for the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize or the poem you are writing for the Peter Porter Poetry Prize (whoops, entries for 2020 closed on 1st October - you've got to be quick!) then how about putting something together for Creative Doctors Writers Night?

Thursday 5th March 2020 and keep writing!

Monday, 2 September 2019

Visual Arts Night 2019

The third and final event on the  Creative Doctors calendar for 2019 is fast approaching!

Visual Arts Night will be held at North Sydney Community Centre on Thursday 3rd October 2019 with a starting time of 7.00pm.

Creative Doctors is pleased to invite medicos of all stripes (including medical students) to show us what they have been doing in the visual arts space during the year. Every year we uncover some amazing talent!

If you are a doctor (past,  present or future) who is also a photographer, a painter, a sculptor, a jeweller, a crafter or a visual artist of any kind,  and you would like to exhibit your work, please contact us to reserve a space.
Our sponsor Judith Babich
 of Active Locums
If you are just  curious to see what your talented medical colleagues, relatives and  friends can do, you are welcome to be in the audience  - just RSVP so that we can get the catering right.

 Judith Babich from Active Locums is sponsoring venue hire and providing light refreshments. Judith has been an unstinting and generous supporter of these events for nearly two decades  It is worth mentioning that she also supports the NSW Doctors Orchestra and the UNSW Medical Students Musical Society

If you are keen to exhibit or just to peek at the show
please RSVP NOW:
by email to
or message Jan on 0425215876

Meanwhile, take a peek below at some examples of work we have exhibited in past years:

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Keeping Burnout at Bay

It's probably fair to say that many of us Creative
Doctors do what we do because of burnout - either in an effort to recover from it or to keep it at bay by maintaining the balance in our lives.

Writing is my thing, but I haven't had much time to do it lately because the sideways pitch of my career has led me to a role that soaks up a lot of my creative juices. I feel a bit lucky that after 3 decades of clinical medicine and immersion in primary care mental health I can now stretch my creative muscles and use that experience to help create podcasts, blogposts, webinars and face-to-face teaching events. 

You can access much of my online activity eMHPrac page of the Black Dog Institute website. But you might like to head straight for the podcast about burnout that we made based on a webinar on the same subject. Happy listening!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Attention Writers! A chance to bring out your bloodthirsty!

Here's an opportunity you mustn't miss - but you'd better start that story right now!

Entries close for the 2019 Scarlet Stiletto Short Story Award on 31st August.

Never heard of it?
Run by Melbourne-based not-for-profit volunteers Sisters in Crime, the competition has been held annually since 1993 and has been won by a crowd of great writers, many of whom have gone on to build great reputations and have novels published . This year's major prize money is $1060 but its not the money you enter it for - its the glory.

What do you need to do?
First you need to be a woman (sorry guys).
Then you need to write up to 5,000 rivetting and possibly bloodthirsty words of crime fiction in a story with a strong female protagonist.
You can get all the details at the Sisters in Crime website.

For a bit of inspiration you might like to look at this story about the 2018 awards ceremony. There is hope for all of us. 2018's Scarlet Stiletto was won by Philomena Horsley, a medical anthropologist who specialises in autopsies.

You'll notice too that there are more prizes to be had than just the Stiletto. The one that appeals to me the most is the Writers Victoria Crime and Punishment Award  that comes in the form of a three month residency at the Old Melbourne Gaol. How inspiring would that be!

Go on - you can do it. We both know you've been plotting that crime forever!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Life is like a barstool....

Burnout is alive and well in the medical profession - in fact we may have invented it!

I wrote a blog post about the importance of having more than just medicine in your life recently and I thought it might be a good thing to share with my Creative Doctors colleagues.

Here's the link to the barstool stool post. It comes from a blog called Being Well, an open access blog aimed mostly at a mental health professional audience. It is linked to other password-protected things but you are welcome to read the blog without having to sign in.

Please find below a few shots of some Creative Doctors (and some of their friends) contributing to their own wellbeing at Performers Night at Camelot in past years. More information about the 2019 Performers Night on 15th August  can be found 2 posts back. If you'd like a spot on the bill this year or you'd just like to be in the audience, contact us at We'd love to see you there! 

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Invitation to Participate in a Photographic Competition

Michael Lockwood, Creative Director of Out From the Mist, has invited Creative Doctors'  members to participate in this unique photographic competition featuring photographic representations of mental health.

The Bridge - Saturday 8th June 10.45am
Jan Orman
Entries are open to anyone with lived experience of mental illness or those close to them - including health professionals. Photographs will be judged using four criteria - lived experience, relationships, recovery and change.

The competition is being conducted on behalf of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA).

For more information please use this link to go to the competition website

Friday, 24 May 2019

Save the date for Performers Night 2019

I'm back!
Sorry I've been away so long - been busy - you know how it is I'm sure.
It had to be something VERY BIG to get me blogging again and it is. Stop the presses!

We have a date and a venue for the 2019 Creative Doctors Performers Night.

Put it in your diary NOW:

7.00pm THURSDAY 15th August 2019 
CAMELOT LOUNGE (Have you been before? - its a great venue with lots of camels!)
Cnr Marrickville Rd and Railway Parade Marrickville
Yes, we have had illuminated hoops
at a previous performers night!

Entry is free for network members and all their friends and relations (thanks to our sponsor Judith Babich of Active Locums) and food and drink are available to purchase from the bar 

Please try to come along - even if you aren't one of the performers you will enjoy seeing our "performing doctors" (and medical students) sing, dance  (possibly with illuminated hoops), play musical instruments and do stand-up routines - maybe even all at the same time!
Our doctors are able, on this one night of the year, to do all the things they can't get away with on the wards or in the office.

RSVP If you'd like to perform on the night, or just want to tell us that you will be in the audience, please contact me, Jan, at

And while I have your attention....

The NSW Doctors Orchestra; Musicus Medicus also has exciting performances which may interest you as well. Their next performance is at 2.30 pm on Sunday 16th June at the Concourse Concert Hall in Chatswood.
You can find out more from the Musicus Medicus website