First Nations Artist Residency

This program is supported by  


and delivered in partnership with the Australian Art Orchestra.

2023 Expressions of Interest now open

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 people of the Kulin Nation. 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. 

Presented in a partnership between The Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) and the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), The First Nations Artist Residency Program is an artistic and professional development initiative that supports the career development of a First Nations musician with a practice in jazz, improvisation, hip-hop, singer-songwriter, or contemporary art music and its composition.

The successful candidate will receive:

  • A $5,000 commission fee to develop a new work, with creative support and mentoring from AAO.
  • A performance outcome at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2023, including a separate performance fee.
  • Up to $5,000 for professional and artistic development opportunities, as determined by the successful candidate.
  • Participation in the AAO’s Creative Music Intensive, a 10-day annual residency held in Tarraleah, Tasmania (September 13 – 23, 2023), including flights and accommodation.
  • Producing support from MIJF staff to develop and present the work.
  • Ticketing package for MIJF 2023 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 with the aim to support experimentation and improvisation within and across genres.

Past Recipients

  • 2021: Amos Roach (Djab Wurrung/Gunditj Mara & Ngarrindjeri)
  • 2022: Brenda Gifford (Yuin)

Apply Now

Expressions of Interest are open until 5pm AEST on Tuesday 28 March 2023.

Click here to read more about the program and download the information pack.

Submit your EOI via our application form here.

Any questions? Please contact Tom Browne, Senior Producer & Programmer on or by calling (03) 9001 1388.

More InfoApply Now