Last updated: 04 Jul, 2019

We recognise the mental, physical and social health benefits that engagement with the arts can provide. This has the potential to strengthen community identity and pride, and increasing understanding across cultures.

VicHealth has a long and proud history of supporting First Nations initiatives in the arts and creative industries. Our most recent suite of projects will use engagement with the arts and creative industries to create pathways to further opportunity. While building skills, confidence and connections among participants these projects will provide safe spaces for the development of a new generation of brilliant First Nations creatives.

The Barpirdhila Foundation's Youth Programs will provide platforms that nurture, develop and support Aboriginal excellence within the creative industries through regional youth camps, performance opportunities, artist development programs and music industry/business workshops. These programs will provide structure around offering guidance for young people to enter (and excel) within the music industry and to provide better outcomes for youth. Projects will be delivered in partnership with Girls Rock! Melbourne and Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI).

The Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) First Nations Capacity Building Project is the first step in the process of building ongoing First Nations engagement, a priority in their new 2019-2023 strategic plan. MWF will employ a First Nations program advisor to drive relationship building, strategy and staff development as they move towards the launch of an ongoing self-determined First Nations program within MWF. This program will lead to greater employment and engagement opportunities for Victorian First Nations artists and community.

Westside Circus will use social circus activity workshops as a non-linear means of supporting successful education pathways for students in Melbourne Polytechnic’s new Koorie VCAL Foundation Course. An Indigenous trainer will use circus to build resilience and perseverance among participants, capitalising on research that indicating strong links between participation in arts projects and increased academic success and engagement.

The Indigenous Runway Project’s Scholarship Program will provide opportunities for Indigenous people to participate in a Fashion Boot Camp. IRP will partner with Kangan Institute to introduce participants to an exciting world of fashion where brands and independent creativity matters. The new bootcamp will utilise fashion as a vehicle to reveal new career pathways to young Indigenous people (certificate, diploma and advanced diploma options) and help push Indigenous young people’s creative boundaries.