Move over YouTube, tomorrow’s social media stars are all on Instagram. Screen Australia’s First Nations Creator Program, launched earlier this year, is a partnership between Screen Australia’s First Nations department and Instagram Australia.
Designed to amplify and accelerate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social media creators, the First Nations Creator Program will commence from 23 September and include training sessions and workshops covering product, creativity, safety and well-being, along with mentored guidance on digital production and social media strategy.
Creators will also receive production funding of $7,600 each, to help them create Reels or IGTV content for their Instagram account.
The 15 selected recipients of the inaugural First Nations Creator Program are listed below with their Instagram handles, and they can expect some new followers:
- Andrea Fernandez (@prettyumvegan)
- Meleika Gesa (@endlessyarning)
- Kaycee Haydon (@officialmsauzzi)
- Alicia Johnson (@8983aj)
- Emily Johnson (@darthem123)
- Trisha Lindgren (@traelblazer)
- Nathan Lyons (@kookingwithakoori)
- Meissa Mason (@meissamason)
- Tait McGregor (@taitmcgregor)
- Naarah (@n.a.a.r.a.h)
- Nich Richie (@nichtopher)
- Merinda Slater (@journeyofawinyarr)
- Melissa Smith (@melle.ngunnawalartist)
- Kantesha Takai (@kantesha_takai)
- Sari-Ella Thaiday (@sarithaiday)
During the Program, the selected creators will also be connected to key industry contacts including Instagram and Screen Australia representatives, management teams, leading First Nations creatives, and other established social media creators. Upon completion of the program, participants will each be assigned an Instagram partner manager to continue their journey on the platform.
Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Graeme Mason said the agency was impressed by the high level of applications from across Australia: ‘We are constantly looking for new ways to support content creators on the platforms they are connecting with audiences on and the accessibility of social media allows us to, through this Program with Instagram Australia, nurture new voices and champion extraordinary First Nations creators. We look forward to this year’s cohort creating new content and reaching new audiences on Instagram.’
Zaac d’Almeida, Strategic Partnership Manager at Instagram Australia, said: ‘It’s been thrilling to witness the creativity of the many First Nations creators who applied for this inaugural program. The fifteen recipients for this year’s program represent the diversity of emerging Indigenous creators who are using Instagram to amplify their voices and share their stories. We’re proud to partner with Screen Australia and we look forward to seeing this new generation of creators develop their incredible perspectives in the months ahead.’
Here at ScreenHub, we’re particularly pleased to see author and poet Meleika Gesa (aka Vika Mana) among the recipients. Gesa wrote this wonderful effusive TV review for us last year:
Being a social media star, we’re sure Vika won’t mind us quoting this tweet: