Nine talented Indigenous creatives recognised as finalists for Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship

Nine talented Indigenous creatives recognised as finalists for Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship

The Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship, an initiative by Façon Magazine and supported by Greater Bank, has announced the finalists for the 2024 program.

Now in its second year, the program empowers Indigenous storytellers from across New South Wales by providing resources and industry guidance to support their creative aspirations.

The nine category finalists, representing the vibrant diversity of Indigenous creativity, are:

  • Music: Ruby Shay, Yarramalong
  • Fashion Design: Melissa Greenwood, Hyland Park
  • Dance: Holly Faulds, Gladesville
  • Writing: Luca Sawyer, Kingsford
  • Accessory Design: Jessika Spencer, Narrandera
  • Film: Charles Perkins, Sydney
  • Art Painting: Scott Colyer, Bundabah
  • Digital Art: Justine Villiers, Woongarah
  • Photography: Sean Kinchela, Bodalla

In response to their finalist acknowledgment, these Indigenous creatives are elated to be recognised for their artistic pursuits.

“I’ve been on a high for the past week since I was revealed as a finalist! I’m so honoured and grateful for my identity, culture and storytelling to be seen through my photography,” Sean Kinchela said.

“”To be a finalist for Accessory Design in The Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship is a genuine privilege. I’ve been weaving and making jewellery from materials gathered from country for a long time, and I’m thankful to be recognised for that passion,” Jessika Spencer said.

“It has been a privilege to be chosen as the writing finalist for Facon magazine amongst such talented Blak creatives,” Luca Sawyer said.

“Upon discovering I was a finalist, I was in disbelief. Just to have my work acknowledged is a massive honour in itself. The opportunity to be considered for mentoring by the deadly Chelsea Watego and get a scholarship to help my studies, my passion and reduce my financial burden is a dream come true.”

This year’s finalists will receive mentorship from nine esteemed creatives in their field, a lineup featuring Mitch Tambo (World Musician), Samantha Harris (international supermodel), Sidney Saltner (Youth Program Director, Bangarra Dance), Professor Chelsea Watego (author of Another Day in the Colony), Kristy Dickinson (Founder of Haus of Dizzy), Stephen Page (Director of Spear), Nicole Chaffey (artist and Museum Gallery Director), Travis De Vries (digital artist and illustrator), and Milly Hooper (photographer and exhibitor at Head On Photo Festival).

These individuals will play a pivotal role in guiding and inspiring each of the nine finalists, with an aim of nurturing and amplifying Indigenous voices across diverse creative industries.

The Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship is dedicated to fostering creativity and providing a platform for Indigenous voices in various creative sectors including music, fashion design, dance, writing, accessory design, film, art painting, digital art, and photography.

The official Scholarship recipient will receive $10,000 to further their creative aspirations, provided by Greater Bank, and will be announced at an event at Murrook Cultural Centre in Port Stephens on Thursday, 11 July 2024, during NAIDOC Week.

Façon Australia’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Lara Lupish, said it’s been a joy to once again review and see the amazing Indigenous creativity in the community.

“We are thrilled with our 2024 finalists. This group will definitely be amplifying the voices of Indigenous Storytellers and truly cement the importance of cultural representation and authentic narrative,” Lara said.

Greater Bank Chief Distribution Officer, Emma Brokate said the talent that continues to come through this program amazes and inspires their organisation.

“In both their craft and their storytelling, the talent of these finalists is exceptional,” Emma said.

“We’ve no doubt there’s big things ahead for them, and we can’t wait to see what they achieve with this mentorship.”

For more information about the Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship and its mentorship program, please visit Façon Magazine and Greater Bank.

IMAGE | The Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship finalists for 2024


Façon (pronounced fas/ø) is a French word meaning mode, method, fashion or trend. We strive to empower local creatives and showcase them on a global stage, while shining a spotlight on up-and-coming artists, models, photographers and designers.

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