Creative way to bring joy to the new year

Published 06 December 2021

Joy Connection - Maryann Talia Pau redo.jpg

Council’s Joy Connection program is back in January 2022 and set to inject a much-needed boost of joyful energy into our community.

The Joy Connection program offers free creative arts workshops in three main themes: making for joy, music for joy and movement for joy.

Mayor Peter Flannery said the Joy Connection program was the perfect antidote to a challenging couple of years.

“What a fantastic way to bring in the new year and find joy in creativity and community connection throughout January,” Mayor Flannery said.

“The past two years have presented many challenges to our communities including lockdowns, social isolation and job losses. Research shows that active participation in creative activities have positive cognitive, physical, emotional and social effects 1. Put simply, being creative improves our mood.”

“It’s time to come together and celebrate our community and what better way to do so than by singing, dancing, drumming, weaving and more in an inclusive environment the whole family can attend.

“I can’t wait to see how the community has explored their creativity in the Scarborough Beach finale on Sunday 30 January.”

A key highlight of the ‘making’ theme is a series of five suburban workshops with internationally renowned weaving artist Maryann Talia Pau. As co-founder of the worldwide One Billion Stars project, Maryann knows first-hand the transformational power of participation in creative activities.

“Weaving offers me so much joy and feels so natural to me. I describe it as a head, heart and hand conversation. To be able to bring my joy for weaving and advocacy for social change to the Joy Connection program is a real privilege.” she said.

“When people feel safe, happy and encouraged, they are more likely to do good in the world which makes the Joy Connection a vital creative community initiative.”

“Family, community, ocean, nature, food and people inspire me, so I am excited to be connecting with the Moreton Bay region and its community.”

Alongside Maryann’s weaving workshops, the ‘making’ theme includes kinetic wire sculptures with Russell Solomon, watercolour for wellness with Meredith Gaston, sunrise sand geometry on the Bongaree foreshore with Gabrielle Quakawoot and a finale event where local artists from Carte Blanche will guide the creation of a giant ephemeral artwork.

The ‘music’ theme includes acapella singing workshops, drumming with Drumbeats, drum making using recycled materials with local musician Efiq Zulfiqar and, for those ready to try something really different, an improv choir with Lindsay Drummond.

If your dancing shoes are ready for a dust off you might book in to the ‘movement’ stream with a Bee Gees dance session guided by Common People Dance Project leader Neridah Waters, or learn the basics of Polynesian dance in a Pasifika Hula Hips workshop.

The finalé event at Scarborough Beach on Sunday 30 January will also offer participants across the ‘making’, ‘music’ and ‘movement’ themes the chance to gather and share the results of their creative endeavours.

Jump into the new year with joyful intent by participating in Council’s free workshops designed to boost your wellbeing.

Bookings are open through Council’s website. Visit for more information.

1 Frontiers | The Role of Artistic Creative Activities in Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia | Psychology (