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Amplifying First Nations voices in the arts

Arts & Culture

InReview and Arts South Australia are launching a nation-leading mentorship program to support the next generation of First Nations arts critics.

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Applications open today for the InReview First Nations Mentorship program – a ground-breaking initiative that will connect experienced First Nations arts writers with emerging voices.

Offered in partnership with Arts South Australia, the program will support four First Nations mentees to develop their arts writing and criticism skills while building a portfolio of professional, published work.

Each mentorship is a paid opportunity that takes place over 10 weeks, during which mentees will spend up to eight hours a week working with their mentors and learning the skills of arts criticism.

Applications for the first round of the program open today, with a second round to be announced later in the year.

“This is a great professional development opportunity for South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander emerging writers,” said SA Minister for Arts, Andrea Michaels.  “It will provide mentoring to grow the practice of art critique from a First Nations perspective across First Nations and non-First Nations art.”

Nara Wilson – a Wirangu, Kokatha and Larrakia woman and Arts South Australia’s senior project manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts – said the program addresses a clear gap in the local and national arts ecosystem.

“It’s a game changer,” she said. “Critiquing from a First Nations lens, because it has been non-existent for years of Aboriginal art practice, will change the landscape and will actually give us sovereignty by progressing our own voices.

“We have such a huge pool of First Nations literature talent here in the state and we’re really excited to tap into the cohort including through Writers SA, First Nations Australian Writers Network (FNAWN) and through the South Australian First Nations Writers Group.

“We have the talent, we just need the opportunities where we can have that voice heard.”

Solstice Media editorial director David Washington said creating opportunities for First Nations arts writers is an essential step in building a strong and rigorous arts journalism culture.

“We recognise the importance of First Nations perspectives in arts criticism, and how important this is in our aim to rebuild the practice of professional critique of all kinds of South Australian arts, including performing arts, visual art, literature, and more,” he said.

Applications are welcomed from emerging First Nations creatives with an interest in arts writing who are based in South Australia.


Friday, April 21, 2023: Applications open.

Friday, May 12, 2023: Applications close.

Shortlisted applicants may be required to attend an interview.

June 2023: 10-week mentorship commences for two selected mentees.

For more information go here, or contact Farrin Foster, Mentor Coordinator, at InReview at [email protected]. 

A second round of applications for the program will be announced later in the year.

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