First Nations Artist in Residence

Applications for the First Nations Artist in Residence program have now closed.




This program is supported by  


and delivered in partnership with the Australian Art Orchestra.


About the program

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) together with the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) are incredibly excited to present a new artistic professional development initiative.

The First Nations Artist in Residence Program supports the career development of an emerging to mid-career First Nations musician with a practice in jazz, improvisation or contemporary art music and its composition.


The successful candidate will receive: 

  • A $5,000 cash bursary from MIJF to support the development of a new work
  • A major festival performance outcome at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2021, including an additional performance fee 
  • A paid part-time position with the Australian Art Orchestra (August – October, 4 EFT, $50,000 pro rata)
  • A personalised professional development program with AAO, based on the experience, needs and aspirations of the artist in residence. 
  • Participation in the AAO’s Creative Music Intensive, a 10-day annual residency held in Tarraleah, Tasmania (October 10-20), including flights and accommodation
  • Producing support from MIJF staff to develop and present the work
  • Ticketing package for MIJF 2021 and artistic/industry networking opportunities


Who can apply?

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander musicians currently residing in Australia are eligible to apply. The program is open to a broad range of musical genres, including but not limited to jazz, soul, hip hop, and art music, with the aim to support experimentation and improvisation within and across genres.


Application Process

Applications have now closed.

Click here to download the full submission guidelines and FAQs.

For any questions or assistance with your application please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Tom Browne, MIJF Senior Producer on or by calling (03) 9001 1388
Rosemary Willink, AAO Executive Producer on or by calling 0466 418 246


Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Australian Art Orchestra respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our festival and activities take place, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, as well as to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the wider Melbourne community and beyond. We are honoured to contribute to the over 60,000 years of music making and story telling that has taken place on this land.