The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is a singular opportunity to reform Australian aged care and redress the marginalisation of aged care residents—a vulnerable demographic whose voices too often go unheard. Using innovative arts-based forms of storytelling, this three-year project explores how non-traditional approaches can provide older Australians with more visibility in aged care policy debates. Combining media analysis with poetic inquiry, participatory photography, citizen storytelling, and interactive art, this project amplifies the voices of residents and engages policymakers, providers, and the public in a reflexive, inclusive conversation about the past, present and future of aged care.

This website will provide a place for people to leave stories and data, and participate in research around the Royal Commission.

Watch a video of our researchers discussing the project:


The stories of neglect and abuse emerging from the RC are not resonating with the public in their current form. This project will test, develop, and deliver new ways of hearing and engaging with aged care stories that will being together providers, policy makers, residents, and the Republic during the critical policy-forming period following the RC’s November 2020 final report. Below is a sample of poetic inquiry – a form of found poetry, where poems are created using traditional poetic techniques from unusual source texts, such as transcripts, interviews, and newspaper articles.











Visually presented as a circle, in this poem titled Circles, presented in several different formats, a daughter shares her mother’s shame as she recalled the time a staff member drew a circle with her fingers to signal she thought she was crazy, taken from submission #AWF.001.00673. The poem is shaped to resemble an ear to visually reinforce the images of the poem and it is shaped in a circular form to reinforce the motion of the poem.













Further examples of poetic inquiry and the other arts-based research methods can be found in the Outcomes section of the website.


Australian Research Council (ARC) logoThis project is funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant – DP210100859 (2020-2023).