Being and Belonging: Dialysis stories

BREAKING NEWS: Being and Belonging has progressed to the finals of the prestigious NSW Health awards after winning the arts and health category in the recent WSLHD Quality Awards. Congratulations to the regional dialysis centre patients, carers and staff, BMDH Project, HARC and our project partners. 

About the project

Being and Belonging is an exciting, engaging, collaborative consumer-led arts program at the Regional Dialysis Centre at Blacktown Hospital.

It was created by patients, families, artists and BMDH Project to improve well-being and enhance the experience of care by creating a more welcoming and engaging physical environment.

It directly encourages young adults to get more involved in their healthcare by expressing their experience through art, and directly influencing their care environment.

The program includes: Imagine!, a mixed media project using photography, video and dialysis consumables; Bubbles Gallery, an internal feature using dialysis water; Aboriginal welcome painting; and Living Library.

As a consequence of the program, patients have reported an improved experience of care, higher rates of satisfaction with the facility and more meaningful engagement. 

Being and Belonging was developed and implemented by our arts team led by the Health and Arts Research Centre (HARC), with support from Blacktown Arts Centre. 


Being and Belonging provided dialysis patient Silia, 23, with the chance to take control when she took on the role of director for the storytelling project Living Library. With fellow Young Adults on Dialysis Support member Frances, she interviewed other patients to create photo and video stories to help demystify dialysis.  The project revealed seldom-heard stories of loss, hope and experience and provided a point of connection between different generations. 

The video interviews and still photographs form part of the physical and online gallery for the project.

“My condition doesn’t define me. Nor is it the most interesting part of me,” Silia said. 


Welcome to all cultures

Cultures of Blacktown welcome painting by Peter Williams

The "Cultures of Blacktown" welcome painting by Aboriginal artist Peter Williams was commissioned represent diverse people from different areas coming together and living together as a community and showing all cultures are welcome.

Read Peter's explanation of the symbols in his painting



The APAC Conference is one of the world's largest health improvement forums. Being and Belonging was a runner-up in the 2016 awards.

See the poster