An offer to become the ABC Open Producer for North Queensland brought Michael back to Townsville. He helped local residents learn how to produce award-winning content that could be broadcast across the country and around the world.
“I loved working with the ABC and learned that well-told stories can change people’s lives. One memorable story that featured ‘Emma: Master Shredder’ went global, influenced corporate policies, and changed perspectives about how people with disability contribute to society,” he says.
Michael then joined the Townsville City Council, taking on a variety of projects. “I’m always motivated to help our community create and innovate,” he says. “I helped our local government produce entertaining content — such as our waste team dancing to disco music at the dump and a short Halloween-style film to inform residents about renovations to the Townsville Civic Theatre — to demonstrate that our Council can deliver important information in a creative way.”
“Townsville is a creative city. The team won state and national campaign awards for our creative approaches, which is really nice,” Michael says.
Through his role at the Townsville City Council, Michael also produced resources to help others create and innovate. “I co-designed a 24hr creative studio for the community and rolled it out through our public library. The idea being that when you are falling asleep at night and an idea pops in your head, there’s a place you can go that has useful resources to help you get started, for free,” he says.
In the first year of operation, hundreds of people completed projects through the library’s 24-hour studio. “People started businesses, explored solutions for social and environmental issues, made new friends and had heaps of fun. An excerpt for the popular kid’s show ‘Bluey’ was recorded in our library studio, which you can watch on ABC and Disney+.”
Michael says he began to see how creativity could be supported by collaboration. “One thing I’ve learned is that people who are interested in similar ideas or projects usually start coming together to collaborate and learn from each other,” he says. “You end up with a community that builds capacity and come together not because of a scheduled program, but because they want to solve problems and pursue ideas together. It’s an activity that can be scaled to produce better outcomes for our communities.
“That’s the power creativity gives us — the ability to adapt and change, and to make good things happen, for ourselves, our families, and our cities. Through creativity we live interesting lives.”
JCU Alumni Michael Bromage
Want to find out more about where a creative career can take you? Learn more about studying visual arts and design at JCU.