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Major boost for contemporary music, First Nations in $17.28M Creative Australia investment

Creative Australia has announced the outcomes of its latest round of investment in arts projects, performing arts and contemporary music touring, and international engagement.

The investments are set to lead to the creation of thousands of new works, and help Australian artists, musicians and industry workers reach and engage with new audiences and markets. 

The first investments by Music Australia enabled support for a greater number of contemporary music projects across arts projects, international programs, and the contemporary music touring program. 

Investment overview 

  • Arts Projects: $12.96M invested in 270 creative projects, supporting new works and an array of activity. This includes investment through Music Australia, the new dedicated body within Creative Australia established to support and invest in Australian contemporary music. 
  • Playing Australia: $2M invested in 7 live performing arts organisations, who will tour their work to over 99 unique locations, including regional and remote communities across Australia.   
  • Contemporary music touring: $563.7K in 23 contemporary music tours to over 150 unique locations across Australia. 
  • International engagement: $1.76M invested in 76 projects through targeted investments to support Australia’s engagement internationally after the impact of pandemic border closures. 

Among the highlights, the latest investment includes:  

A major boost for contemporary music, backed by Music Australia, supporting: 

  • Artists, such as Jessie Lloyd, Sophie Hutchings, TFS, Girl and Girl, Speak Percussion, Lucas Abela, Melbourne Jazz Limited, and Gut Health. 
  • Events, such as The Gong Crawl (A Celebration of Wollongong Live Music), Australian Folk Festival Organisers National Conference, the Music Producers and Engineers Guild Awards, and Electronic Music Conference.  
  • Music industry workers, including sound engineer and record producer Bonnie Knight and Music in Exile. 

A focus on nurturing First Nations talent, including: 

  • Emma Donovan, Dan Sultan, Jungaji, Buddy Knox, Lucas Proudfoot and Selve, who are among the 23 recipients of contemporary music touring grants. 
  • the first solo album from Eastern Torres Strait Islander, Kiwat Kennell, after the successful release of his single ‘Disconnected’ in 2023, co-written with ARIA award winning artist Dan Sultan. 
  • the international engagement fund will support workers from the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) to travel to the Venice Biennale to expand international markets.  

Compelling works for audiences, including: 

  • a theatre and puppetry work for family audiences being developed in collaboration with the Monash Department of Astrophysics. LITTLE BLUE DOT, exploring the big questions of the universe and our place in it. 
  • UNDREAMT, a new performance work by Sue Healey and Laurence Pike to be presented by Sydney Festival 2025. 
  • the national tour of Wonderbox by Sensorium Theatre, a unique sensory theatre experience designed with and for children and young people with living with disability.  

Director of Arts Investment Alice Nash said:  

“We are excited to invest in such a diverse and exciting range of arts and creative activity and help deliver the aims of the National Cultural Policy for a thriving creative nation. We know from our research, Australia is a nation that engages with arts and culture, and we recognise the positive impact this has: for lives, our communities and economy.” 

Director of Music Australia, Millie Millgate, said:  

“With the establishment of Music Australia, we are now able to offer more substantial support for contemporary music. These investments will help propel Australian talent onto both national and global stages whilst ensuring the creation of new contemporary work and the presentation of key industry events.”  

Media enquiries

Brianna Roberts, Media Manager, Creative Australia
Mobile: 0498 123 541