the happiness project

Ongoing positive mental health & literacy promotion

what is true happiness for you?

Artists, educators, health and community workers have been collaborating with people of all ages in regional Tasmania to make beautiful short films and animations about what true happiness means to them.
Between 2010 and 2016 Kickstart Arts has collaborated with 1,636 people from 8 Tasmanian communities to make 67 short films and animations and 2 story maps of rural towns. These art works were screened to in cinema audiences of 6,224 and to many thousands more online. 
This ever growing collection of stories tell us about the positive, generous and creative spirit of people in regional Tasmanian communities as well as their strong sense of community and connection to place.


“I am inspired by stories of Tasmanians living in the midst of hardship and finding things to celebrate. People who create sustenance from small gardens and slender pay packets… In every community, there are elders and visionaries – gifted people - who offer news, new horizons, special treasures, and guidance to those about them. What a joy to know such great people are in our midst.”  

Roger Scholes – Artist, Writer, Film and Television Maker

The latest chapter - counting up to happiness 2016
A retrospective short film festival featuring 20 short films made over the last six years was screened at The Peacock Theatre at the Salamanca Arts Centre from Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 24. 
The festival featured 4 new films made during 2016 by young people from diverse backgrounds collaborating with professional Tasmanian filmmakers Roger Scholes, Troy Melville, Richard Bladel & David Pyefinch 
A public forum exploring the question “Is Happiness a Matter of Survival?” on Sunday July 24 investigated what we can do as individuals and as a community to bring about positive change in mental health in Tasmania.
The forum was chaired by Dave Noonan, Radio presenter on Heart 1073; and featured the following speakers:
  • Dr Sonam Thakchoe, Senior Philosophy Lecturer at UTAS; 
  • Dr Bruno Cayoun, Clinical Psychologist & principal developer of MiCBT;
  • Deborah Mills, Arts & Cultural Policy Advocate;
  • Jami Bladel, Artistic Director & CEO of Kickstart Arts, and
  • Justin Robinson, Director, Institute of Positive Education, Geelong Grammar School.
The conversation that ensued was fascinating. We aim to continue the project over the coming years.

links to films

link to project evaluation

Photo credits: Fred Assenheimer