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Stroke Community Art Showcase displayed at RPA

RPA hosts Art Showcase for NSW Stroke Awareness Week 2023.

Woman holding flowers standing next to another woman; both smiling at camera
SydneyConnect Image: Her Excellency Margaret Beazley AC KC with a featured artist

Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, welcomed patients, clinicians, and special guests to the Art Showcase at RPA hospital to open this year’s NSW Stroke Awareness Week, with members of the Stroke Recovery Association.

“Today is both sublime and ridiculously wonderful,” she said.

“It is a week of celebration, but most particularly, it’s a week of thank yous, for what you do.

“It’s a week of thank you to the stroke victims, who’ve been prepared to push themselves, to give it a go, to re-find a world which has now been affected but to re-find your independence in different ways.

“You are absolutely fantastic, because it’s not easy.”

Survivor and Stoke Recovery Association NSW president Mr John Garbutt emphasised the important relationship between health care workers and survivors on their journey to recovery.

“We recognise that those experiencing a stroke are not able to complete this journey on their own, which is why during NSW stroke awareness week it is so important that we recognise the collaboration and partnerships between ourselves and health and disability colleagues,” he said.

“Their contribution often goes unnoticed, and the relationship is not always an easy one. However, it is an essential partnership in the recovery journey.”

The gallery of artwork was on display in the hospital foyer, inviting those who are passing by an opportunity to admire more than 100 pieces, and vote for their favourite.

Brendalee Coan was this year’s ‘audience choice’ winner. A proud Bidjigal woman, her artwork entitled “Seasons of the whale” was most popular by vote.

Runner up Gary Preston was grateful for the win and reflected on the high level of care from the RPA Stroke Unit as a patient at the hospital over a decade prior.

“The staff at RPA when I was here 12 years ago were wonderful and I’m sure they still are,” he said.

The week-long series of events hosted at RPA also included an art workshop from Arterie, pop up health checks by clinicians from the hospital’s’ Stroke Unit, and a performance by the KeyStroke choir.

“It’s been a festival of stroke recovery. All of you are inspiring to us,” said RPA Director of Stroke Professor John Worthington said.

“I acknowledge the difficulty of recovery. You are climbing Everest without Sherpa or oxygen and I am grateful to share in that.”

RPA Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Service provides a statewide hyperacute stroke service and is the first hospital in Australia to be awarded Diamond status by the World Stroke Organisation’s Angels Awards in 2022.

Performing at an internationally recognised standard,requires strong partnerships, a whole of district and whole of hospital commitment to quality stroke care, and a culture of continuous improvement.