Space to Create

First Nations music industry residency

Photo of Yil Lull studio technician and leader Will Kepa. Credit: ANU Media.

Space to Create

First Nations music industry residency

Photo of Yil Lull studio technician and leader Will Kepa. Credit: ANU Media.

About the program

Space to Create is an intensive music residential program. The delivery of the program will be flexible to adapt to each of the participants’ requirements. The aim of the program is to create a dedicated space so each of the participants can take the time to sustain and grow creative ideas, and to provide professional development opportunities for the future.

The program is for First Nations musicians, audio engineers, producers and music industry professionals. The program will be delivered in partnership and onsite in Canberra with the Australian National University (ANU) and the Yil Lull Studio. A number of places will be on offer for the residential period.

Space to Create will provide:

  • on campus space and time to develop the participant’s music practice, professional and creative ideas and industry connections
  • technical support from ANU and Yil Lull staff
  • access to state-of-the-art recording studios and studio production support
  • access to mastering and video editing
  • accommodation, living expenses and travel
  • a fee for the residency period ($1,000 plus a $75 per day per diem to cover the 7-day residency)
  • music industry masterclasses and creative labs tailored to meet the participants needs
  • one-on-one mentoring for the participants by selected music industry professionals
  • First Nations community and cultural engagement.

‘The studio is named after the song Yil Lull by legendary First Nations musician Joe Geia, to honour his standing in the industry, and is used with his permission.’

In partnership with:

Due to growth of the First Nations music industry over the past few years, the Australia Council has prioritised audience and market development in this sector.  In 2020, the Australia Council held two First Nations music-focused roundtables and undertook a survey to understand the needs, opportunities and challenges faced by musicians across the country.

One of the key findings was the ongoing need for musicians and industry workers to have the time and resources for creative and professional development.

As a result of this work, the Australia Council has formed a partnership with the ANU School of Music to deliver Space to Create.

Situated on Ngunnawal-Ngambri country in the heart of the nation’s capital, and on the campus of Australia’s foremost research university, the School of Music at ANU has a proud and rich history. For nearly 50 years the school has played a leading role in the cultural life of Canberra and the surrounding region.

It is home to the Yil Lull Studio, which offers free recording and music assistance to First Nations musicians from across Australia. Established in 2021, the studio is led by Torres Strait Islander musician Will Kepa. Will’s vision for the studio is to be “a place for us, our mob, to come and meet; to create and to share; to expand on our stories; to keep our culture alive and our music alive; and to just keep that fire burning”.

Discover more about the ANU School of Music and Yil Lull recording studio.

To apply log in here to our Application Management System (AMS) if you have an account. You can create an account if you do not already have one.

Once you have logged in, follow the next steps:

  1. select ‘Apply for a Grant’ from the left panel menu
  2. from the list of opportunities select ‘Space to Create’
  3. complete the fields and select answers with dropdown menus
  4. upload any necessary support material
  5. select ‘Save’ once complete
  6. if you are not ready to submit your application, you can return to it through ‘Your Draft Applications’ in the left panel menu at a later date
  7. otherwise select ‘Submit’.

To apply, you will need to provide details of your project and what you would like to achieve through the Space to Create program.

Projects can include development of:

  • album or EP concept development
  • multi-disciplinary and cross sector projects
  • film soundtrack and commercial jingles
  • music for theatre productions
  • sound engineering, production and mastering projects
  • music recording projects
  • informed instrumental/vocal plans of development
  • concepts for a suite of songs
  • innovative music industry business planning
  • cross-genre music projects
  • artist management development
  • artist /marketing/promotion
  • record label development
  • publishing label development
  • touring and festival circuit development plans.

To apply for this opportunity online, applicants need to provide a detailed proposal outlining what they would like to achieve through the Space to Create residential program.

 Who can apply?

This opportunity is only open to:

  • individual First Nations musicians, engineers, producers and or music industry professionals
  • Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

Who cannot apply?

  • you are not a First Nations artist or music industry representative
  • you received a grant from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted.
  • you owe money to the Australia Council.

Applications will be assessed by First Nations music industry peers, on the following criteria:

1. The cultural integrity of the project

  • adherence to relevant cultural protocols.

2. The skills and strengths of individuals involved in the activity

  • artistic and/or merit of the project
  • experience of artists and industry workers
  • quality of work previously produced.

3. The benefits of the activity for the individuals

  • clear need for this activity at this time
  • relevance and timeliness of the residency to the applicant’s career
  • capacity to strengthen skills and ability of the individual.

The application form asks you to:

  1. provide a brief description of your artistic and/or professional practice
  2. describe how your planned activity will strengthen and develop your creative practice and/or your professional development
  3. provide support material.

1. Evidence of your practice

Provide recent examples of your artistic and/or professional work that are relevant to the activity. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • a link to examples of your work that may include video, audio, images or written material
  • a link to examples of your proposed activity that may include video, audio, images or written material
  • links to websites and related social media sites.

We strongly recommend you link to existing, accessible examples of your work – there is no need to create new content for this application.

2. Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters of support for your activity if appropriate. These letters should explain:

  • how the activity will benefit your practice or professional development
  • how appropriate cultural protocols have been observed and permissions obtained.

You can include up to three letters of support for your project with each letter no longer than one A4 page. Where possible, combine your letters into a single document or link.

How to provide your support material

Our preferred way of receiving support material is via URLs (web links). You can submit up to three URLs, which may include your website, or links to video, audio, images, scanned documents and written material.

If you cannot provide URLs, you can attach up to two documents to your application in either PDF or Word formats.

We do not accept support material submitted via post.

Additional information

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Once all applications have been assessed, you will be contacted about the outcome of your application. If you have been successful, you will also be sent a funding agreement. This outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements. The following accordion items outline these stages in more detail.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email advising you a grant is offered. You must then agree to the conditions of your grant, which represents the Australia Council’s contract with you – this can be done online, by email or by letter. Payment of a grant will not be made until the grant conditions have been agreed and accepted by all the relevant parties.

You should not start a project that depends on a grant until all relevant parties have agreed and accepted the grant conditions and we have evidence of such acceptance on file.

Standard grant conditions require you to, among other things:

  • seek prior approval for making a change to a funded project (for example, changes in the activity budget; changes to key creative personnel; or changes to start or end dates)
  • respond to requests for information about the project or grant
  • satisfactorily account for how the grant is spent (if you do not you will be required to return all monies for which you cannot satisfactorily account)
  • comply with all applicable laws
  • acknowledge the Australia Council’s support in all promotional material associated with the project; this includes use of the Australia Council’s logo and a standard text of acknowledgement.
  • provide artistic and financial acquittal reports at the end of the project
  • return any unspent grant funds at the completion of your project or on notice from us to return such unspent funds.

Grant agreements must be signed by a legal entity – either a legally constituted organisation or an individual. For unincorporated groups, see the section on administered grants

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an ABN. Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If applicants cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant’s name, they will need to nominate an administrator for their grant.

Groups/ensembles/collectives, unincorporated associations/ unincorporated entities and other bodies with no legal status do not need an administrator if they have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and bank account in their name. If they are unable to provide an active ABN and bank account that matches the name of the applicant, they must nominate an administrator. The name of the administrator must match the name of the ABN and bank account into which funds are paid if the application is successful.

If we approve your application you will need accept the conditions of the grant in a funding agreement.

After you accept your funding agreement online, we will automatically generate a payment for the grant on your behalf. You do not need to send us an invoice.

We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account within two weeks after acceptance of the funding agreement. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

If you do not wish to have the grant funds paid directly into your bank account you can choose to have your grant administered by another individual or legally constituted organisation (Doesn’t apply to Arts Projects – Organisations).

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). When you accept your funding agreement, you will be asked to enter the details of the bank account you wish the grant to be paid into. The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Download the Australia Council for the Arts logo guidelines here.

Download the Major Festivals Initiative logo guidelines here.

Grant reports are required on completion of your project. Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of Australia Council funding.

Please read your funding agreement to check details of the grant acquittal material you should provide.

The grant acquittal report is where you tell us:

  • how you spent your grant
  • what the artistic outcomes of your funded activity were.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Australia Council will not make any further payments that may be due to you, and you will not be eligible  to apply for further grants.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report, the Australia Council may ask you to pay back all or part of the funding provided to you.

Grant reports are used by the Australia Council to fulfil obligations of accountability to the Australian Government. They are also essential to the development work of the Australia Council. The reports help us evaluate the achievements of funded activities, monitor the effectiveness of grant categories and ensure our policy development is consistent with the experience of artists in the field.

Reporting for Multi-year Funded Organisations

Organisations in receipt of multi-year funding are required to submit financial, statistical, and artistic reporting on an annual basis.

All reporting is submitted online via the Australia Council’s arts organisations reporting system.

If you are not sure what reporting you need to submit as part of your annual reporting, or what information to provide, please get in touch with your Australia Council contact.

All recipients must acknowledge that the Australia Council provided funding for their activities. When you acquit your grant, we will ask you how you acknowledged the Australia Council.

For printed or online material use our logo and this phrase:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body OR The (company name) is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos for download and guidelines for the use of our logos.

Where projects do not have a public outcome, or do not produce any printed or online material, you will need to think about how best to acknowledge the Australia Council funding.