First Nations Creators Program

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Maribyrnong City Council acknowledges that we are on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples past, present and emerging.

The First Peoples of Maribyrnong (Mirring-gnay-bir-nong), the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong peoples have a connection to this land and its waterways lasting more than 40,000 years. This connection is deep, continuous and dynamic, contributing to our diverse and thriving arts community in the West.

Arts and Culture Maribyrnong are committed to supporting and celebrating this knowledge, leadership and creativity. Maribyrnong City Council’s Arts and Culture Strategy 2018-2023 makes a commitment to profile and celebrate the arts and culture of our First Nations community through Theme 1: First Peoples first.

About the Program

The First Nations Creators Program provides an opportunity for professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to lead the creation of a new work anywhere within the City of Maribyrnong in 2022. The program provides an individual creative practitioner, collective and/or organisation who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and are based in Melbourne's West, with the opportunity to produce a creative project, anywhere in the municipality.

The once-off amount of $10,000 (ex GST) can be used towards the costs of new work presented or exhibited in Maribyrnong, including (but not limited to): artist fees, mentor fees, access costs such as interpreting and child care, marketing assets, materials, equipment hire, venue costs, etc. Support is available to applicants through the whole project process from the application through to the final reporting on how the funds were spent (acquittal report). This support will be provided by a dedicated First Nations staff member, within Arts and Culture Maribyrnong. Arts and Culture Maribyrnong will promote the project and its outcomes through our marketing and communications channels.

Key Dates

Expressions of interest close: November 28 2021
Applicants notified: December 2021 
Orientation meeting: January 2022

Selection Process

Applications will be assessed by a First Nations peer industry panel. Should a panel member be part of, or associated with, an application, they will exclude themselves from discussion of that project.

How to Apply

  1. Download and read the program guidelines(PDF, 581KB)
  2. Complete the online application form via Smartygrants 

To discuss your project please contact Council's Arts and Culture team by phoning (03) 9688 0200 or send an email to

2021 First Nations Creators Program Recipient: this mob

Congratulations to the 2021 recipients of our First Nations Creators Program, this mob, for their project Black Wattle.

Black Wattle is a keeping place: a collection of poetry, photography, collage and illustration developed by this mob arts collective over the last 12 months. Published by Incendium Radical Library, Black Wattle showcases the work of five key artists and the conversations they exchanged throughout lockdown. Common themes include tracing waterways, backyard gardens, thinking locally and relationships to place. After the onslaught of screens and digital communication in recent times, refresh your mind and senses with 40 pages of new work in print.

Black Wattle was launched at Footscray Community Arts Centre in May 2021. If you missed the launch, head to the Incendium Radical Library's online shop to purchase a copy.

About this mob

this mob is an arts collective for emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives. Since 2016, this mob has been active in facilitating workshops, curating exhibitions, hosting events and disrupting across so-called Melbourne. 

Image credit: this mob by Anu Kamar, courtesy of the artists.