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Record investment in First Peoples creative industries



First Peoples


“Victoria is home to extraordinary First Peoples creators – our investment ensures they have a platform from which to develop careers and build businesses,” said Deputy Creative Industries Minister Steve Dimopoulos, announcing the results of recent rounds of state arts funding.

The results of three separate funding streams – the Creative Ventures Fund, Creative Projects Fund and Creative Neighborhood Infrastructure Support – have collectively invested $6.7 million in projects, artists and spaces across the state, including nearly $2 million for First Peoples creatives, businesses and projects.

“We will continue to support talented Victorians to create exciting products and experiences because when they achieve great things the whole state benefits, reinforcing our status as Australia’s arts and culture capital,” said Dimopoulos.

The simultaneous announcement of multiple funding streams comes as Victoria prepares for an election on Saturday November 26.

Funding announcement builds on record investment of over $10 million in creative organisations, events, artists and First Peoples initiatives in Victoria in 2021-22, and supports the Labor Government Creative State 2025 Strategywhich is based on the principle of First Peoples First to drive opportunities for First Peoples in Victoria’s creative industries.

One of the beneficiaries of the latest investment is Fitzroy-based jeweler Haus of Dizzy, run by proud Wiradjuri wife Kristy Dickinson.

Supported by the Creative Projects Fund, Haus of Dizzy will launch a new children’s line and also establish a co-working space to create opportunities for women from First Peoples communities in the creative industries.

Kristy Dickinson, Founder and Director of Haus of Dizzy, said: “This funding is going to be a complete game-changer for my business and the community who will also benefit from this amazing opportunity – we will finally be able to do it all ‘In Haus’ in our studio in Fitzroy. .’

Other recipients, including the Archie Roach Foundation, Short Black Opera and the Honey Bones Gallery in Brunswick, will focus on creating new career paths, performance and exhibition opportunities for First Peoples artists, while award-winning clothing brand Ngali will be supported to expand overseas.

Other First Peoples projects to be supported by the Victorian Government’s latest investment include a children’s book written by Tony Briggs and Charlotte Allingham to be published by Typecast Entertainment, a live performance by Isobel Morphy-Walsh and a presentation for a large-scale mural by Peoples First Artists at the Aunty Alma Thorpe Gathering Place in Preston.


Under the Creative District Infrastructure Support Program, grants totaling more than $1 million have been awarded to 11 projects – from workshops to collaborative spaces to mobile studios.

Recipients include a cross section of the creative industries, including fashion, puppetry, visual arts, music, theatre, dance and media, with funds used to upgrade facilities, fit out or create new performance spaces. work, and purchase and install new equipment.

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The Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-Operative (BADAC) will create new spaces to support creatives, including the installation of a shipping container to be used as an outdoor cultural and creative workshop, a mobile trailer for a creative shop ‘pop-up’ and a fitted music room.

Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) will purchase additional synthesizers and audio equipment for a mobile studio to support the creation of electronic sound and music. The mobile studio will travel to different locations across the state and will be designed for beginners.

The Footscray Art Room will use its grant to support the design and construction of four dedicated teaching studios, four creative art studios for print, sculpture, ceramics and digital, three galleries, two retail, an extensive art lending library and a large communal space.

Creative businesses

The latest round of the Creative Ventures program is offering $3.7 million in funding over the next two years.

Funded businesses span a range of disciplines, from digital games to dance, performance to puppetry, classical music, fashion, art, publishing and more, and are expected to offer more than 1500 job opportunities in Victoria’s creative sector.

Highlighting the extraordinary work of independent game developers in Victoria, Freeplay will receive support to present its annual festival; while street dance organization Cypher Culture will develop a new organizational model and present two years of programming.

Combining dynamic performance with community involvement, All The Queens Men will receive funding to develop and deliver exciting projects in collaboration with children and youth, seniors and LGBTIQ+ communities.

Disability-led performing company Weave Movement Theater will undertake two major creative development projects, and Loom Arts and Management will expand its arts agency, specializing in holistic support and advocacy for Deaf and disabled artists.

Creative projects

Grants totaling more than $2 million will help professional artists, creators, collectives and small organizations develop and launch works that showcase Victoria’s cultural identity and innovate.

The funded projects will collectively create more than 1,000 jobs.

In literature, award-winning writer Jessica Au will use her grant to develop a new work of fiction, while journals Descend while swinging and Kill your darlings will release new collections.

Digital creativity is about to shine with Louise Cooper developing an augmented reality game SQUARE and art collective Blame the Shadows creating an immersive virtual reality installation showcasing experiences of multi-generational communities in the Iranian-Australian diaspora.

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Creatives based in the Victoria region are among those taking the global stage, including musician and disability advocate Eliza Hull, who will present a workshop with UK music association Brighter Sound; the artist Wiradjuri Brook Andrew, who will present new performances abroad; and Circus Trick Tease whose artists will tour the UK.

Fostering the next generation of diverse artistic leaders, Sarah Austin and Performing Lives Victoria will lead Make Some Space, a professional development program for young people.

Visit the Creative Victoria website for details on all related funding streams and announcements.