Combining a passion for the arts and healthcare | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Lifehouse News

This year Arterie is pleased to welcome its newest member, Master of Arts Therapy student Yi Cao.  Many in the Lifehouse community will remember Nicole Hutton, our Arts Therapy student from last year, and the amazing work she did.

Yi was born in China, is a native Mandarin speaker, and had an interest in art from a very young age. But because this passion was not supported by her parents, she eventually studied nursing. After moving to Australia, she worked as a nurse for three years but found it exhausting. Her health began to suffer from the constant night shifts and strenuous work. This is when Yi decided it was time to follow her passion and she began a Diploma of Fine Arts at the St George Tafe New South Wales, followed by a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours at the University of New South Wales.

Yi wanted to find a way to use both her passion for the arts and her previous nursing experience. She found she could do this through completing a Master of Art Therapy, which she is currently studying at the University of Western Sydney. When asked about her placement at Lifehouse she said, “I thought I would like to work with cancer patients because of my nursing background, so I was very fortunate to get this placement.”

Yi started at the perfect time. Arterie was using water colours and origami to celebrate two occasions on her first week; Valentine’s day and Chinese New Year, where Yi produced exquisite work demonstrating her amazing skills as a diverse artist.

Yi usually prefers to work with graphite, charcoal and ink pen but will soon be learning many new skills like crochet – something she has not done before. Regular members of the Lifehouse community studio group are looking forward to teaching Yi the textile arts.

Yi will be learning a lot during her time at Lifehouse, including one-on-one art delivery, one-on-one art engagement, the facilitation of art workshops and all aspects of running a hospital art program.  The arts and health is a growing field in Australia and with this experience Yi will hopefully be able to expand Arterie’s award winning practices and art therapy into more and more places such as other hospitals and nursing homes.

We are excited to gain another placement student and can’t wait for the year ahead! Yi will be at Lifehouse every Tuesday and Wednesday as well as on days with special events or occasions.

Arterie is specifically designed to improve the outcomes and enhance the experience of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse patients, carers and staff.  All members of the Lifehouse community are welcome to take part.

For more information on Arterie, please contact Deb Burdett: Deborah.Burdett@lh.org.au

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