$1 million investment in diverse creative voices

DFFH announces $1 million investment in MAV to amplify diverse creative voices

MAV is excited to announce the investment of $1 million in diverse creatives, to build their capacity as digital content makers, cultural leaders and influencers. If we’ve learned anything from our current public health challenges, it is the importance of community voices in keeping us healthy, connected and empowered. Diverse creatives are important influencers and leaders, sharing the stories of our communities and calling out our strength and resilience through adversity.

Our two new programs, Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve, made possible with $1 million in funds from the Victorian Government’s recent Priority Response to Multicultural Communities During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Program, focus on building digital content skills, generating new community specific forms of transmission, and developing creative enterprise models.

These programs will create significant employment opportunities and position young people, women and creatives from culturally diverse backgrounds living in Melbourne, Bendigo and Shepparton.

We know Victorians from multicultural backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, so we are supporting communities across the state to come together and rebuild connections,” said Minister for Multicultural Affairs, The Hon. Ros Spence.

We are proud to support these exciting projects and look forward to working with MAV in future.

Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve respond to current data on the impacts of COVID-19, of the need for visibility, connection and self-determination for women, youth and creatives from culturally diverse communities – to shape the narratives of their lived experiences and the policy responses to their diverse circumstances.

Both Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve, provide novel solutions for known communication and content development barriers and challenges facing culturally diverse communities, enabling communities to better protect themselves from the impacts of COVID-19 and to lead creative solutions to future challenges arising from the pandemic.

In Shepparton, the delivery partner for Duniya Behter will be POD Studio, a self-determined space and community development organisation for local people of colour. POD Studio Co- founder and Director Mellisa Silaga is excited to see this injection of funding from the Victorian Government and to work in partnership with MAV.

Mellisa says, “This injection of funding couldn’t have come at a better time for Shepparton and we are so excited to be partnering with MAV to deliver this work. 

With so much of our community in quarantine right now, we are struggling. We are all feeling COVID fatigue, we are tired of anxiety inducing messaging, of lockdowns and having to work reactively.

Duniya Behter has created a spark of hope and an opportunity to shift our focus to a brighter and more empowered future, especially for our women and young people of colour who’ve been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, but who’ve also rallied together to keep our communities strong and safe.

Through this investment we feel acknowledged and uplifted. The project is creating exciting opportunities for our women to transform their inherent creative and entrepreneurial skills into new self-sustaining enterprises, and it will grow a new digitally sophisticated workforce of young people who can keep our communities connected locally and globally.

I can see that the impact of this work will live well beyond the project itself.

With practices of self-determination and co-design at their heart, Duniya Behter and Ahead of the Curve, will provide much needed investment and support for culturally diverse women, youth and creatives, to explore ways in which they may extend their capabilities for new models of self-employment and effective communications, using digital platforms in culturally nuanced ways.

To find out more or get involved, click here:

Image 1: Duniya Behter visual identity by Mimi Leung | Image 2: POD Studio staff (l-r) Ree Peric, Abigail Simaika, Emmanuel Vagana, Jonathan Safari and Betul Tuna. Photo by Anita Larkin. | Image 3: KaiLash by Amicus Atman is featured in the Ahead of the Curve visual identity.