Duniya Behter

Duniya Behter: Creating a Better World Together

The name itself, which emerged from conversation with community, speaks to the spirit and intention of this MAV’s regional Victoria program. Duniya means “the world” in Arabic, Hindi and it’s also found in the languages of Swahili, Hazaragi, Urdu and Persian, where it holds a similar meaning. These are some of the languages spoken in Bendigo and Shepparton where this project is based.  Behter means better but working together to make better.

Duniya Behter is an experience that will see women and young people from CALD communities, in Bendigo and Shepparton, drawing from the resource of their cultural roots, to build creative businesses and produce new digital creative work.


Are you a young culturally diverse, person of colour 15 -30 years living in Bendigo or Shepparton?
Do you have a story to tell and ideas to share about your experiences of the last 2 years living in a pandemic?

MAV is providing up to 20 paid commission opportunities for young people of colour living in Shepparton and Bendigo, to create digital stories that will be shared as part of an online exhibition.

Each successful applicant will get $1000 cash, access to equipment, space and mentoring, to create a digital story. We are looking for ideas for videos, reels, podcasts, music, spoken word, graphic design, digital art, creative writing or poetry that cover themes like:

  • What does creating a better world look like to you?
  • How do you get inspiration from your cultural roots to deal with challenges?
  • Your experience during COVID and what you have done to adapt to changing times?
  • What is the future change you want to see in the world?

Application close at midnight on Monday 10th January 2022

16 Women or collectives of women will develop businessesbuilding on new ideas or developing a creative and cultural activity. They will develop businesses that work for them through mentoringnetworking, developing an online presence and the launch of their business 

Focuses on the development of creative skills and self-expression. Its all about building the creative workforce of now and the future. Through young people telling stories of their culture and their lived experience through digital works like podcasts, memes, Instagram reels, Tik Tok videos, short films, spoken wordmusic etc.   

The workshop program will guide participants through the creative process, allowing them to try their hand at a variety of art forms. We start off with how to come up with and flesh out ideas, how to bring in your cultural and personal identity and what resources are available.  Participants can then branch out into technical pathways, choosing to develop practical skills in one or several genres such as film, digital art, social media, podcasting and sound. 

Workshops may include:
Ideas – How to come up with ideas, shape them, build on them and let go of self-judgement 
Culture – How to tell the stories of your culture and experiences as a person of colour, through art 
Smart Phone Stories – how to write a short film, then shoot and edit it with your phone 
Social Media – How to make Tik Tok and Instagram videos that show your unique outlook and build a following 
Sound – How to make music, produce a song and use sound design to enhance a project 
Podcasting – How to produce your own podcast  

You will be creating pieces of work in each technical module.  

The workshop program will be approximately 2 hours per week with a few longer sessions on weekends or school holidays

We conclude with preparation for the future: preparing you to apply for commissions, look for work with your new portfolio or produce bigger artistic works.  

Mentorship: Throughout the Duniya Behter program, creatives will be mentored in the development of their projects by a Digital Producer who will be on hand to help develop ideas, support individual creative journeys, help with the technical aspect of the projects and bring in additional expertise as needed. 

Commissions: There are 16 commissions, 8 for Bendigo and 8 for Shepparton, of $1,000 each available to participants from the youth stream who wish to create a new digital work, using the skills gained in the workshops. Commissioned work be exhibited on the program’s website and MAV’s social media.  

The women and youth programs will have a symbiosis: The women will be supported in their marketing by having newly upskilled content creators who, via the businesses, will have access to abundant material and subjects for their projects.  

The program promises to be an exciting, fun, hands-on learning adventure. 

Register your interest in being part of Duniya Behter’s Creative Young People of Colour in Bendigo and Shepparton below.

Once you have registered, you will be sent more information by text and email about workshops and creative sessions.
Registering does not commit you to attending.

Applicants who: 

  • self-identify as, a Person of Colour, or Culturally or Linguistically Diverse; 
  • People aged between 15-30; 
  • live in the Bendigo or Shepparton areas of Victoria 

Registrations Open 2 August 2021
Workshops, Mentoring and Production September to December 2021 
Commissions Announced December 2021
Commissions delivery period January to February 2022 

Meet the Duniya Behter Team

Community Facilitator – Bendigo

Bendigo-based, Akhila is a creative designer from Sri Lanka, using the skills passed down from his parents and grandparents, who were master craftsmen and artists. His specialty is Batik technique, but he also paints, does photography, digital drawings and visual projections. He used his creative practice to start the small business “ARTMORE” and he loves working with practitioners from many different cultural backgrounds.  


Community Facilitator – Bendigo

This textile designer, community and sustainability practitioner of Mauritian-German heritage, focuses her work on themes of care, community, and justice. Andrea completed a Create Change Fellowship with Democracy in Colour, that inspired her to cultivate peer-to-peer learning spaces for people of colour. She is exploring this through her post-graduate environmental studies, at the University of Melbourne, and in her capacity as a Board Member at Regional Victorians of Colour. Andrea sees the possibilities of digital storytelling to disrupt and reframe what it means to engage in activism as a person of colour.

“This is a unique opportunity for connection and expression, led by and for people of colour in regional areas. I can’t wait to see how the program influences the creative landscape of regional Victoria!” 


Women’s Business Mentor – Bendigo

Annie has facilitated workshops in dyeing fabrics doing batik, printing, drawing, painting, and community murals. Whether as a teacher, conservationist or artist she has always worked/ lived, learnt/taught amongst Aboriginal people-Dunghatti people near Kempsey, Gumbaynggirr people near Coffs Harbour, and Bundjalung people near Lismore. She has also lived in the APY lands with the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunjtatjarra people working for the land’s council. Recently, Annie completed a Diploma in Wayapa Wuurrks which combines all her three passions. Wayapa is an Earth Connection practice that is based on ancient Indigenous wisdom which focuses on taking care of the Earth, as the starting point for creating Earth Mind Body Spirit well-being.


South Sudanese Cultural Facilitator – Bendigo

Creator of the fashion label, Freaka Kid Club, Ayuen is a fashion and textile artist based in Bendigo. Ayuen integrates the cultural traditions of her South Sudanese and Kenyan upbringing into her art, incorporating beading and weaving techniques passed down through generations.

“I am looking forward to seeing different faces and energies from our connections and engagements. To share together different ideas on to how we can make changes and what those collective changes will be.”


Hazara Cultural Facilitator – Bendigo

Filmmaker, henna tattoo artist and fashionista, Laila is a Hazara woman living in Bendigo. As a cultural facilitator for Duniya Behter, she interprets, translates and engages Afghan and Hazara people for activities in the arts. She also works for Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services as a community development officer, where she has been busy creating videos explaining COVID restrictions every time they have change. She speaks Dari, Hazaragi, Farsi and English.


Karen Cultural facilitator – Bendigo

A visual artist, performer and storyteller, Po is a Karen man born in Burma, who grew up in a refugee camp. Po first connected with MAV in Bendigo by exhibiting in Chrysalis at Dudley House and went on to create a story from the perspective of a tree in Once Upon a Tree. He performed in the TerryandTheCuz production of Sk!n and recorded an audio story for Punctum Inc’s. Public Cooling House. Po uses live performance as an opportunity to mix the Karen language and English to express themes about his homeland and life, as a person of colour in Australia. Being a cultural facilitator with Duniya Behter is a way for him to strengthen capacity, connection and engagement with the Karen community in Bendigo.

“I’m so excited to be part of the Duniya Behter team working with women developing businesses and young people of colour. It is very exciting for the young people joining this program. They will learn so many things and they will interact with other community members, sharing their stories with other people, they will have lots of fun, and they will make friends while developing creative digital skills.” 


Youth Development Coordinator from Point of Difference Studios – Shepparton

Born in the Islands of Samoa, Aby migrated to Australia with her family. Her roots are deep in the villages of Falese’ela and Safa’atoa Lefaga, as well as Pu’a Pu’a Savaii. She has worked in a range of sectors, from youth work in her community to farm work alongside her father, a proud orchardist. Aby works full-time, studies full-time, and volunteers for a youth community space. She is always looking for ways to serve her community.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity of young people flourish! I am so inspired by them and only know that it will be inspiring to many others, who join along with us on this journey!”


Women’s Business Coordinator from Point of Difference Studios – Shepparton

Born in the Kingdom of Tonga, Ane and her family moved to Australia in 2013. She has worked in various industries from freight and shipping to hospitality, as well as starting her own small business, the Malieta Gift Shop. Ane is passionate about working with people and has served in several community volunteer roles. She wants to teach the community of Shepparton about her Tongan culture, whether through her gifting business or through the Tongan traditional food.

“Being a small business owner myself, I know firsthand how important it is to get as much help as you can and a mentor to guide you, especially on your first year. I am excited not only for these women starting their businesses but for the whole of Shepparton in general. A great opportunity for us to share our cultures and tell our stories with the community.”


Youth Digital Technician from Point of Difference Studios – Shepparton

This 20-year-old artist, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, produces music, videos, and photography. He loves to capture people and help make memories of their special days. Jonathan also works closely with his community around him and has volunteered in many cultural and youth events around Shepparton.

“I’m so excited to be part of the Duniya Behter program and to help my fellow young people to get learn new ways to bring their ideas to life through digital arts. I’m keen to learn new things from them too.” 


Duniya Behter is supported by the Victorian Government through the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during Coronavirus (PRMC) program.

Image Credit: Duniya Behter visual identity by Mimi Leung.