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The Australia Council for the Arts today presented Marily Cintra with the 2006 Ros Bower Award for her outstanding achievements in improving community wellbeing through the arts.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Brazilian-born Ms Cintra has coordinated numerous arts-led community projects that have influenced the development of public art in healthcare throughout Australia.

‘Marily’s outstanding, life-long commitment to arts in health has resulted in an improved quality of life for many communities. Her groundbreaking work in this area has lead to the arts being introduced as part of core programs within health facilities and in policymaking,’ said Australia Council Community Partnerships Committee chair, Tim O’Loughlin.

‘Her innovative artistic work has produced positive outcomes in breaking down social isolation, increasing people’s feelings of belonging and improving physical and mental health,’ Mr O’Loughlin added.

Ms Cintra is the founder and director of Identity, Environment and Art (IEA) – an arts organisation that promotes community participation in the design of public places. In 1999, she established the not-for-profit Health and Arts Research Centre.

As an accomplished visual artist, Marily has participated in more than 60 exhibitions including the Victoria National Gallery (Bias Binding), Canberra Contemporary Art Space (1992, solo) and the International Biennial of Ceramic Art, Vallouris, France (11th, 12th and 14th Biennales).

Marily has received numerous awards, including an Australia Council Community, Environment, Art and Design Award and a New South Wales Women and the Arts Fellowship.

She has presented her work at various national and international conferences to share her knowledge and assist in furthering research and understanding of arts and health strategies.

Marily is currently developing centres of creativity within aged care facilities, in partnership with the Anglican Retirement Villages.  She is also coordinating a program of access to be included in museums and galleries for people with dementia, in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Australia, the National Gallery of Australia and the Hearthstone Alzheimer’s Foundation.

The $50,000 Ros Bower Award is offered annually by the Australia Council to recognise distinguished effort in fostering and furthering the principles advocated by Rosalie (Ros) Bower, founding director of the Australia Council’s community arts board.

For media enquiries contact: Carla Viola, communication officer, Australia Council on (02) 9215 9053 or email:



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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