Digital Fellowship Program

In partnership with Creative New Zealand, this program brings together artists to explore and develop digital practice.

Image: Whakapapa/Algorithms by Jamie Berry of Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngati Porou, Ngāpuhi iwi.

This fellowship program brings practitioners based in Australia and New Zealand together to co-develop their digital practice and set directions for the future of the arts in our region.

The six-month program prioritises collaborative learning, as well as individual practice development, through a series of curated online gathering sessions, an in-person residential and mentoring. Investment is also offered to enable participants to realise new ideas and set the course of their future work. The program includes:

  • In-person gathering – three day curated in person gathering including collaboration, learning, engagement, skills exchange and facilitated activities for all participants
  • Online gathering sessions – two curated one-day sessions of learning, skills exchange and facilitated activities for all participants.
  • Mentoring – participants are matched with a digital mentor to develop skills and practice through a 1-1 model.
  • Investment – funding of $10,000 is provided for each participant to collaborate, develop or present their digital practice.

Five Australian participants will join five New Zealand participants, with identified positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Pasifika applicants.

The program will build the skills, networks and leadership of participants, to support a thriving and creative digital culture in the arts. The program will strengthen the connections between Australia and New Zealand practitioners and organisations.

This program is developed and delivered in partnership with Creative New Zealand.


For more information about this opportunity please email Jorjia Gillis at or call 02 9215 9040.

Meet the Facilitators

Hainoame Fulivai, New Zealand

Hainoame Fulivai, New Zealand

Hainoame is an experienced, values- driven leadership with over 20 year track record in research, community development, social mobilisation of disadvantaged communities, advocacy and civil rights, entrepreneurship and philanthropy funding. She’s an active techie with game-changing prototypes in Indigenous Pacific women’s wealth systems underway.

Hainoame has worked on a number of projects for New Zealand government agencies, universities in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and independent projects focused on Pacific mobilisation at scale. She is an experienced community development leader and social activator who recently completed a trail blazing term for local government, as a Co-Chair for the Pacific Peoples’ Advisory Panel at Auckland Council and sits on various governing non-government organisations and collective networks in philanthropy, digital equity and climate resilience.

Hainoame holds a Master in Arts (Hons) in Education from the University of Auckland with credentials in Food Compliance (Victoria, Australia) and NCALE.  She will be graduating in March 2023 with her second Masters in Technological Futures for Emerging Disruptive Technology. She is fluent in both Tongan and English, and dedicated to supporting Tangata Whenua kaupapa and upholding tikanga as Tangata (wahine) Te Tiriti.

Lia Pa’apa’a, Australia

Lia Pa’apa’a, Australia

Lia is an artist and mama who has cultural connections to Samoa and the Luiseño nation of Southern California.  Lia’s practice is interdisciplinary and Lia works as an artist, Creative Producer and Community Arts Cultural Development practitioner.  Lia creates culturally safe spaces that allow for immersive experiences that support creativity, wellbeing and the transfer of indigenous knowledge systems.  Lia is currently the Festival Director of the First Nations Children’s Festival that explores intergenerational exchange through Arts, Culture and Ceremony and is the  Co-creator of the NGAMUMU (For Mothers) project that delivers community workshops, festival installations and creative programming for mothers and families during the first 1000 days (conception to age two).

Lia lives on Yidinji lands in Cairns Australia with her two young children and partner and is revitalising and reimagining ancestral practices to support her family’s and community’s health and wellbeing.

Meet the current participants

Vidya Rajan, Australia

Vidya Rajan, Australia

Vidya Rajan is a first-generation tamil migrant living & working between Boorloo and Naarm. A multi-disciplinary artist interested in hybrid forms, she works across writing for stage & screen, contemporary performance, comedy & play-based making & increasingly in the new media & digital space.   
A graduate of the VCA, she has variously originated & contributed to projects for Darwin Festival, The Malthouse, Belvoir, Red Stitch, The Wheeler Centre, Liminal Magazine, Artshouse, Running Dog, SBS, ABC, The Blue Room amongst others. A former writer-in-residence at the Malthouse Theatre, she has also been a recipient of Melbourne Festival’s Director’s Lab, Screen Australia’s Developer program, Wheeler Centre’s Hot Desk Fellowship, Film Vic’s Games Writing Initiative, and MAV’s inaugural Diasporas program. As a facilitator and teaching artist, she has recently worked with Footscray Community Arts, Writer’s Victoria, Midsumma, Back to Back Theatre, Context Festival & RMIT participatory art program. Interested in non-hierarchical curatorial practices, she curated and dramaturged Proximities (an interactive digital exhibition for Blak and POC creators) for Darebin Council, co-devised and dramaturged Sangam Festival’s Dada Desi (a new experimental art gathering for emerging South Asian artists in Melbourne), and developed a discursive poetry commissioning series for Djed Press. 
In her arts practice, she is interested in work that’s about: the slipperiness of identity as a concept and material reality across irl & url space; systemic structures & the search for community within capitalism; eastern religious thought & speculative fiction futures, digital colonialism & its effects on cultural & historical memory, data ethics & radicalisation. She often uses playfulness, humour and surrealism as a core tool in her practice, and is increasingly investigating how game design can combine with performance art practices to create unique audience experiences and new ways into storytelling.

Tanu Gago, New Zealand

Tanu Gago, New Zealand

Tanu Gago (MNZM) is an interdisciplinary artist, queer activist and filmmaker. In 2019 Gago was inducted into the order of merit, with Queen’s honors for services to Pacific arts and the LGBTQIA+ community. He is a 2020 Arts Foundation Arts Laureate, 2020 CNZ Pacific Arts Contemporary Artist recipient, and the 2022 McCahon House artist in residence.

This year Gago was the guest judge for the prestigious Moon Jury at ImagineNATIVE Film + Digital Arts Festival in Toronto, Canada. Gago is also an artist in development with Piki films (Carthew Neil and Taika Waititi’s production company) and the writer director of ATUA, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2022.

In recent years Gago has been working at the intersections of film, Queer activism, moving image, animation and AR interactivity. A Samoan Immigrant raised in South Auckland, Gago is also the cofounder of Queer Indigenous Arts Collective FAFSWAG.

Sophie Dumaresq, Australia

Sophie Dumaresq, Australia

Sophie Dumaresq is an interdisciplinary artist working in new media robotic arts and photo media in addition to large and small-scale sculptural installations. She also performs stand-up and sketch-based comedic performance art as the cybernetic femme clown bot “Sharkie Dee”, alongside her self-made animatronic shark who answers to the name of Cherie. Her work explores the politics of care through symbiotic cycles of consumption, destruction and creation which demonstrate how as a species we relate, show empathy, learn and evolve with and within our surrounding environment.

She works primarily in Ngunnawal Country as well as Yuin Country, located on Australia’s eastern coast and capital city, Canberra, Australia. In 2021 she received the Peter and Lena Karmel Anniversary Prize in Art for the most outstanding body graduating body of work from the Australian Nation University’s School of Art and Design, as well as the Eckersley’s Materials Emerging Artist Support Scheme Award. In 2022 she was awarded the 2022 Peter and Lena Karmel Visual Honours Scholarship. In 2022 she was a finalist in the 2022 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize and The Land and its Psyche – Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Prize. Her work was then acquired by Macquarie Group Collection. In 2022 she also performed live alongside her animatronic and robotic self-made artworks/performance partners during Sydney’s Vivid Festival at Carriage Works through Performance Space’s Live Works program.

Sandy May Wakefield, New Zealand

Sandy May Wakefield, New Zealand

Sandy May Wakefield [Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu] was raised in Te Tai Tokerau and spent her teenage summers stacking firewood and making horror movies down by the creek with her cousins. A burgeoning career in sound recording in film and television follows and informs her pathway into the world of a multimedia contemporary art practice. Freshly graduated with a Master of Arts, Sandy finds opportunities to make work and create in diverse communities. 

Raelke Grimmer, Australia

Raelke Grimmer, Australia

Raelke Grimmer is an autistic writer and linguist living on Larrakia Country in Darwin, Northern Territory. Her creative work has been published in Australian literary journals Griffith Review, Westerly, Kill Your Darlings and Meniscus. She is a founding editor of Northern Territory literary journal Borderlands and is currently experimenting with hybrid forms of storytelling using analogue film photography. Raelke lectures in Creative Writing and Applied Linguistics at Charles Darwin University. 

Pelenakeke Brown, New Zealand

Pelenakeke Brown, New Zealand

Pelenakeke Brown: is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and writer, Pelenakeke’s practice explores the intersections between disability cultural concepts and Sāmoan cultural concepts. Her work investigates sites of knowledge, and she uses technology, writing, poetry, and performance to explore these ideas.

She has worked with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gibney Dance Center, The New York Library for the Performing Arts and other institutions globally. Selected residencies include Eyebeam, The Laundromat Project, and Dance/NYC. Her work has been featured in Art in America and The New York Times. She was recognised in 2020 with a Creative New Zealand Pacific Toa award. 

Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker, Australia

Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker, Australia

Kat is a Nyungar technologist, writer, digital rights activist living on Whadjuk Noongar boodjar who experiments with digital poetry and speculative fiction. Their work explores the intersection of activism, science-fiction, and technology in imagining radical futures and ushering them into existence.

Joshua Faleatua, New Zealand

Joshua Faleatua, New Zealand

Joshua is an Auckland-based freelance dancer and filmmaker. Since graduating from the University of Auckland, Joshua has gone on to work with multiple dance companies, choreographers and directors as both a dancer and filmmaker.

He has worked with companies such as Footnote New Zealand Dance, Chunky Move, Stephanie Lake Company, The New Zealand Dance Company, Movement Of The Human, Body Island, Ta’alili and Taane Mete (the Company). Through various dance companies, Joshua has developed and performed in live shows that have toured across New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and China. Alongside being a performer, Joshua has also worked at University of Melbourne and The University Of Auckland as a dance tutor. As a filmmaker, he has created video content for small businesses such as tattoo studios, clothing brands, barber shops, music and dance companies.

Joshua approaches film with the same exploration techniques and mindset found within the creative process of developing a live dance show. Through this dance-oriented framework, Joshua has pushed the boundaries of film creativity and developed a unique style of shooting and editing that has generated innovative films.

Gabi Briggs, Australia

Gabi Briggs, Australia

Gabi Briggs is an Anaiwan & Gumbaynggirr gedyura (woman) who is a research-based artist working within a diverse range of mediums and community-building projects. Community work has led her art practice into deep contemplation about colonial harm to kin and country, resulting in her eliciting a dialogue about truth-telling and a return to Indigenous Knowledge systems. She intends that the conversation moves outside the gallery (or publication) and into communities to prompt transformative justice. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Monash Wominjeka Djeembana lab at Monash University.

Ahilapalapa Rands, New Zealand

Ahilapalapa Rands, New Zealand

Ahilapalapa Rands was born in Aotearoa and has whakapapa to Hawaii, Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Scotland, Ireland and England. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology and a Diploma in Te Reo Māori from Te Wananga o Raukawa in Ōtaki, Aotearoa. She loves working collaboratively and has co-founded and worked in collectives for over a decade including D.A.N.C.E. art club alongside Vaimaila Urale, Tuafale Tanoa’i aka Linda T, and Chris Fitzgerald; London based In*ter*is*land Collective alongside Lyall Hakaraia, Jo Walsh and Jessica Palalagi and most recently Moana Fresh with Vaimaila Urale. An aspiring decolonial cancerian to her core she works to restore, rediscover and perpetuate ways of being and creating in relationship with one another across our Moana nui a Kiwa. Ahilapalapa’s art practice has a focus on her lived experience as part of the Hawaiian diaspora navigating colonial borders that block access to ancestral homelands. All of this living and making is informed by being tangata tiriti in beautiful Aotearoa and continuing to engage with and understand what that means in practice. 

Artists working across any artform (community engaged practice, dance, digital arts, film and radio, literature, music, multi arts, theatre and visual arts) are eligible to apply.

The program is designed for artists within their first five years of digital practice.

Applications open on Monday 29 August 2022 and close on Tuesday 11 October 2022, 3pm AEDT.

The program runs from January – June 2023, with a combination of one in-person residential, online gathering sessions, 1-1 sessions and self-directed learning and development.

The in-person residential will take place over three days on 2-4 February 2023. All travel will be covered as part of the program.

The online gathering sessions will be delivered online on 6 April 2023 and 25 May 2023.

There is no cost for selected participants to join the program.

It is a condition of the program that participants must be available to attend the in-person residential, both online gathering sessions, and mentoring sessions.

Participants are also required to provide an acquittal of funding on completion of the program.

Applications will be assessed by internal assessors and industry advisors, in both Australia and New Zealand.

Selection criteria:

  • Timeliness and relevance of the program to the applicant’s development.
  • An active and open approach to creative digital practice
  • Ability to engage with diverse ways of learning and connecting with others.
  • Alignment to the strategic priorities identified in the Australia Council Digital Culture Strategy 2021-2024 and Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023.

Applicants may be invited to an online interview following the submission of an application.

Individuals can apply via our online application system. If you have access requirements, please get in touch so we can assist you.

Written response questions

  1. Introduce yourself and why are you interested in participating in this program 

Provide a brief introduction to yourself and your work, and why this program is relevant to you at this time. What has led you to apply for this program? What is your motivation for participating? How can the program support you to advance your practice towards an exciting future?

In this question we want to know how this program connects to your creative practice development.

You can choose to upload a 3-minute video in response to this question or answer in writing.

  1. Tell us about your digital practice. What motivates and interests you?

We use the term ‘digital’ broadly. Digital includes both online platforms and technologies that extend or impact on the creation, presentation and distribution of creative content. Importantly, we refer to digital as a way of doing things and a way of thinking: a digital mindset.

We think of digital as an:

  • Enabler
  • Practice
  • Mindset
  • Platform
  • Industry

For Pacific arts, we think of digital as it relates to:

  • Va – the space in between.  Meaningful spaces between people, places, cultures, time and dimensions, tangible and intangible.  A space that connects rather than separates.
  • Digital Moana – meaningful connections across Aotearoa, Oceania, and globally, to ensure arts are further enriched through new tools and technologies.
  • Moana, Te Moana-nui-a-Kiva, the ocean homeland of Pasifika peoples that is the fluid bridge between Aotearoa New Zealand, other lands and opportunities.

In this question we are interested in understanding your approach to digital practice.

  1. Tell us about a time that you worked collectively with others.

Our programs bring together artists and practitioners from a diversity of artforms, cultural backgrounds and geographical locations. We create safe spaces to encourage open, generous, and collaborative approaches to learning, experimentation and digital creativity.

In this question, share your experience of a relationship or exchange that has been an important moment for you in your creative digital practice.

  • James Albert, Australia
  • Mi-kaisha Masella, Australia
  • April Phillips, Australia
  • Victoria Chiu, Australia
  • Roshelle Fong, Australia
  • Emele Ugavule, Australia
  • Michel Mulipola, New Zealand
  • Sione Faletau, New Zealand
  • George Turner, New Zealand
  • Rosanna Raymond, New Zealand
  • Jamie Berry, New Zealand
  • Katrina Iosia, New Zealand

Frequently asked questions

The fellowship program involves a three day in-person residential, two x one day online gathering sessions, regular 1-1 mentoring sessions and a financial investment in the development, creation and/or presentation of new digital work.

In person residential

The in-person residential will allow the group, facilitators and guest speakers to come together and connect on Country and exchange knowledge and support.

The residential will take place over three days at a location to be announced shortly. This cross-country opportunity enable participants to experience local culture and digital work, engage in workshops with guest speakers, exchange ideas, create community within the group and network with the wider sector.

Online gathering sessions

These online sessions are an opportunity for group learning and knowledge sharing, supported by core facilitators and informed by expert guest speakers and presenters.

These online gatherings will be delivered over two one-day sessions and provide time and space for participants to develop skills, knowledges, and networks around digital practice. The gatherings are a space for peer learning, and curated expert led sessions with industry leaders.

Topics and themes may be covered in the online gatherings include:

  • Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property in the digital space
  • New platforms and technologies for artists and creative organisations
  • Experimentation, collaboration and digital engagement
  • Accessibility in the digital space
  • Decolonisation of digital futures


Each participant will be matched with a mentor, and have six 1-1 sessions throughout the program.  The mentor will provide support and guidance with the development and creation of new work and project proposals in line with the participants’ practice. Participants may be matched with a mentor based in Australia or New Zealand.


Participants will receive a grant of $10,000 (AUD) to support the development and creation of new work throughout the fellowship program. The funding must be directed towards new work, collaborations and/or presentations developed over the course of the program. Mentors may support the development of this work. Participants will receive the funding on commencement of the program in January 2023.

There will be two lead facilitators for the fellowship program, one based in Australia and one in New Zealand. There will also be a range of guest speakers, case studies and experts who will join throughout the program.

A pool of mentors will be developed in collaboration with Australia Council and Creative NZ, and participants will be matched with a suitable mentor based on their goals and objectives. Participants may be matched with a mentor in either Australia or New Zealand.

Participants must be available for the in-person residential, online gathering sessions and mentoring sessions over the six-month program. These are compulsory activities as part of the Fellowship.

It is encouraged that participants dedicate time and space to the development of new work and ideas throughout the program.

This program will be delivered in-person, online, and involve hybrid programming where possible.

For any questions or further information about the Digital Fellowship please email or call 02 9215 9040

New Zealand applicants can also call Catherine George at Creative New Zealand +64 27 807 4221.