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First Nations Commissioning Fund

The First Nations Commissioning Fund is for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural practitioners, organisations, collectives or communities to commission and deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.



  • commissioning of high-quality visual arts, mixed media or performance works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and organisations
  • creative development of emerging Indigenous works 
  • professional fees for key First Nations creatives including cultural consultants, writers, designers, artists, directors, choreographers, dramaturgs, performers and other lead artists and arts workers
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander emerging festivals or events in Queensland communities 
  • costs towards artistic collaboration between Indigenous arts practitioners and a nationally or internationally significant artist or company
  • purchase of equipment to deliver your project (up to $3000)


Information about the fund


Round 2 funding available

  • up to $60,000 towards small and large scale commissions. This may include creative projects, development, festivals or presentations and must involve other partners and collaborators.  Projects can take place at multiple venues or in communities across Queensland. Applicants cannot apply for 100% of project costs through this funding stream. 


Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must be based in Queensland.
  • Additional eligibility criteria apply. See guidelines for a full list of eligibility requirements.


How to apply

Applications open: 15 October 2021

Applications close: 26 November 2021

  1. Read the First Nations Commissioning Fund - Round 2 Guidelines (DOCX) (1.05 MB) and Frequently Asked Questions (DOCX) (415.62 KB)  
  2. Apply online. If you cannot apply online, please contact Arts Queensland.

Online submission through SmartyGrants is Arts Queensland's preferred method for receiving application forms and outcome reports for our funding programs.

If circumstances prevent you from providing your application or outcome report in this format please contact an Arts Investment Officer on (07) 3034 4016 or toll free 1800 175 53, or email


Round 1 Outcomes - 2020

The First Nations Commissioning Fund will support 19 projects with funding of $836,781 to deliver uniquely Queensland Indigenous stories, arts and cultural experiences, products and celebrations.

  • Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council $15,000 – Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival 2021

  • Ms Ruth Ghee $61,000 – Straight from the Strait

  • Dr David Hudson $29,981 – From Campfire to Stagelight

  • Bamaga Productions $80,000 – Crab and the Mangrove Tree

  • Ms Fiona Wirrer-George $28,000 – Arnya Spirit/Oochunyung Dreaming

  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Limited $64,000 – LIVE IT UP

  • Ms Merindi Schrieber $50,000 – The Ngamumu Theatre Project

  • Mr Errol Neal $30,000 – Whale Song Festival

  • Djabugay Tribal Aboriginal Corporation $40,000 – Yimbi & Madjay Ala

  • Gail Mabo $60,000 – Gubbal Fire Project - A community cultural development project

  • MOONKS Indigenous Art on Furniture $27,500 – My story: the unbroken spirit of the Kalkadoons

  • BlakDance $77,000 – ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

  • Grace Lillian Lee Productions $29,900 – My Woven Home

  • Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation $30,000 – Welcome to Our Country Collection

  • Aboriginal Art Co $50,000 – PERSPECTIVE: a collection of artistic interpretations of natural landscapes by First Nations artists

  • Miss Katina Olsen $30,000 – Preparing Ground

  • Central West Aboriginal Corporation $74,500 – Connecting And Making Pathways – CAMP

  • Karul Projects $30,000 – SSHIFTT by Karul Projects

  • Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation Rntbc $29,900 – Ngumpi wagari (carry home)


Information about Round 1

  • Applications opened: 20 July 2020 /  closed: 20 August 2020

  • First Nations Commissioning Fund - Round 1 guidelines (DOCX) (1.04 MB) and Frequently Asked Questions (DOCX) (416.25 KB)