Amber is currently working for Auckland Council as part of the Youth Empowerment Team. She is not actively working as part of Creative Collaborative but continues to share her PhD research into creative ways to youth wellbeing to help inform our work.
I am a creative practitioner committed to using the arts for a more caring, socially just and equitable world. Over the last 15 years I’ve worked alongside all sorts of brilliant people (here and overseas) to create award-winning projects that inspire youth and community development, and better health and wellbeing.
Some of my work has been grass roots – working in charities, housing estates and community-led projects. Some of it has been strategic – developing research, partnerships, commissioning, training and resources designed to enhance our working practices and life environments. Some of it has been national, for example, I led a national sector development programme supporting cultural venues across the UK to grow young people’s participation and leadership.
Most of my work has been focused on better life outcomes for young people who are struggling. The arts have amazing potential to power up young people with the resources they need to thrive, amplify unheard voices, and transform health, education and social practices. I was so fascinated by this that I recently started a PhD at the University of Auckland researching the possibilities of creative participation as a tool for youth mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa.
I’ve published a few articles and research reports, and a co-produced a book, all sharing the learning from creative projects over the years.