Leading communications group. Publicis Groupe, and influencer marketing agency, Born Bred, have teamed up to launch Born Blak, a long-term program that aims to create more opportunities for First Nations content creators who have been under-represented in the Australian media industry.
The initiative will foster, educate, and mentor emerging First Nations content creators by providing them with the skills and connections to increase their access to commercial opportunities.
Launched today, 20 June, Born Blak is seeking applications from emerging First Nations social media influencers and content creators who drive a robust First Nations perspective in their content, and have a determination to showcase Indigenous culture to a broad Australian audience.
Applicants must be of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander descent, aged 18+, have a growing presence on social media and have a vested interest in storytelling.
Matty Mills, Born Blak Advisory Panel Member, and a Reporter for NITV, said: “I’m thrilled to be part of Born Blak and continue my work of amplifying the voices and stories of First Nations mob across our country.
“Unfortunately, there continues to be a lack of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation across Australian Media, including in the online and social space.
“I believe Born Blak will help cultivate our unique stories and elevate the voices of an untapped pool of very talented First Nation storytellers,” Matty continued.
“This is an opportunity to share the longest continuous culture with the rest of the world and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done to design a program that will help a new generation of mob do just that.”
The development of Born Blak has and will continue to be guided by the Born Blak Advisory Panel, which comprises of:
• Matty Mills, proud Gamilaraay/Kamilaroi man – TV presenter, actor, podcaster, and entertainment reporter for NiTV
• Yvonne Weldon, proud Wiradijuri woman – Australian local government politician, Deputy Chairwoman of Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
• Cody Schaeffer OAM, proud Quandamooka man – Australia’s youngest OAM recipient for 2023, Founder and Director of Borderline Australia, QLD Nominee Young Australian of the Year 2022, Brisbane’s 2020 Young Citizen of the Year, ex-radio presenter and mental health advocate
• Tom Forrest, proud Yorta Yorta man – ABC Kimberley Indigenous Trainee Features Reporter, film-maker, and content creator @outbacktom
• Tilly Langford, proud Gumbaynggirr woman – Student Ambassador & Gadigal Centre Assistant at The University of Sydney. ACTU TikTok Creator @YoungWorkers. Content Creator & Blak Activist
• Samuel Stubbs, proud Wangkatha man – WAFL player, Aboriginal Engagement Officer Perth Football Club, TikTok content creator @s.stubbs23
The Advisory Panel will provide specialised guidance throughout the ongoing development of Born Blak, will review program applications, support the shortlisting process, and deliver
ongoing consultancy on behalf of the First Nations community.
Ash Jackson, a proud Wuthathi woman and Head of First Nations Creator Development at Born Bred Talent said: “Our overarching objective is to amplify Indigenous voices in mainstream media and facilitate greater access to Indigenous perspectives for consumers.
“For First Nations peoples, community ties have always been a vital source of resilience,” Ash continued.
“We want to help honour this legacy, and Born Blak will be an important program to help prioritise storytelling and community-building, and increase First Nations creators’ awareness of the industry landscape.”
Skye Lambley, CEO of Herd MSL (part of Publicis Groupe), said: “Research shows that 79 per cent of Australians can’t name any brands that have featured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their campaigns.
“That’s a shocking reality, and as an industry, we must recognise the need to do more to tackle this issue head-on,” Skye added.
Born Blak is an important initiative to address this chronic imbalance and an opportunity to help drive tangible commercial partnerships and monetisation opportunities for First Nations creators with Australia’s leading brands.”
For more information on the program, including how to apply, can be found at bornblak.com.au.