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Unlocking Adelaide’s wellbeing

Our Wellbeing


Posted on 24 Oct 2019

Imagine a life without music, a life without festivals or photographs — a life without art. A culture-less city would wreak havoc on all aspects of our lives, especially our wellbeing. 

Adelaide would be a very different city without the creative culture that simmers below its surface. So how does this art and culture enhance our wellbeing? Professor Pawelski, global thought-leader in positive psychology and culture, visited Adelaide to find out.

Prof. James Pawelski, was invited by the City of Adelaide to spend four weeks in the city researching the wellbeing benefits of Adelaide’s art and culture. We sat down with Prof. Pawelski to talk about what he discovered.


James O. Pawelski, Ph.D., is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Since 2005, he has served as the founding director of Penn’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program, where he teaches courses on positive interventions and on the humanities and human flourishing, and for which he has received the Liberal and Professional Studies Award for Distinguished Teaching in Professional Graduate Programs.

Professor Pawelski is currently completing a three-year research project investigating how each of arts and humanities disciplines can advance society’s understanding of wellbeing. For this research, he was awarded a $2.5 million grant in 2017 which involves a network of scholars and scientists based in the United States of America.

Pawelski James

Article by

Georgie Smith

Georgie Smith

Maker and curator of things

Georgie has been BFFs with Adelaide her whole life. They’ve shared many special moments: over cheese platters at art exhibitions, cycling through the park lands and immersed in sequin-clad theatre shows.


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