INSPIRATION: KreARTive staff member Bryana Van Twest explores her artistic limits in the James Nash Arcade.
INSPIRATION: KreARTive staff member Bryana Van Twest explores her artistic limits in the James Nash Arcade. Renee Albrecht

Time to tap the 'kreartive' impulse

CONSTANTLY drawn back to childcare work, Tracey Meyers saw the impact safety and society had on creativity.

Unfortunately, living in Sydney with four children, including a daughter diagnosed with autism, she saw how tenuous they could be - and ultimately, brought her to Gympie.

"(It was about) Giving the kids freedom in that I knew they could go and explore and they were safe,” she said.

"In Sydney when we worked in childcare we had to sift the sandpit every morning for drug utensils.

"I came from a terrace in Redfern ... to five acres up here where the kids could run and have a pool and bike tracks,” she said.

While safety was a key concern, the social stunting of her autistic daughter's creative urges was also an issue for the owner of KreARTive.

She said a lot of people did not understand it and instead labelled her "naughty” or "quirky”, and so she took matters into her own hands at home.

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"I just put stuff on the table and let her go for it,” she said.

"You could see that she was really appreciating being allowed to create her own thing without being told 'you've got to hold this in that hand' and 'no, sunflowers are supposed to be yellow'.”

Having seen first hand the impact these things had on children and fascinated by her own daughter's learning, Ms Meyers wants to provide an environment which ensures other children never have to worry about these things.

Jasmine Van Twest, Bryana Van Twest, Jack Maher and Maxene Grewar are part of the new businesses which have moved in the James Nash Arcade.
Jasmine Van Twest, Bryana Van Twest, Jack Maher and Maxene Grewar are part of the new businesses which have moved in the James Nash Arcade. Renee Albrecht

Or, where parents do not have to worry about the dreaded clean-up afterwards.

"They're like little sponges and I think there are a lot parents who are scared to let their kids get messy,” she said. "This is a nice safe place to let them do that.

"They can be as creative as they like... it's purely their own desire that comes out.”

Having lived all around the world, Ms Meyer said she hoped people appreciated Gympie for the wonderful environment it offered.

"People badmouth Gympie something chronic and I think 'well obviously you've never been outside of Gympie because it's a beautiful safe little town',” she said.

"Anywhere you go you will have some people who will upset the status quo, but you don't have to walk out your front door and think 'okay, should I really be worried about that needle or that broken bottle?' ”

Gympie Times


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