‘With the programs on offer through First Peoples Directions Circle contributions in the Creative State 2025 strategy, our Forum and other industry development programs sees the foundations set in place and our creative industries sector placed to flourish.'

- Vicki Couzens, Chair, First Peoples Direction Circle

The First Peoples Directions Circle embeds Aboriginal Self-Determination and community voice in the development and delivery of Creative Victoria programs and initiatives.

The Directions Circle leads on all First Peoples actions, strategic initiatives, policy development and delivery to ensure a thriving First Peoples Creative Industries now and into the future.

Following a state-wide expressions of interest process in 2019, the inaugural First Peoples Directions Circle was appointed by an esteemed Selection Panel of First Peoples peers to form a partnership group comprising 11 members to lead the development and implementation of all actions in the Creative State 2025 strategy with a First Peoples focus and guide the delivery of Creative Victoria’s First Peoples commitments.

Our First Peoples Directions Circle Members possess decades of collective experience as practicing artists, curators, programmers, educators, and academics, and as senior leaders in arts, government, education, community and philanthropic sectors.

Bringing firsthand experience of the needs and interests of creative practitioners, many are Elders and mentors in community with a direct line to the experiences of creatives at all career stages.

Members represent a wide range of creative practices – including visual arts and craft, writing, storytelling and poetry, festivals, music and performing arts, screen, and collections curation – as well as the diverse voices and interests of Aboriginal people living in Victoria.

group of 8 First peoples
Front row: Andrew Jackomos (Outgoing Chair), Uncle Larry Walsh, Yvonne Luke. Back row: Gail Harradine, Neil Morris, Kim Kruger, Kylie Belling (Creative Victoria), Eliza Mango (Creative Victoria) Image: James Henry

Currently chaired by Vicki Couzens, Artist and Academic, Gunditjmara/Keerray Woorroong, the inaugural Directions Circle members are:

  • Andrew Jackomos, Director First Peoples Engagement, Commonwealth Games, DJPR, Yorta Yorta man (Outgoing Chair)
  • Belinda Briggs, Community Engagement, Shepparton Art Museum, Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba (Outgoing)
  • Dr Treahna Hamm, Visual Artist and Education and Arts practitioner, Yorta Yorta
  • Gail Harradine, Artist and Curator, Koori Heritage Trust, Wotjobaluk
  • Kim Kruger, Lecturer and Researcher, Moondani Balluk Aboriginal Unit Victoria University, Murroona/Djiru
  • Yvonne Luke, Director, Buluk Arts, Alylawarr NT (Outgoing)
  • Neil Morris, Musician and Poet, Radio Host, Yorta Yorta/Dja Dja Wurrung
  • Ngioka Bunda-Heath, Performer and Choreographer, Wakka Wakka, Ngugi from Queensland (matrilineal) and Biripi from New South Wales (patrilineal)
  • Jason Tamiru, Producer, Malthouse Theatre, Yorta Yorta
  • Uncle Larry Walsh, Storyteller and Elder In-Residence Footscray Community Arts Centre, Taungurung (Outgoing)

The Directions Circle aims to reflect the needs of First Peoples living in Victoria – as artists, creators, audiences and creative leaders – and guide Creative Victoria’s future programs and activities.

Further information on the Directions Circle, its role and the nature of its membership, are outlined in the Terms of Reference listed below.

Terms of Reference for First Peoples Direction Circle