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Space to Create III: Music Residency

An intensive residential program providing First Nations creatives at all levels with studio space, mentoring, production support + more.

Photo of Yil Lull studio technician and leader Will Kepa. Credit: ANU Media.

Space to Create

First Nations music industry residency

Photo of Yil Lull studio technician and leader Will Kepa. Credit: ANU Media.

About the program

Space to Create is an intensive music industry residential program. The delivery of the program will be flexible and adapted to each of the participants’ requirements. The aim of the program is to create a dedicated space so each of the participants can take the time to sustain and grow creative ideas including composition, voice coaching, strengthen technical skills and to provide professional development opportunities for the future.

The program is open to emerging through to established First Nations musicians, artists, songwriters, audio engineers, producers and those employed in the music industry. The program will be delivered in partnership with the Australian National University’s School of Music and the Yil Lull recording studio.

To read about the 2024 recipients of Space to Create III investment, head to the bottom of this page.

‘The studio is named after the song Yil Lull by legendary First Nations musician Joe Geia, to honour his standing in the industry, and is used with his permission.’

Space to Create will provide:

  • on campus space, time and resources to develop the participant’s music practice, professional and creative ideas and industry networks
  • technical support from ANU and Yil Lull staff
  • access to state-of-the-art recording studios and studio production support
  • access to mastering and video editing
  • music industry masterclasses and creative labs tailored to meet the participants’ needs
  • one-on-one mentoring for the participants by selected music industry professionals
  • First Nations community and cultural engagement.
  • a fee for the residency period ($1,000 plus a $75 per day per diem to cover the seven-day residency)
  • accommodation, living expenses and travel.

‘The studio is named after the song Yil Lull by legendary First Nations musician Joe Geia, to honour his standing in the industry, and is used with his permission.’

In partnership with:

Situated on Ngunnawal-Ngambri country in the heart of the nation’s capital, and on the campus of Australia’s foremost research university, the School of Music at ANU has a proud and rich history. For nearly 50 years the school has played a leading role in the cultural life of Canberra and the surrounding region.

It is home to the Yil Lull Studio, which offers free recording and music assistance to First Nations musicians from across Australia. Established in 2021, the studio is led by Torres Strait Islander musician Will Kepa. Will’s vision for the studio is to be “a place for us, our mob, to come and meet; to create and to share; to expand on our stories; to keep our culture alive and our music alive; and to just keep that fire burning”.

To apply log in here to our Application Management System (AMS) if you have an account. You can create an account if you do not already have one.

Once you have logged in, follow the next steps:

  1. select ‘Apply for a Grant’ from the left panel menu
  2. from the list of opportunities select ‘Space to Create’
  3. complete the fields and select answers with dropdown menus
  4. upload any necessary support material
  5. select ‘Save’ once complete
  6. if you are not ready to submit your application, you can return to it through ‘Your Draft Applications’ in the left panel menu at a later date
  7. otherwise select ‘Submit’.
  • on campus space, time and resources to develop the participant’s music practice, professional and creative ideas and industry networks
  • technical support from ANU and Yil Lull staff
  • access to state-of-the-art recording studios and studio production support
  • access to mastering and video editing
  • music industry masterclasses and creative labs tailored to meet the participants’ needs
  • one-on-one mentoring for the participants by selected music industry professionals
  • First Nations community and cultural engagement.
  • a fee for the residency period ($1,000 plus a $75 per day per diem to cover the seven-day residency)
  • accommodation, living expenses and travel.

What can be applied for 

To apply, you will need to provide details of your project and what you would like to achieve through the Space to Create program.

Projects can include:

  • album or EP concept development
  • multi-disciplinary and cross sector projects
  • film soundtrack and commercial jingles
  • music for theatre productions
  • sound engineering, production and mastering projects
  • music recording projects
  • informed instrumental/vocal plans of development
  • concepts for a suite of songs
  • innovative music industry business planning
  • cross-genre music projects
  • artist management development
  • artist /marketing/promotion
  • record label development
  • publishing label development
  • touring and festival circuit development plans.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is only open to:

  • individual First Nations musicians, engineers, producers and or music industry professionals
  • Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents, and a practicing artist or arts professional.

Who cannot apply?

  • you are not a First Nations artist or music industry representative
  • you received a grant from Creative Australia in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to Creative Australia
  • you are a National Performing Arts Partnership organisation
  • you are an organisation based outside Australia.

The First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel will review applications against the assessment criteria.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what peers may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

1. The cultural integrity of the project

The Panel will assess the cultural integrity of the project. They may consider:

  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols.

2. The skills and strengths of individuals involved in the activity

The Panel will assess the skills and strengths of individuals involved in the activity. They may consider:

  • artistic and/or merit of the project
  • experience of artists and industry workers
  • quality of work previously produced.

3. The benefits of the activity for the individuals

The Panel will assess the benefits of the activity for the individuals. They may consider:

  • clear need for this activity at this time
  • relevance and timeliness of the residency to the applicant’s career
  • capacity to strengthen skills and ability of the individual.

The application form asks you to:

  1. provide a brief description of your artistic and/or professional practice
  2. describe how your planned activity will strengthen and develop your creative practice and/or your professional development
  3. provide support material.

The types of questions we ask in the application form include:

  • a title for your project
  • a summary of your project
  • a brief bio of the artist or group applying
  • an outline of your project and what you want to do
  • a timetable or itinerary for your activities
  • a description of the outcome your project delivers
  • a projected budget which details the expenses, income, and in-kind support of the project
  • supporting material as relevant to your project, including examples of your work, bios of additional artists, and letters of support or permission from participants, communities First Nations Elders or organisations.

You should submit support material with your application. The panel may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact us.

There are four types of support material you may submit:

  1. Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic or cultural work.

Types of support material we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images, or written material.

These URLs can include a total of:

  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images
  • 10 pages of written material (for example, excerpts of literary writing).

Please note: Our panel will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field on the application form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your application in the following formats:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).
  1. Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in your project.

Brief bios or CV information should be presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total.

  1. Letters of support

Individuals, groups, or organisations can write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain how the project or activity will benefit you, other artists or arts professionals, participants, or the broader community. It can also detail the support or involvement of key project partners, or evidence of consultation.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

2024 recipients

Nidala Barker

Lilly Gogos

Normey Jay

Georgia Llewellyn

Russell Smith 

Cloe Terare