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Personal profile


Dr Cathy Hope is an Assistant Professor in Communication; the Coordinator of the Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project; and the Founder/Coordinator of Play Activation Network ACT.

Coordinator - Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project

The Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project is an applied research project that critically examines the role and capability of play in adult cultural practice.  It investigates sites of play to identify and explore those elements of play that elicit forms of creative and collaborative engagement, and to examine the impact of these elements on players and their environments.

In our current highly complex environment, play – with its exploratory, autotelic, generative, adaptive and collaborative capacities – is increasingly seen as a vital resource, with the potential for deployment in multiple settings, and with novel and transformative capabilities that enhance wellbeing.

The Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project explores play as a mode of engagement, as a driver of creativity and innovation, and as a facilitator of individual and community wellbeing.

Situated as we are in the ACT, the Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project aims to examine Canberra as a site of play, and to work with local individuals and institutions to make Canberra a 'playful' city – to inspire play in myriad, diverse and beneficial ways, as well as to examine the role and impact of play in Canberra to better inform the design and implementation of playful spaces and activations.

Founder and Coordinator, Play Activation Network ACT

The Play Activation Network ACT is an informal collective of people from diverse sectors –including creative, cultural, educational, health and environmental – who experiment with the generative capacity of play to enhance engagement and wellbeing.

  The Play Activation Network aims to:

  • Enable and support play in its many forms; 
  • Promote engagement in play across the lifespan for citizens of the ACT and regions;
  • Increase knowledge of the role of play as a form of cultural and environmental practice;
  • Foster a culture of positive collaboration, exchange, partnerships and cross-disciplinary practice.

To achieve these aims, the Network engages in:

  • Activation
  • Advocacy
  • Collaboration
  • Promotion
  • Research

The Play Activation Network ACT is facilitated by the Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Project in the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra.

Coordinator - Play, Creativity and Wellbeing Symposium: Play for a Vital and Sustainable City

The Play in the City Symposium is an annual Symposium that explores the potential of play in cities.
Over two days we present an exciting national line up of speakers whose pioneering work in urban design, place-making, creativity, the arts and wellbeing will inspire you to think differently about the many possibilities for enlivening and enriching urban environments.


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