First Nations Creator Program: 15 social media creators named for 2023

The initiative, in partnership between Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, is designed to support and amplify local talent.

Fifteen of the country’s emerging First Nations social media talent have this week been selected by Instagram and Screen Australia’s First Nations Department in the third edition of its successful First Nations Creator Program.

Opening for applications earlier this year, the program is an initiative in partnership between Screen Australia’s First Nations Department and Instagram Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social media creators, with the goal of propelling emerging local talent and amplifying a diverse range of voices. The Program’s ultimate aim is to foster long-term career opportunities in social media and digital content creation.

The 15 selected recipients of the 2023 First Nations Creator Program are:

The 2023 program includes training sessions and workshops from 18-19 October, covering Reels best practice, Metaverse technologies, business-building, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Copyright Property, optimised finances, and more, facilitated by mentored guidance and collaborative learning. Creators will also receive production funding to help establish their platform and grow their Instagram account.

Image: Melissa Smith-Haimona, 2021 First Nations Creators Program participant.

As with last year’s program, Creators will be encouraged to build their brand and initiate sustainable techniques to grow their business, making key industry contacts, including Instagram and Screen Australia representatives, and leading First Nations creatives, including Isaac Compton and previous participant Meissa Mason (2021), to set themselves up for success. Special guests also include Narelda Jacobs, and panel sessions with NIDA and AFTRS.

‘We’re really proud to see this program thrive in its third year. Amplifying diverse voices on Instagram is really important to us,’ said Kirsty Wilson, Creator Partnerships Lead, Meta Australia and New Zealand. 

‘With a goal to empower First Nations Creators, this program aims to equip these talented individuals with the information and tools they need to grow their online communities and build their brands and careers. We can’t wait to see them continue to flourish.’

Angela Bates, Head of First Nations, Screen Australia, said: ‘We are incredibly impressed with this year’s cohort of First Nations creators and excited to see the positive impact this program will have on each of the recipient’s careers. It’s an important initiative that can create a pipeline into the broader screen industry by cultivating content creation skills, giving creators the confidence to expand their networks and ability to reach new audiences.’

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites