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What is the Selwyn Creative Network?


“I felt on top of the world after attending a workshop. My whole mood lifted and I was relaxed and forgot about my stress & problems, I really feel like I belong” 


—  Hayley, Workshop attendee

Nationally there is a recognized need to encourage the growth of new support systems that cater for diversity, equality, different generations and the way that the arts are communicated to communities.  In Selwyn, the population growth has had a noticeable impact on our local support networks and research has shown a strong need to encourage more connection, support and encouragement for all creative people living here.

Research has also shown that there is also a strong desire from the people living in Selwyn to see more opportunities to participate in creative projects, establishment of creative spaces and a need to have a place to find out about what is happening and what is available around our district – particularly for the youth.

One of the best things about the Selwyn district is it close knit communities, particularly in the rural more isolated areas. People are always willing to lend a hand to their neighbour and help out. The Selwyn Creative Network holds at the heart of what it does.

The founder, Rachael Inch, had a vision to create positive impact in our community through the arts by advocating for the sector to be recognised as a valid service for providing a positive impact on the social and mental wellbeing of community.


Having 17-years of experience as a volunteer and previous employment with the local district council and Arts Trust has provided transferable skills to establish the network.

After working for Rolleston Salvation Army, alongside community groups to establish Generation House Project. Rachael extensively researched community needs and the W.I.S.K framework (Wellbeing, Imagination, Skills & Kinship) was developed. “Arts are vital in bringing community together, creating a sense of belonging, purpose and identity. Imagine what impact we can have for people now, and future generations if we use the arts as a service to promote healthy outcomes for community.”

In 2018, with the support of a team and Steven Moe, (Parry Field lawyers & Seeds) the network was awarded charitable status.

“We are focusing our work on encouraging people to come together in the areas of business, technology, science, humanities, creative arts, health and education to creatively highlight the things we are passionate about for the benefit of community.”

Our Patron - Dee Innes

I have lived on a farm in Windwhistle for 33 years with my husband Gerald, our son, daughter in law and three grandchildren. 


Over those years I have served on various voluntary community committees including Arts Canterbury and 20 years on Malvern Community Arts Council.  I instigated Celebrating Selwyn. I wrote a dissertation about the arts in a rural community as part of the Kellogg Leadership Course at Lincoln University.


Presently I am involved with the Hororata Parish, the Hororata Highland Games and a Trustee of the Hororata Community Trust.


In the past I worked as an elected member of Malvern Community Board, personal assistant to Dame Malvina Major, and Arts Coordinator at Darfield High School.

Tertiary education at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, and extensive travel throughout the world have given me a global view of life and knowledge of people of many cultures.

Any organisation or person that nurtures culture and the arts of a community is developing the well-being of that community.


I am honoured to be invited to be a Patron of Selwyn Creative Network.

Dee Innes - Our patron
Links to Resources in Selwyn - More to come!





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