Clare O’Leary

My work is centred in the health, not for profit, film, and digital media sectors. 

In the early 2000s, after completing my Masters in Communications degree at Victoria University of Wellington, I worked as a creative and digital sector analyst, working on creative industry and digital content strategies for NZTE , National Library of NZ and NZ On Air.  In 2008 I was the founding content director of NZ On Screen and established ScreenTalk.

In 2015 I was Digital Artist in Residence with The Big Idea , collaborating with my son, artist/illustrator  Sam O’Leary , hospice workers, and creative practitioners on The Solace Initiative, where people showed or told what brings them solace in times of loss or grief. 

I worked with artist Daisey Bingham and sculptor Bridget Nawalowalo to show the story of their redesign of the entranceway to the Wellington Homeless women’s shelter, Te Mahana, the warmth of the home. 

My short film Music for Life explores the power of music in the lives of people living with dementia, with music therapist Rani Heath in association with Dementia Wellington.

If you’d like to talk about creative or health related projects contact me or M: 0273788466.

Films in Progress

The Women from Cambodia

In 2012 Clare travelled to Cambodia with Cambodian community worker and writer, Niborom Young to visit the many places described in interviews with Cambodian women refugees. Her husband Victor and son Chester travelled with them alongwith cameraman, Damian Seagar and sound recordist, Cathy Ellis. This is a work in progress currently in post-production. 


The Power of Story


I began my career as a nurse and have worked in health education, film, tv, media and digital worlds for over 30 years. Storytelling is a constant across all media and in the health sector, it helps to articulate the challenges faced by patients, their family/whanau and the health professionals and carers in our communities. Currently I work in the hospice environment as an educator and am constantly amazed at the simple yet evocative work of people who are brave enough to stand up and tell their stories of love, strength and challenge.