Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

First Nations First

First Nations First is pillar one of the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy, Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place.

From 2024, Revive establishes a dedicated First Nations-led Board to:

  • invest in, create and produce, First Nations works of scale, with priorities and funding decisions determined by First Nations leaders
  • develop a First Nations Creative Workforce Development Strategy
  • promote best practice cultural protocols, self-determination and cultural safety training across arts and cultural organisations.

First Nations First recognises and respects the crucial place of First Nations stories at the centre of Australia’s arts and culture.

Since 1973 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have brought a guiding voice on matters relating to First Nations arts and culture and to the broader arts and cultural sector through Creative Australia’s (formerly the Australia Council for the Arts) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board.

We build upon the wonderful legacy of those who have come before us, and invite you to participate in the First Nations First community engagement and consultation.


How to have your say

The purpose of this consultation is to seek feedback from First Nations people who work within the arts and culture sector on the establishment of Creative Australia’s new First Nations-led Board, and how it should implement, invest, and deliver on its role and responsibilities.

For our colleagues in the arts and culture sector who are not First Nations, we invite you to complete the survey, make a submission in writing, or request a meeting directly with Creative Australia staff.

Online workshops are scheduled for Mob with disability/ies, blind and low vision community, d/Deaf and hard of hearing community, and also a special workshop session designed for youth. Register under ‘Join an online workshop’ below.

We encourage all First Nations people to share your thoughts and aspirations for your community and sector.

There are a number of ways for you to engage with the consultation and provide your feedback:

1. Read the discussion paper

To begin, we have developed a discussion paper with background and context, along with some questions to help you prepare your feedback. It also provides an overview of next steps. View the PDF here.


2. Complete the online survey

This will take approximately 10 minutes. Responses will be treated in confidence and no individual data will be published. Begin now.

3. Join an online workshop

The below online workshops have been scheduled specifically for creatives of all abilities and for youth:

Workshop designed for: Area Date Time Registration
d/Deaf and hard of hearing community Nation-wide Tuesday 6 February 2024 12pm-1.45pm AEDT Completed
Blind and low vision community Nation-wide Tuesday 6 February 2024 2.30pm-4.15pm AEDT Completed
Mob with disability/ies Nation-wide Wednesday 7 February 2024 12pm-1.45pm AEDT Completed
Youth Nation-wide TBC TBC Register here

The below sessions were facilitated by First Nations consultants, and held on:

  1. Monday 20 November @ 2pm-4pm AEDT
  2. Tuesday 21 November @ 10am-12pm AEDT
  3. Wednesday 22 November @ 12pm-2pm AEDT


4. Attend an in-person community forum

These gatherings will allow space and time for open discussion and public feedback, and will be held in every state and territory. Check back soon, we’ll be listing the additional dates as they are confirmed:

State Area Date Registration
ACT Canberra February 2024 Completed
Sydney February 2024 Completed
Dubbo February 2024 Completed
Tweeds Heads February 2024 Completed
Wollongong February 2024 Completed
Alice Springs Friday 1 March 2024 Register here
Darwin Friday 2 February 2024 Completed
Gove Monday 29 January 2024 Completed
Katherine Tuesday 30 January 2024 Completed
Tennant Creek TBC Register here
Brisbane February 2024 Register here
Cairns February 2024 Register here
Cherbourg February 2024 Register here
Rockhampton February 2024 Register here
Adelaide December 2023 Completed
Adelaide January 2024 Completed
APY lands (and Mutitjulu) Monday February 19 – Thursday February 22 Register here
Ceduna December 2023 Completed
Port Augusta Tuesday 28 November 2023 Completed
Port Lincoln Thursday 30 November 2023 Completed
Torres Strait Islands
Badu Monday 4 March 2024 Register here
Erub/Darnley Monday 26 February 2024 Register here
Moa, Kubin Friday 1 March 2024 Register here
Moa, St Paul’s Thursday 29 February 2024 Register here
Thursday Island Wednesday 28 February 2024 Register here
Launceston Wednesday 14 February 2024 Register here
Hobart Tuesday 13 February 2024 Completed
Melbourne December 2023 Completed
Albury Wednesday 7 February 2024 Completed
Lakes Entrance Tuesday 27 February 2024 Register here
Mildura Tuesday 20 February 2024 Register here
Shepparton Tuesday 6 February 2024 Completed
Perth November 2023 Completed
Albany Thursday 15 February 2024 Completed
Broome Tuesday 5 March Register here
Fitzroy Crossing Wednesday 6 March 2024 Register here
Kalgoorlie Monday 5 February 2024 Completed
Karratha Wednesday 28 February 2024 Register here

5. Make a submission in writing

Submissions are encouraged up until Thursday 29 February 2024. The questions in the discussion paper are a guide for making submissions. You can respond to all or just what is relevant to you. Submissions are:

    1. ideally no more than 5 pages
      (video and audio files are welcome too)
    2. welcome in all languages
    3. can contain images, thoughts, facts, opinions and responses to the questions centred around the discussion paper.

You can send your submission via:


First Nations team c/o Creative Australia
PO Box 576, Pyrmont, NSW 2009


The consultants

We have engaged atticusnow – a strategy, policy and economics advisory firm – and their nationwide team of First Nations consultants to lead community consultation over the next several months. atticusnow help government and business to navigate complex strategy and policy issues through sensitive stakeholder environments. They work with a consortium of First Nations consultants on a variety of projects, including for this consultation:

These gatherings will be an opportunity for First Nations creatives, cultural leaders and our Eldership to speak freely about their priorities, challenges, aspirations and current commitments. Staff from our First Nations arts and culture team will also be in attendance at all online and in-person gatherings.


Protecting your data

We recognise Indigenous Data Sovereignty and the right of First Nations people to autonomously decide what, how and why First Nations data is collected, accessed and used.

What data will we collect? Through the consultation sessions we will be documenting your feedback, including making notes, recordings and transcripts.

How will we protect and use your data? Data collected in this consultation will be respected; individual and collective interests will be protected.

All data will be:

    • de-identified and protected
    • analysed by First Nations-led process and consultants
    • contextualised and shared back in a public report
    • stored and destroyed in accordance to relevant legislation.