Emerging Digital Creators Take Part in Intensive In-House Program
Instagram and Screen Australia recently hosted promising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander online media talents for a three-day intensive in-house program designed to help these emerging creators improve their skills and build their brands.
© Melissa Smith-Haimona, 2021 First Nations Creators Program participant
From Oct. 17 to 19, this year’s recipients of the First Nations Creator Program went through a series of training sessions and workshops, developed by organizers with the end view of shoring up these budding talents’ abilities to better communicate their message with their audience.
The program, spearheaded by Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, aims to champion Indigenous talent by giving them a wider platform to tell their stories online while making viable careers out of it.
This year’s recipients were Desirai Saunders (desirai.art), Jade Goodwin (jadey.draws), Tobiasz Millar (tobiaszrodney13), Brandi Salmon (brandisalmon.artist), Jalen Sutcliffe (jalen_sutcliffe), Tom Dyer (uncle_mot), Kaylene Langford (kaylene.langford), Jahvis Loveday (Jahvisloveday), Marley Morgan (marleymorganphotography), and Milisont Sailor (Milisont).
All the recipients have a steady presence on Instagram and have been creating digital content for several years now.
They joined the initial 15 recipients of the First Nations Creator Program given in 2021.
Among the areas covered in the training and workshops in this year’s program included Reels best practice, Metaverse technologies, business-building, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Copyright Property and optimized finances.
These were conducted under the guidance of key Instagram and Screen Australia representatives as well as leading First Nations creatives like Bianca Hunt, Jarin Street, Meissa Mason, Ian Zaro and Melissa Smith-Haimona.
Special guest creatives such as actress Sherry-Lee Watson from Netflix’s Heartbreak High, and male model and Mob in Fashion founder Nathan McGuire, too, were present, sharing their experiences and giving valuable inputs for the participants to take cue from as they advance in their careers.
In coming up with the list for the 2022 First Nations Creator Program, Screen Asia and Instagram made sure that all applications met the needed requirements and were thoroughly reviewed.
Criteria set for the assessment of applications centered on the applicant-creatives’ social media account metrics such as engagement rate, posting frequency, video performance and growth rate; creativity of content shared on social media; uniqueness and authenticity of point of view; and the written answers and material submitted.
Apart from the training and workshops that the recipient received under the program, they, too, were each granted $5,000 in production funding to aid them in further building up their platform and growing their account on Instagram.
For its part, Instagram reiterated its commitment to initiatives like the First Nations Creators Program, seeing it as in line with its push to do its part in helping digital creators expand their online presence and build meaningful communities.
Screen Australia said the program will run from October 2022 to June 2023.
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