"...There's no expectations as an artist... I can do it for myself."

"...This is good isn't it? I've never done this before... I like it, it puts me in a good place."

"...My heart-rate was up when I came to the Art Group, but after being here my heart-rate has slowed & I feel more relaxed & calm."

"...I love my art, it keeps me going on any day. I can do 100's of these [drawings]."

"...I've lived a life of rules, there's no rules here. I can express myself freely, that's where my passion is."

"...I've painted my anger out. I didn't feel angry, I was just expressing it from a distance in my painting. I used my hands, fingers to move the paint across the canvas..."

"...I've really enjoyed this. I've got a lot out of this. It has reignited my interests. Thanks, thanks so much."

Please consider supporting ANVAM through a donation via our online secure donation facility with your credit card or PayPal.

The Arts are a way of sharing the individual stories of our serving members, veterans and their families and of validating service and sacrifice while providing a sense of dignity and purpose. ANVAM provides a spectrum of facilitated Arts engagement to support wellbeing while relieving suffering caused by mental ill-health. We need your help to continue delivering this critical support to the veteran community: click here to find out more about helping our veterans.

“Thank you ANVAM for being the champion of Arts in the veteran community”.  Kim Herringe

Arts and the Dimensions of the Veteran Community

ANVAM is a national cultural institution, veteran led charity, Public Benevolent Institution and centre for wellbeing. ANVAM supports the whole-of-life wellness of current and former members of Australia’s military and families through facilitated arts engagement. Participants are invited to engage in a range of expressive possibilities for wellness through mental, physical and social wellbeing.

Veterans have used the Arts as a means of improving or maintaining their health and wellbeing since the creation of Australia’s military services. The veteran community has a rich history in the Arts through times of war and peace.

Through the Arts, ANVAM showcase the stories of unique lived experiences during and post-service. Showcasing these stories through thoughtfully constructed exhibitions and performances opens a pathway for new participants to become aware of and involved in ANVAM’s programs, while educating the broader community about the highs and lows of service and post-service life.

In partnership with the broader veteran community, ANVAM is working toward a new model of care in veterans’ wellbeing through greater recognition of the role the Arts plays in strong communities and fulfilling lives.

“The work that your organisation conducts is crucial to raising awareness and ensuring the wellbeing of Australia’s military and families.”

Hon Martin Foley MP, Minister for Mental Health (Vic)


History and Heritage

Veteran artists have contributed significantly to the history and heritage of the Australian veteran story. As writers, visual artists, performers or musicians, veterans have created poignant firsthand accounts of war, service, the home front and rehabilitation. These important individual stories and collective responses are permanent records that enrich the history and heritage for the veteran community and for all Australians.

“I thank you for the work you’re doing at ANVAM. I think it’s important work and I think it’s something we should do more of around the nation.”

the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

Culture and Identity

The culture and identity of the veteran community is unique within Australia; the arts offer this community a universal medium to express their sense of identity and to shape veteran culture and public perception.

War is one of humanity’s defining experiences… And the quiet things are just as important as combat.’

S. Rohde

Health and Wellbeing

The curative uses of art making first emerged during WWI, when convalescing soldiers were encouraged to paint to in order to nourish a sense of wellbeing and agency. One hundred years on, this tradition is maintained through a range of creative forms and arts therapies, now including visual art, music, creative writing, movement and drama.

Art has been shown to play a critical role in the healing and recovery of returning service personnel.’

the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson AO

Community and Social Connection

The Australian veteran community is diverse in age, service experience and vigor. The arts offer a vibrant channel of communication, bridging diversity through the shared experience of military service.

Inspiring to see how art has helped many to express their feelings, fears and dreams for the future’.

His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC

Creativity and Innovation

Creativity and innovation are fundamental to the arts. Individual arts practice, nurtured and shared, can bring this dynamism into other areas of veterans’ lives, and thereby into their broader community.

Creativity is a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed.’

T. M. Amabile