Rachel Apelt

Website: artbalm.com

Years of experience: More than 10 years

Services provided:

  • Graphic Recording (Analogue)
  • Graphic Recording (Digital)
  • Graphic Facilitation
  • Traditional Facilitation
  • Rich Pictures / Illustrations
  • Videos
  • Training/Coaching in Visual Practice


Biography I run a South East Qld business, Artbalm which offers Graphic Recording, illustration and art classes. My passion is using creative means to engage people in processes that support them to actively participate in shaping their worlds, build common ground and experience their power and impact. Graphic Recording is a great tool to support this and I combine it with a unique mix of visual skills and engagement methodologies. My ability to capture and synthesise key messages and to listen deeply was honed through many community arts projects and a Master of Gestalt Therapy. My abilities to illustrate quickly and letter neatly were primed by my first ever job, where I prepared illustrated flash cards and learning materials in Adult Migrant English Classes. I began combining these skills in Graphic Recording in 2012. Since then many of my clients have fallen in three sectors: Community services with a focus on CaLD and First Nations; Health Services; and the Environmental Sciences. I also work in corporate and government sectors. In addition to working as a graphic recorder, illustrator and arts-based community engagement specialist since the late 1980s, I’ve had numerous exhibitions and my work can be found in private and public collections, including the Australian National Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery and various regional galleries in Australia. Skills I bring to Graphic Recording • IAP2 accreditation (International Association for Public Participation) • Master in Gestalt Therapy • I am part of the Australasian Facilitation Network community • I was the Senior Program Officer in Brisbane City Council’s Community Engagement CoE for six years. • I speak Spanish and have engaged in many intercultural spaces over the past 30 years • I am a visual artist with a long trajectory.

Testimonial 1 1: Donna Bowe, Brisbane City Council. Rachel’s reputation as a transformative graphic recorder has been rapidly growing in the region in which I work. The community organisations and networks that have been fortunate enough to work with her, have all reported the process to be highly engaging and inspirational. The vibrant visual recordings of their conversations, stories and ideas are treasured as a lasting artistic legacy that continues to unite and motivate them long after the process is complete. I was very fortunate to partner with Rachel recently to develop and deliver a visioning process for two merging community organisations. Participants had identified the process was fraught with disharmony, if not potential conflict. Rachel’s graphic recording of discussion quickly engendered a feeling of shared energy, enthusiasm, unity and commitment to building a positive future together. Regardless of the pace at which we progressed discussion, she was able to work seamlessly, masterfully capturing the essence/heart of people’s words, transforming them into a beautiful visual language. Her images are incredibly perceptive, and the process transformative, supporting all to feel a strong sense of ownership over the vision generated through the workshop. Her recordings are now publicly displayed as an ongoing reminder of this shared vision and commitment to working together for the benefit of the local community.

Testimonial 1 Name Donna Bowe Community Development Coordinator South Connected Communities Branch Brisbane Lifestyle Division | BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL

Testimonial 2 2.Brooke Hutchison - Queensland Health Metro South Health (MSH) has contracted Rachel on a number of occasions to use her graphic recorder and illustrator skills for some key multicultural health community events. At these events Rachel engaged in conversations with community members from various cultural backgrounds. At each event Rachel was able to demonstrate respectful listening and the ability to be genuinely interested in hearing their views, stories and experiences. From these dialogues, Rachel captured some key health messages and information which assists MSH in ongoing planning with these communities to achieve equitable health outcomes. Metro South Health recommends Rachel for any graphic recording needs. We have found Rachel to be professional from the very beginning of our conversations to receiving the final product. We have appreciated the high-quality graphics, her willingness to work alongside us and most importantly her ability to effectively engage with people from our diverse multicultural communities. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimonial for Rachel and we would highly recommend her services.

Testimonial 2 Name Brooke Hutchison Team Leader, Access & Capacity-building Team Health Equity and Access Unit Metro South Health

Testimonial 3 3. Natalie Baker - International RiverFoundation I’ve contracted Rachel on two occasions to use her graphic recorder and illustrator skills in the water science sector. In both projects, Rachel was an attentive listener and demonstrated a depth of understanding and responsiveness in her artwork, communicating key water themes exceptionally well. The most recent was at the 2019 International Riversymposium where Rachel captured keynote presentations and workshops digitally and on paper charts. The symposium delegates responded very well to her work and the graphic recordings were great keepsakes to give the keynotes. There was a high level of excitement around her charts and after seeing Rachel in action, many delegates were inspired to consider howthey could use graphic recording in their community educational contexts around the world. Presenters were also impressed with Rachel’s sensitive capturing of their key themes and how she highlighted aspects of the presentations that challenged stereotypical approaches. Embedding these themes in her imagery made them highly visible and obvious and this facilitated more conversations and connections among the delegates. Rachel’s professionalism is outstanding and she added value by looking closely at all aspects of the planning to ensure we obtained maximum benefit from her service. She was proactive and ahead of the game in many ways and responded to our very tight deadlines with grace and generosity.

Testimonial 3 Name Natalie Baker Riversymposium Manager | INTERNATIONAL RIVERFOUNDATION

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