Dr. Alisoun Neville
Crayons and Stuff Founder / Director / Arts Therapist
Dr. Alisoun Neville has learned through a combination of life experience and formal study to use creative expression and inquiry as powerful guides through some of life’s complex and difficult matters.
Alisoun's own processes of writing and other art-making have informed her commitment to use creativity, collaboration, and play for self-advocacy, discovery, self-expression, and healing.
Her life has been changed by the art-making of others, including in particular extraordinary fiction and life writing by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers. She was born and still lives on Wurrundjieri land, with her deepest connections to Mt Toolebewong outside Healesville.
Following significant academic study (details below), Alisoun worked for almost 20 years in health and community services. This includes substantive work with, and a commitment to, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and the overlapping contexts of mental health, disability, women’s safety, and services for people impacted by imprisonment.
In 2016, Alisoun returned to study to complete her Masters of Therapeutic Arts Practice, with her placement and early practice working with women caught up in the criminal justice system. She holds professional registration as a provisional member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia (PACFA) and is Deputy Convenor of PACFA's new College of Creative and Experiential Therapies. She is based in the Eve Wellness Collective in Preston and practices from Fairfield Coracle, North Fitzroy, and Doveton College.
Alisoun first established Crayons and Stuff as her unique consulting practice, integrating her experience and training in the expressive arts with her traditional consulting and training skills. She has now re-launched Crayons and Stuff as the overarching business, enabling an expansion of arts therapy services through the employment of other practitioners, and further development of her personal model and vision for mental health and disability services and the creative arts therapies sector.
In particular, Crayons and Stuff aims to support and strengthen mental health practices that can respond more effectively to the impacts of our society and its systems. Work to date includes Alisoun's development of an NDIS training program to support increased access to arts and music therapists in the NDIS scheme. She has also been involved Activate Arts Therapy, a successful local campaign to raise awareness and secure funding for professional arts therapists in Victorian schools, and co-authored the campaign's submission into the Royal Commission into Mental Health.
This work is part of a bigger commitment to more creative opportunities and safer spaces for the neurodiverse and others with lived experiences who think there is something we can learn from what we have experienced and where more change is needed to be heard on our own terms.
Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice MIECAT 2018
Provisional Member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia
Ph.D. (Law/English) La Trobe University 2006
Grad Dip Hum and Honours in English La Trobe University 2000
BA University of Melbourne 1993 Psychology and Criminology
Cert IV in Workplace Training and Education Accredited Online Training 2014
Arts Therapy Practice
Founder/Director Crayons and Stuff - 2021
Owner/Sole Trader Alisoun Neville Expressive Arts Therapy - 2019-21
Member of Eve Wellness Collective - 2019-21
NDIS Practitioner at Doveton College - 2020-21
Practitioner at Fairfield Coracle - 2020-21
Member of Activate Arts Therapy Campaign - 2020-21
Practioner at Dame Phyllis Frost Correctional Centre (for Djirra and Law and Advocacy Centre for Women) - 2018-19
Student Placement with Law and Advocacy Centre for Women - 2018
Volunteer: Very Special Kids - 2017
Consultancy and Training Skills
Arts-based / creative inquiry and training toolkit
Training and group facilitation
Program design and development
Policy and advocacy
Operations and quality practice
Research and evaluation
Presentations and Publications
Exploring safety in context: Using arts-based inquiry for collective co-creation. Presented with Dr. Carla van Laar at the 14th International Conference of the World Association for Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy & Counseling, Auckland, June 2021.
"Look again" - How can we see in new ways, with our words? Creative Mental Health Forum and Self-Care Retreat, Inverloch, May 2021.
The balancing act: Performing stories of our practice within systems of the state Journal of Creative Arts Therapy, vol. 15, no. 1, 2020, pp. 64-73.
Video interview on art therapy and mental health with Dr. van Laar. Activate arts therapy campaign. 2020.
Our multilingual bodies. Blog Post. 2019.
‘An isolation within: Cubillo v Commonwealth and the absence of value’ In B. Neville, D. Goonewardene, J. V. D’Cruz, P. Darby (eds) As Others See Us: The Values Debate in Australia, Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2008.
‘Hierarchies of knowledge in Cubillo v Commonwealth’. The Borderpolitics of Whiteness Conference. Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association and Macquarie University. Sydney, December 2006.
Classification, denial and the racial state: Cubillo v Commonwealth, Thesis (PhD), La Trobe University, 2005.
“Cubillo v Commonwealth: Classifying text and the violence of exclusion,” Macquarie Law Journal, vol. 5, no. 31, 2005, pp. 31-55.
"`The killing times are still with us': Readings of truth in Ginibi's ‘Haunted by the Past’." Race and Class: A Journal for Black and Third World Liberation, vol. 44, no. 1, 2002, pp. 124-129.
“Of law and place: Reading heterotopic spaces in Pascoe’s ‘Fox’, ‘Ruby-eyed Coucal’ and ‘Shark’,” Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol. 15, 2001, pp. 55-79.