2021 YIRRAMBOI COMMISSIONS Expressions of Interest

YIRRAMBOI Commissions now closed

What is YIRRAMBOI Commissions?

YIRRAMBOI Festival is coming back in 2021. Through YIRRAMBOI Commissions, we will present world premiere events in any artistic genres by First Nations creatives.

We are calling out for Expressions of Interest from artists, collectives and creative community groups to showcase artistic projects as part of YIRRAMBOI Festival from 6 to 16 May 2021.

YIRRAMBOI Commissions will provide direct support, resources and advice to emerging and mid-career artists with First Nations background, to create, develop and present new work for the Festival.

YIRRAMBOI Commissions place First Nations voices first and provide the authority to determine ‘our narratives, presented our way’.

If you have a new work that you want to bring to life, then send it to YIRRAMBOI’s way. We want to hear from you.

What happened in 2019?

In 2019, YIRRAMBOI commissioned four First Nations practitioners through KIN Commissions:


What is involved this time?

YIRRAMBOI will commission five events developed by First Nations creatives. Each project will receive up to $18,000 grant. Any artistic genre is welcome – music, theatre, dance, visual art, you name it. Projects must be suitable for presentation in a venue in Melbourne.

The successful applicants are required to:

  • Produce own event or provide own producer (if required we can assist with this)
  • Manage budget
  • Coordinate performance venue and manage ticketing
  • Arrange production requirements and management
  • Source props and liaise with the YIRRAMBOI Development Producer on progress of development works to final performance

YIRRAMBOI Development Producer will:

  • Support applicants throughout all stages of development and performance
  • Provide resources to venues
  • Provide First Nations practitioners contacts for work opportunities
  • Assist with budgets
  • Undertake all marketing and communications around the event
  • Development opportunities and,
  • Assist with grant funding applications

Who can apply?

To apply for YIRRAMBOI Commissions, you must:

  • Identify as First Nations
  • Be a practicing artist / arts ensembles / organisation (emerging to mid-career) with demonstrated experience applicable to the proposed performance, including project management skills to realise the project in performance venue in conjunction with the YIRRAMBOI Development Producer and Creative Director
  • Be based in the state of Victoria


YIRRAMBOI Commissions will provide up to $18,000 for your project. The YIRRAMBOI Development Producer will also assist you to apply for further funding via City of Melbourne grant resources with support from the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Team. And you are encouraged to source extra funding through external parties.

The fee will include any rehearsal and preparation costs, and your time in managing and delivering the work. Ensure you include the scope of your project, number of performances, and any production requirements.

Please note that two stages of funds will be provided to the selected artists leading up to the outcome. A schedule of payments will be arranged once successful applicants are chosen.

Selection of participants

What is the expression of interest process?

Expressions of Interest will be reviewed by the YIRRAMBOI team under the following process:

  • YIRRAMBOI requests an expression of interest that outlines the idea of the project and key creatives.
  • The YIRRAMBOI creative team will assess these projects and shortlist a selection of applicants
  • The shortlisted applicants will need to meet and discuss the project’s detail with the YIRRAMBOI creative team.
  • The YIRRAMBOI creative team will make the final decisions as to successful expressions of interest, considering the project’s idea, financial feasibility, its fit to the YIRRAMBOI Festival and our programming priorities.


Project Timeline

Monday 9 December 2019                  Applications open
Monday 27 April 2020, midnight         Applications close
Wednesday 6 May 2020                      Shortlisted creatives to be notified
Monday 11 to Friday 15 May 2020        Shortlisted creatives to be invited to pitch their ideas via Zoom (online)
Monday 18 to Friday 22 May 2020       Five successful creative to be notified and invited for Stage One Development
June – July  2020                                  Collaborative planning
July – September 2020                        Development period
October 2020                                      Preliminary showings / finalise marketing information
Mid February 2021                               YIRRAMBOI Festival program launch
Thursday 6 to Sunday 16 May 2021      YIRRAMBOI Festival / performance
Tuesday 1 to Thursday 10 June 2021     Debrief

If I’m shortlisted does it mean I am successful?

No. You should make no assumptions that if you are shortlisted to meet with the YIRRAMBOI team that your EOI has been successful. If you are shortlisted, it means we really like your idea and think it will work well with our programming and we would like to meet with you and see if your idea is financially feasible and viable.

Do I need an ABN?

Whoever receives the payment for the project needs to have an ABN. If you do not have an ABN, there are auspicing bodies who can administer this for you. We will also require you to have public liability insurance to $20 million and all artists need to be covered with work cover and to be paid superannuation. As individuals cannot provide work cover to others, this would be an instance where you would need to be auspiced.

Selected Artists

  • Lyn Thorpe & Nick Hayne (Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba)
  • Brodie Murray (Wamba Wamba)
  • Maryanne Sam (Meriam Mer/Erub Island)
  • Nazaree Dickerson (Bibbulman Noongar/Burmese)
  • Harley Mann (Waka Waka)


Image credit: Blood Quantum by Ngioka Bunda-Heath. Photo by Jalaru Photography.