28 Oct 2019


No bookings required

VENUE: Black Dog Institute

How making and sharing video can change minds and systems: a practical introduction with social scientist Janet Parsons.


What opportunities do service-users, and/or those frustrated by care providers have to influence people-in-power: the CEOs, politicians, policy-makers, physicians, and all those making decisions that affect people’s lives?
Canadian social scientist Janet Parsons is the co-developer of ‘brokered dialogue’ – a method that uses video-making to tackle controversial and complex issues in healthcare and social policy.

Janet is working with The Big Anxiety’s knowledge translation team, led by Prof. Katherine Boydell, developing the practice of brokered dialogue; using video/creative media to ensure that the voices of experience are heard in a way that can make a real difference.

In this practical introduction, Janet will explain the principles of brokered dialogue and detail a collaboration with the Sydney Partnership for Health Education Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) on an dialogue exploring mental health and addiction, with a group of young people with lived experience taking on the role of citizen scientists.

Presented by The Big Anxiety Festival, SPHERE, and Black Dog Institute

Artist Biography

Janet Parsons

portrait of janet parsons

Janet Parsons is a social scientist with a special interest in narrative and visual methods, which she uses across a broad program of research into health services and health policy. Janet developed Brokered Dialogue with her colleague James Lavery, and already this innovative research process, which uses participatory video-making to promote respectful interactions, has shown promise for informing policy and practice reform. For example, a project led by Alex Abramovich, which she was a co-investigator on, focused on LGBTQ2S youth homelessness, and highlighted the need for specialized mental health supports for disproportionately represented populations experiencing homelessness and supported the ongoing need for population-based housing programs for LGBTQ2S youth.

Janet is also a physical therapist who practiced for 18 years in acute care settings, primarily in the areas of surgical oncology and critical care. Amongst other positions, she is currently a research scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto.