Event Details

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Castlemaine 3450

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Saturday, June 24, 2023 - Friday, July 7, 2023

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Sensory Sanctuary is a new neurodiversity arts festival in Castlemaine during the July school holidays. Enjoy 100 activities over 2 weeks, with activities suited to children, youth, adults, sensory avoiders and sensory seekers.

is a new neurodiversity arts festival to be held in the beautiful small country town of Castlemaine, 1.5 hours from Melbourne and easily accessible by train, during the July school holidays June 24 – July 7.

What is neurodiversity? Neurodiversity is the acceptance and celebration that different peoples brains work differently to one anothers, especially in relation to conditions like Autism and ADHD.

So, is this festival just for people with Autism and ADHD? No, the workshop facilitators are 70% Autistic and neurodivergent and we are hoping to develop the festival as a neurodivergent-dominant space but we also don’t want to segregate ourselves from the rest of our communities. These will be awesome school holiday activities for all to enjoy. The festival seeks to increase the opportunities for neurodivergent children, youth and adults to engage in activities alongside the rest of their communities.

Most events will be held at Castlemaine Goods Shed right next to the train station and Castlemaine Botanical Gardens which is just a short walk away.

Enjoy 30 activities over 2 weeks, with activities suited to children, youth, adults, sensory avoiders and sensory seekers.

The festival is being organised by autistic artist, Louise ‘Rockabilby’ Cooper, who is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Autism and has over seventeen years experience working with neurodivergent community.

In order to ensure that the festival is a success, we preference workshop leaders with prior experience with neurodiversity and we offer a neurodiversity awareness training session to all activity leaders, assistants and festival staff prior to the festival. Workshops will be delivered to small groups so be sure to grab your tickets quickly so you don’t miss out.

Where is the money going? Well of course everyone is getting paid and with neurodivergent employment rates so abysmally low, that is an excellent thing! We are also raising money to create mobile sensory sanctuaries to increase neurodivergent access to community events throughout Victoria.

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