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Digital Fellowship Program

Explore and develop digital practice across six months of mentoring, workshops and collaboration, with $10,000 funding.

Image: Whakapapa/Algorithms by Jamie Berry of Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngati Porou, Ngāpuhi iwi.

This Fellowship Program brings practitioners based in Australia and New Zealand together to co-develop their digital practice and set directions for the future of the arts in our region.

The six-month program prioritises collaborative learning, as well as individual practice development, through a series of curated online gathering sessions, an in-person residential and mentoring. Investment is also offered to enable participants to realise new ideas, innovate and set the course of their future work. The program includes:

  • In-person gathering – three day curated in person gathering including collaboration, learning, engagement, skills exchange and facilitated activities for all participants
  • Online gathering sessions – two curated one-day sessions of learning, skills exchange and facilitated activities for all participants.
  • Mentoring – participants are matched with a digital mentor to develop skills and practice through a 1-1 model.
  • Investment – funding of $10,000 is provided for each participant to collaborate, develop or present their digital practice.

Five Australian participants will join five New Zealand participants, with identified positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Pasifika applicants.

The program will build the skills, networks and leadership of participants, and aims to enhance the confidence of artists to embrace digital technologies and extend their digital practice. The program will strengthen the connections between Australia and New Zealand practitioners and organisations. 

If you need advice about your application, contact an Artists Services Officer.

This program is developed and delivered in partnership with Creative New Zealand.

Applications open on Tuesday 29 August 2023 and close on Tuesday 10 October 2023 at 3pm AEDT.

The program runs from January – June 2024, with one in-person residential, two online gathering sessions, 1-1 mentoring sessions and self-directed research, learning and development.

The in-person residential will take place over three days from 8-10 February 2024 in Australia. This is a compulsory program activity. All travel and meals will be covered as part of the program.

The online gathering sessions will be delivered online on Thursday 11 April 2024 and Thursday 6 June 2024. These are compulsory program activities.

Artists working across any artform (community engaged practice, dance, digital arts, film and radio, literature, music, multi arts, theatre and visual arts) are eligible to apply.

The program is designed for artists within their first five years of digital practice.

There is no cost for selected participants to join the program.

It is a condition of the program that participants must be available to attend the in-person residential, both online gathering sessions, and mentoring sessions.

Participants are also required to provide an acquittal of funding on completion of the program.

Applications will be assessed by internal assessors and industry advisors, in both Australia and New Zealand.

Selection criteria:

  • Timeliness and relevance of the program to the applicant’s development.
  • An active and open approach to creative digital practice
  • Ability to engage with diverse ways of learning and connecting with others.
  • Alignment to the strategic priorities identified in our Digital Culture Strategy 2021-2024 and Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023.

Applicants may be invited to an online interview following the submission of an application.

Individuals can apply via our online application system. If you have access requirements, please get in touch so we can assist you.

Written response questions

  1. Introduce yourself and why are you interested in participating in this program 

Provide a brief introduction to yourself and your work, and why this program is relevant to you at this time. What has led you to apply for this program? What is your motivation for participating? How can the program support you to advance your practice towards an exciting future?

In this question we want to know how this program connects to your creative practice development.

You can choose to upload a 3-minute video in response to this question or answer in writing.

  1. Tell us about your digital practice. What motivates and interests you?

We use the term ‘digital’ broadly. Digital includes both online platforms and technologies that extend or impact on the creation, presentation and distribution of creative content. Importantly, we refer to digital as a way of doing things and a way of thinking: a digital mindset.

We think of digital as an:

  • Enabler
  • Practice
  • Mindset
  • Platform
  • Industry

For Pacific arts, we think of digital as it relates to:

  • Va – the space in between.  Meaningful spaces between people, places, cultures, time and dimensions, tangible and intangible.  A space that connects rather than separates.
  • Digital Moana – meaningful connections across Aotearoa, Oceania, and globally, to ensure arts are further enriched through new tools and technologies.
  • Moana, Te Moana-nui-a-Kiva, the ocean homeland of Pasifika peoples that is the fluid bridge between Aotearoa New Zealand, other lands and opportunities.

In this question we are interested in understanding your approach to digital practice.

  1. Tell us about a time that you worked collectively with others.

Our programs bring together artists and practitioners from a diversity of artforms, cultural backgrounds and geographical locations. We create safe spaces to encourage open, generous, and collaborative approaches to learning, experimentation and digital creativity.

In this question, share your experience of a relationship or exchange that has been an important moment for you in your creative digital practice.

 

Elsie is a Fijian (Navala, Nakoroboya, Ba) / Pākeha digital artist and illustrator based in Whangārei, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her works are rooted in her Pacific heritage, with a focus on exploring themes of identity, natural heritage and more recently impacts of climate change to these regions. Her creative practice is informed by current events locally and globally, as well as having a keen interest in myths and legends, and science fiction.

Elsie is the inhouse illustrator and graphic designer for Studio Kiin, an indigenous-led creative studio and collective where story, sovereignty, kinship and healing is priority.

She has been commissioned by the World Bank, IFC, Talanoa, Witness Performance and Huia Publishers, and exhibited in both New Zealand and Australia with Studio Kiin.

Elsie also works in the insurance broking industry, where she facilitates in providing solutions for local commercial and rural clients. This in turn gives her first hand insight into the increasingly frequent and sometimes devastating damage caused by weather events, and what the future holds for risk assessment and management against what feels like an unpredictable climate.

 

Hana Pera Aoake (Ngāti Hinerangi, Ngāti Mahuta, Tainui/Waikato) is a artist and writer from Aotearoa. Hana works across many mediums including textiles, ceramics, performance, film, and writing. Hana has published widely and sometimes organises exhibitions, readings, education programmes and conversations.

Currently they work with Morgan Godfery on Kei te pai press, a publishing, art and education project. They also work as a teacher at Te whare wānanga o Waitaha Canterbury university and, the curator of the Kawerau museum. Hana published their first book, A bathful of kawakawa and hot water with Compound Press in 2020.

Recent exhibitions include Folded Memory with Taarn Scott, curated by Susan Ballard and Sophie Thorn, Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery(2023); I saw the mountain erupt, Masons Screen, Commissioned by WCC and Circuit Moving Image (2023); Ngā hau o Tāwhirimātea with Taarn Scott and Riki Gooch, Enjoy Contemporary Art Gallery (2023).


Moorina Bonini is a proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta Dhulunyagen family clan of Ulupna  and the Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri and Wiradjuri Briggs/McCrae family. Moorina is an artist whose works are informed by her experiences as an Aboriginal and Italian woman. Her practice attempts to disrupt and critique the eurocentric foundations that centralise Indigenous categorisation within western institutions. By unsettling the narrative placed upon Aboriginal people as a result of colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, Moorina’s practice is based within Indigenous Knowledge systems and brings this to the fore. 
 

Her work has been exhibited in various shows across Australia and also internationally. Galleries and Institutions include ACMI, The Shed (NY), Sydney Festival, Blak Dot Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Photography and the Koorie Heritage Trust. Most recent major commissions include Primavera: Young Australian Artists (2023) and her PhD exhibition across Bunjilaka Aboriginal Culture Centre, Melbourne Museum and MADA Gallery (2023). 

 

Max is an artist working on Kaurna land, specialising in real-time visual arts, interactive programming, and artistic integration with multimedia systems. Max graduated with a BA in Photography from Charles Sturt University in 2012 and built their technical skills by working at art festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe, Sydney Festival and Adelaide Fringe and was creative producer at The Lab (Adelaide) until 2022.

Max is a member of The Bait Fridge arts collective and is currently based at Washdog Studios. From a lifelong interest in digital technology, Max has developed a creative practice that blends technical knowledge and multimedia arts, centred around collaboration and experimental process. Installation works include In The Belly Of The Beast (2023), a participatory experimental performance, and Computer Vision (2021) an early AI synthesized video installation.

Notable collaborations include ROCKAMORA by Kaspar Shmidt Mumm at ACE Adelaide(2023), Trippin Up (2023) music video by The Jungle Giants created with volumetric 3D data, and ATM-001 (2023), an AI powered talking vending machine by Dave Court. With a diverse range of skills including photography, music and sonic arts, interactive programming, performance art, and lighting design, Max’s experience allows them to connect and create using technology across disciplines.


Image: Laura du Ve

Kate ten Buuren is a Taungurung artist and curator interested in contemporary visual art, film and stories. Her practice is grounded in self-determination, self-representation and collectivism.

Kate is a member of First Nations arts collective this mob. She is Senior Curator, First Nations at MAP Co and has held previous curatorial positions at ACMI and Koorie Heritage Trust. Recently, Kate curated Now You’re Speakin’ My Language – a program of experimental moving image works presented by NOWNESS Asia and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. In 2022, Kate curated How I See It: Blak Art and Film at ACMI. Collective Movements, an exhibition of First Nations collectives, collaborations and creative practices from across Victoria, which Kate co-curated, is currently on a state-wide tour.

Kate has exhibited at galleries including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and C3 Contemporary Art Space, and her writing can be found in publications by Un Magazine, Museum of Contemporary Art, ACMI and more.

 

Kasey is a multi-disciplinary artist creating experiences that bridge performance, digital media and audio. An award-winning theatre-maker, writer and performer, Kasey is interested in creating site-specific works that explore the link between place and oppressed and marginalised voices. Kasey creates intimate works for small audiences exploring misogyny and gender-based inequality, with a focus on verbatim text.

Kasey’s work, The Maze, a single-audience site-specific walk allowing participants to witness first-hand the fear of a woman walking alone at night, won Melbourne Fringe NSW Tour Ready & Summerhall Awards, as well as the Adelaide Fringe John Chataway Innovation Award. Kasey has been an Aphid’s Supermassive Studio Artist, completed a secondment with UK performance makers Coney on digital work, How We Save The World, and has produced HTML game, Lockdown 6.0.

Most recently, Kasey developed The Hotline with City of Melbourne’s Test Sites program. A public artwork satirising anti-choice pregnancy helplines, The Hotline has appeared at Melbourne Fringe, Counihan Gallery’s A Climate For Change, QVWC’s Women* Now exhibition, and is a recipient of the Adelaide Fringe Artist’s Fund.

 

Jayden, a rising artist from Aukilani, Aotearoa, brilliantly diverged from an athletic legacy to embrace his true calling in the arts. Sixth in a family of seven, he draws inspiration from his Pacifica dancer grandparents and great-grandparents, esteemed sketch and paint artists. Jayden’s journey unfolded at Wintec and Te Auaha in Wellington, where he nurtured a profound passion for the arts.

Currently, Jayden’s artistry converges on indigenous sustainability, seamlessly blending cultural celebration and contemporary creativity. Armed with cutting-edge technology, particularly laser cutting, he transforms concepts into tangible art, championing sustainability in every piece. His work serves as a powerful testament to Polynesian pride, placing storytelling and the preservation of cultural design at its core.

As a proud Polynesian artist, Jayden’s dynamic quest extends beyond conventional boundaries, uniting heritage with modern expression through creativity and technology.

 

Natasha Ratuva (she/her) is a Fiji (Kadavu vasu i Bua) born and raised multi-disciplinary creative based in Wairarapa, Aotearoa, NZ. Natasha applies the mediums of photography, digital art, poetry, gardening and Taukei traditional practices to ground her learnings and observations as Pasifika diaspora in New Zealand, Aotearoa. Often colour and the human anatomy is harnessed within her digital practice as tools of archiving memory, each hue and form embodying a story or cultural principle.

Recently, Natasha has brought masi (indigenous Fijian barkcloth) to the forefront of her creative practice. Using natural pigments and dyes to carefully hand paint traditional patterns and contemporary compositions onto masi, Natasha reimagines and expands expressions of her Taukei identity and culture.

 

Sze Tsang (they/them) is a published researcher, performer, photographer, and audio-visual artist residing in Boorloo/Perth, Western Australia. Sze’s practice and research focuses on the relationships between self and place through audio-visual works, and their experience as a practitioner-researcher. Their practice involves incorporating audio and visual elements of place into compositions, as a form of emotional catharsis.

Sze has presented at international and national conferences and published academic writings on soundscape composition. Sze’s PhD thesis completed in 2023, The cartographies of place: Approaches to audio-visual composition incorporating aspects of place, based on how the ephemerality of sound reflects the ephemerality of being, and the fragility inherent in any relationship with place, was awarded the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) School Research Medal.

Sze performs and has exhibited works nationally and internationally as samarobryn. Some of Sze’s commissions include Tura New Music, the Difficult Listening Project, You Are Here festival, and the State Library of Western Australia. Sze has also performed at various festivals including JOLT, WAMFest, Fringeworld and Strange Festival, and worked as a sound designer for Michelle Hall’s The Dirty Mother, Daisy Sander’s Night Dancing, and Georgi Iver’s You’re So Brave.

 

Mere Taito (Rotuma (Fiji): Malha’a and Noa’tau) is a poet, flash fiction, and short story writer based in Kirikiriroa, Hamilton in Aotearoa New Zealand. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Otago exploring the impacts of reading Rotuman archival multilingual texts on the writing of multilingual poetry.

Using digital and online authoring tools such as Canva, Camtasia, and Articulate Storyline, her study positions digitally-authored multilingual poetry as an effective language-learning resource for Rotuman language regeneration in Aotearoa.

Her creative work has been published widely in anthologies and journals such as Dreadlocks, A Fine Line, Landfall, Manifesto, Bonsai, and Best New Zealand Poems. She is the author of the chapbook of poems The Light and Dark in our Stuff (2017) and co-editor of the upcoming anthology Katūīvei: Contemporary Pasifika Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand (2024).

 

Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera/Butchulla) is a playwright, director, dramaturge, devisor, facilitator, performer, creative curator, community developer and education consultant. Kamarra served as ILBIJERRI Theatre’s Education Manager and Creative Director from 2014-2019 and Malthouse Resident Artist 2020-2022. Some of Kamarra’s writing/directing credits include Because the Night (MALTHOUSE), The Score, Scar Trees, Viral, North West of Nowhere, Body Armour, Chopped Liver, Shrunken Iris (ILBIJERRI), Crying Shame (NEXT WAVE) and Mother’s Tongue (YIRRA YAAKIN) and in 2021 Kamarra was awarded the Patrick White Award for her work Whose Gonna Love ‘Em? I am that i AM (FCAC/ ILBIJERRI).

In 2012 Kamarra graduated from the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning and was awarded honours in Recognising and Responding to Diversity in the Classroom before working as a teacher and youth worker across the Northern Territory. Over the last decade Kamarra has been exploring the intersection between First Nations social theatre and dialogue processes developing ILBIJERRI’s participatory social impact program The Score.  In 2020 Kamarra joined forces with Carly Sheppard as Co-Artistic Directors of A DAYLIGHT CONNECTION, a motley crew of independent theatre-makers dedicated to smashing performance binaries whose credits include CHASE (Malthouse/Hot House) and A Nightime Travesty (Yirramboi).

Image: Papa Clothing x Emily Parr

Pelenakeke Brown is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and facilitator. Her practice explores the intersections between disability theory and Sāmoan concepts across technology, writing, poetry, and performance. Working between Aotearoa and New York City, she has created projects with The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), The Sophiensaele Theater (Germany), The New York Library for the Performing Arts (NY), Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (OH), and other institutions, globally.

Selected residencies include Eyebeam (NY), Kampnagel (Germany), Denniston Hill (NY) and the Vermont Studio Center (VT). Her work has been featured in Art in America and The New York Times. She was recognised in 2020 with a Creative New Zealand Pacific Toa award. She is co-founder of Rotations, a digital platform and collaborative movement practice for and with disabled artists. Currently, she is a 2023-24 BricLAB, Artist in Residence in Brooklyn, NY.

  • James Albert, Australia
  • Mi-kaisha Masella, Australia
  • April Phillips, Australia
  • Victoria Chiu, Australia
  • Roshelle Fong, Australia
  • Emele Ugavule, Australia
  • Vidya Rajan, Australia
  • Sophie Dumaresq, Australia
  • Raelke Grimmer, Australia
  • Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker, Australia
  • Gabi Briggs, Australia
  • Michel Mulipola, New Zealand
  • Sione Faletau, New Zealand
  • George Turner, New Zealand
  • Rosanna Raymond, New Zealand
  • Jamie Berry, New Zealand
  • Katrina Iosia, New Zealand
  • Tanu Gago, New Zealand
  • Sandy May Wakefield, New Zealand
  • Pelenakeke Brown, New Zealand
  • Joshua Faleatua, New Zealand
  • Ahilapalapa Rands, New Zealand

Frequently asked questions

The Fellowship Program involves a three day in-person residential, two single day online gathering sessions, regular 1-1 mentoring sessions and a financial investment in the development, creation and/or presentation of new digital work.

In person residential

The in-person residential will allow the group, facilitators and guest speakers to come together and connect on Country and exchange knowledge and support.

The residential will take place over three days at a location to be announced shortly. This cross-country opportunity enable participants to experience local culture and digital work, engage in workshops with guest speakers, exchange ideas, create community within the group and network with the wider sector.

Online gathering sessions

The two online sessions are an opportunity for group learning and knowledge sharing, supported by core facilitators who remain with the fellows for the duration of the program. The online sessions feature inspiring experts in the field to present as guest speakers. 

These online gatherings provide time and space for participants to interact with each other and the guest speakers, develop skills, knowledge, and broaden networks of digital practitioners in a thriving arts and cultural industry. The gatherings are a space for peer learning, and curated expert led sessions with industry leaders. 

Topics and themes covered in the online gatherings may include: 

  • Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property in the digital space
  • New platforms and technologies for artists and creative organisations
  • Experimentation, collaboration and digital engagement
  • Accessibility in the digital space
  • Decolonisation of digital futures

Mentoring

Each participant will be matched with a mentor, and have six 1-1 sessions throughout the program.  The mentor will provide support and guidance with the development and creation of new work and project proposals in line with the participants’ practice. Participants may be matched with a mentor based in Australia or New Zealand.

Investment

Participants will receive a grant of $10,000 (AUD) to support the development and creation of new work throughout the fellowship program. The funding must be directed towards new work, collaborations and/or presentations developed over the course of the program. Mentors may support the development of this work. Participants will receive the funding on commencement of the program in January 2023.

There will be two lead facilitators for the fellowship program, one based in Australia and one in New Zealand. There will also be a range of guest speakers, case studies and experts who will join throughout the program.

We will develop a pool of mentors in collaboration with Creative New Zealand, and participants will be matched with a suitable mentor based on their goals and objectives. Participants may be matched with a mentor in either Australia or New Zealand.

Participants must be available for the in-person residential, online gathering sessions and mentoring sessions over the six-month program. These are compulsory activities as part of the Fellowship.

It is encouraged that participants dedicate time and space to the development of new work and ideas throughout the program.

This program will be delivered in-person, online, and involve hybrid programming where possible.

For any questions or further information about the Digital Fellowship please email digital@creative.gov.au.

New Zealand applicants can also contact Paul Lisi at Creative New Zealand at: Paul.Lisi@creativenz.govt.nz.