Shining a spotlight on First Nations artists
  • Wednesday 15 June 2022
RADF recipient Libby Harward

Sunshine Coast artists, producers and cultural workers will deliver 13 new artistic projects across a range of disciplines, thanks to more than $60,000 in Regional Arts Development Funding (RADF).

Sunshine Coast Council Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said he had no doubt that each of the 13 projects would produce a range of exciting art for everyone to enjoy, learn from and be inspired by.

“In the March grant round, we sought to build stronger relationships with our First Nations community and help drive a broader representation of our region’s artists, by hosting a series of one-on-one RADF application sessions,” Cr Baberowski said

“I’m pleased to report that those sessions translated to an increase in applications and that our First Nations artists are better represented through three funding awards in this latest round of funding.

“This is part of a long-term commitment from council to ensure First Nations’ voices on the Coast are better represented and supported.

“I encourage the community to support and attend all the resulting RADF funded projects, exhibitions, events and workshops.”

Successful applicant Ebony Busk said the funding allowed her to put on a First Nations Exhibition and deliver cultural workshops in Moffat Beach.


“This cultural event took place early June at Lantana Space,” Ms Busk said.


“I wanted to highlight that reconciliation is about white Australia reconciling with First Nations peoples. I wanted to start that conversation and represent the meaning of reconciliation.


“I believe this is the first step to a future with positive collective experiences shared between First Nations peoples and the wider Australian public.”


Another successful recipient was visual arts project ‘Ba-Banju-Njam: Come along with us, delivered from Munnimbah-dja Indigenous culture space in Maleny — the only First Nations-run gallery on the Sunshine Coast.


Gallery co-founders BJ Murphy-Jinibara and Libby Harward-Quandamooka said their aim was to position contemporary urban Aboriginal art within the local arts ecology and explore, connect, engage and share with non-Indigenous audiences on their own terms.


They sought funding to develop Ba-Banju-Njam — a series of gallery artworks and complementary products to attract mainstream audiences.


The Kabi Kabi Songs Project received the maximum RADF allocation of $10,000.


Kabi Kabi Elder Aunty Helena Gulash said she would work alongside Kabi Kabi Songman Lyndon Davis and Musical Director Deline Briscoe to arrange a suite of traditional songs for presentation in new contexts, including the Sunshine Coast Chamber Music and Horizon Festivals.


“The outcome will include songs arranged for presentation by a First Nations choir in multiple harmonies,” Ms Gulash said.


“We’ll also present songs in collaboration with renowned First Nations and BIPOC classical musicians, Chris Williams on digeridoo and classical trumpet and Guillaume Wang on cello.

“All First Nations events will feature a ‘conversation’ between Indigenous music and traditional classical music forms.”


Sunshine Coast Council’s First Nations Creative Development Officer Nadine McDonald-Dowd said the successful applications spoke to the greater inclusion and interaction of First Nations’ voices across the creative arts on the Sunshine Coast.


“Council and the First Nations sector are actively working together to forge pathways and ensure First Nations voices are not only showcased, represented and supported but also involved in the decision-making process,” Ms McDonald-Dowd said.


“These collaborations are integral to the successful delivery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018 – 2028 and the ongoing visibility of First Nations culture.”


RADF applications can be submitted all year round. There are three rounds, closing March 1, July 1 and November 1 each year.


Visit council’s website and search “RADF” for details on how to apply. 


About RADF

Funding of up to $10,000 is available in five categories.

  • Individual Development - $750 within Australia and $1,500 international
  • Mentorship - Up to $5,000
  • Concept Development - Up to $5,000
  • Project - Up to $10,000
  • Seed - up to $10,000 1st year, up to $5,000 2nd year and up to $2,500 3rd year.

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. 

RADF funds are aimed at the development of emerging and established artists, creative practitioners and producers. 

Funding is awarded to projects that align with the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018 – 2038, council’s 20-year vision for the region, placing artists at its core.