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SEW-Arts Project

Information for Ensemble Offer recipients.

SEW-Arts is shorthand for ‘The Social & Emotional Wellbeing in the Arts Project’.

SEW-Arts centres on a framework developed by the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI) which has been designed in consultation with WA arts organisations to promote social and emotional wellbeing. In 2024 the framework is being trial implemented within WAYTCo’s Ensemble Program, specifically the Junior and Senior Ensembles.

As part of your ensemble offer acceptance, you are asked if you consent (over 18s) or assent (under 18s) to being part of the trial. For those under 18 years of age interested to participate, your parent/guardian will be asked to provide consent and you will provide what is called ‘assent’.

Please consider the information provided below to determine whether or not you would like to participate. Note that participation in this aspect of ensembles is completely optional. You can accept your ensemble offer and opt out of the trial, if you wish. In this instance, WAYTCo will ask the relevant Teaching Artists and SEW-Arts team members to omit to make observational notes about your participation.

Project Information

Researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia (UWA) in collaboration with Edith Cowan University (ECU) are working with Healthway to trial and evaluate an arts-based health promotion framework to promote and enhance the social and emotional wellbeing of young people engaged in the arts in Western Australia.

By participating in SEW-Arts, you will have the opportunity to provide valuable information about the effectiveness of the SEW-Arts Framework in enhancing the skills and knowledge of the arts community, including teaching artists, arts administrators, parents, and young people, to intentionally promote the social and emotional wellbeing in young people through arts programs.

Who is doing this research?

The SEW-Arts project is led by researchers from the Telethon Kids Institute and UWA (Dr Leanne Fried, Dr Robyn Johnston, Dr Jacinta Francis, Sarah Falconer, and Karen Forde), ECU (Dr Julia Morris), and the Art Gallery of Western Australia (Lilly Blue), supported by funding from Healthway.

What is the project about?

The arts naturally promotes positive social-emotional outcomes. Another way of saying this is “social-emotional development is intrinsic to the arts”. The premise of this project is that arts educators can intentionally and consciously foster positive social-emotional development by helping young people take advantage of opportunities to practise social-emotional skills during an arts activity and guiding them toward improved social emotional competencies.

The SEW-Arts framework is designed to help arts educators more intentionally promote social and emotional wellbeing in young people through their programs.

What does participation involve?

During the program, WAYTCo teaching artists will be using activities and approaches that they believe align with the framework. They will be planning and delivering lessons in a way that is intended to help you achieve good mental health whilst also imparting theatre skills.

Teaching Artists will keep a journal for the duration of the program, in which they will jot down reflections of the activities they have tried and student responses to their arts instruction.

The TKI researchers may also want to observe how WAYTCo teaching artists apply the framework. They may visit the Studio on a Sunday, during ensemble delivery, to watch a delivery in action.

If you are aged between 12 and 18, the TKI team will ask you to fill in a before and after survey. This is basically the one survey filled out two times, once before and once after participating in the ensemble program. The survey will take five minutes to complete and includes questions to gauge your awareness of your social and emotional wellbeing and ways to promote it. Survey questions were developed by the TKI researchers in collaboration with a psychologist. The questions will align with the wellbeing focus area/s selected by WAYTCo related to ‘tuning in’, ‘feeling’, ‘connecting’, or ‘discovering’ (themes previously identified by young people as important for their wellbeing).

These questions measure whether or not young people are using strategies to promote their own mental health and also help to see if application of the framework has helped the WAYTCo teaching artists to improve your use of mental health self-care strategies.

Help with reading or understanding the questions can be provided, if required.

Is participation voluntary?

Yes. That means it is entirely up to you whether or not you participate. You can leave the project at any time, without saying why, by talking to your parent or carer and asking them to contact us. Contact the SEW-Arts Chief Investigator, Leanne Fried, on

If you decide to participate and then change your mind during the course of the program, WAYTCo teaching artists will follow a protocol to ensure any information gathered about you to date is destroyed (if applicable).

What are the benefits of participating?

Your views are important and will ultimately help the research team promote and enhance the social and emotional wellbeing, and therefore mental health, of young people engaged in the arts in WA.

It is also expected that you will gain enhanced social-emotional self-awareness as a direct result of participating in an arts program that is informed by the SEW-Arts Framework.

What about privacy?

Your participation in this project and any information you provide will be treated confidentially. Once your consent has been received, a unique identification number will be generated for use with the storage of de-identified information that relates to you (/your child). Data and information that identifies participants will be de-identified or coded as soon as possible. This ensures your (/your child’s) name will not be linked to survey responses. At no stage will what you say or do be linked back to you (or what your child says/does be linked back to them).

Information from this research project will be published in research journals but no names and identifying details will be used in any publication, presentation or report arising out of the research project. All data will be stored in line with Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority guidelines.

You will be able to get a copy of the overall findings at the end of the research project should you wish.

Are there any risks to participating?

There are no anticipated or foreseeable risks associated with participating in this study. Most individuals who have participated in similar research projects have enjoyed the experience. If any of the questions asked in the survey cause discomfort, or you do not wish to answer them, you may skip the question or stop participating.

Should you experience distress (or should you observe your child exhibiting behaviours suggestive that the survey is causing distress), please advise either the attending teaching artist or the Chief Investigator directly (details to follow). The Chief Investigator will ensure a registered psychologist contacts you.

At no time will either WAYTCo personnel or members of the TKI team ask you (/your child) to divulge personal information. The only circumstances under which either party would need to disclose to others, the information shared, is if required to do so by law.

All survey participants will be provided with a list of support agencies should they want to find out more information or need support.

You are also encouraged to talk to someone you trust, or to contact one of the listed organisations for more information, if participating in the trial raises any concerns for you.

All members of the research team have valid Working with Children Checks, as do all WAYTCo Teaching Artists.

Who should I contact if I have questions or need more information?

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this study, please contact the Chief Investigator, Dr Leanne Fried, on (08) 6319 1480,

What next?

The consent process, including the option to decline to participate, is integrated into WAYTCo’s Online Offer Acceptance Form, see here.

For a young person aged 11-17, the following is required:

  • Parent/Guardian written consent [through checking the relevant consent box on the Online Offer Acceptance Form]
  • Ensemble Member written assent [through checking the relevant assent box on the Online Offer Acceptance Form]

For a young person aged 18 or above, a single check of the relevant consent box is all that is required.

If you agree to participate, please ensure you download a copy of the InfoSheet_SEW-Arts. Remember that you can refer to this at anytime.

WAYTCo’s involvement in the SEW-Arts Project is supported by Healthway, through funding provided under the Health Promotion Partnerships Program.

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