Creative Koori Digital Initiative (COVID-19, Quick Response) Guidelines

Arts and Cultural Funding Program 2019/20

DOBBY performing at Boomerang, Bluesfest 2019. Photo by Kurt Petersen.

DOBBY performing at Boomerang, Bluesfest 2019. Photo by Kurt Petersen.

Applications for the Creative Koori Digital Initiative have closed.

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The information on this page is the full guidelines and will not be made available as a download. We recommend reading the full guidelines on this page before completing your application.


If you are an applicant with disability, and you require this information in a format which is accessible to you, or if you require this information in another language, you can contact us on the details below between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Telephone: (02) 8289 6520
Direct contact details to the Arts Funding team.

Create NSW staff are available to provide information to potential applicants on interpretation of these Guidelines, including types of projects eligible for funding and advice on the online application process. Staff cannot help directly with your application. To maintain a fair and equitable process, staff are unable to edit or correct any applications.

The National Relay service numbers are:

TTY users: Phone 133 677 then ask for (02) 8289 6520

Speak and Listen users: Phone 1300 555 727 then ask for (02) 8289 6520

Internet Relay users: Connect to NES then ask for (02) 8289 6520

Apply now

To apply for funding you will need to complete and submit the relevant application form through our secure online grants system, SmartyGrants. This round closed at 11.59pm AEST on Sunday 31 May 2020.


The Creative Koori Digital Initiative supports the creation, development and presentation of creative practice and programming online and through virtual means. It is only open to NSW Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations.

NSW Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations can apply for between $500 and $10,000 for projects resulting in digital programming outcomes and digital and online skills development.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of grant assessments no later than the week commencing 8 June 2020.

Create NSW’s new Creative Koori Digital Initiative has been developed in response to public health orders relating to COVID-19. It responds to the need of NSW Aboriginal arts and cultural organisations to continue to create and present artistic and cultural practice, and to engage with audiences and communities.

NSW Government – Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Creative Koori Digital Initiative can support organisations to develop/produce/curate/present the following (non-exhaustive) range of activities:

  • Creating work for the online engagement of audiences and communities
  • Podcast development and programming
  • Videocast development and programming
  • Online workshops and tutorials
  • Digital publishing/publications/creative discourse
  • Virtual maker space/studio visit program
  • Virtual exhibitions/performances/screenings/concert series
  • Virtual tours of exhibitions and collections
  • Employment of a digital specialist
  • Digital production skills development
  • Website interactivity or capacity development
  • Purchase or upgrade of computer hardware and/or software

When can I apply for funding?

The Creative Koori Digital Initiative opened on Tuesday 28 April 2020 and closed at 11.59pm AEST, Sunday 31 May 2020.

Your project may start as soon as you are notified of the outcomes of your application.

Who can apply for funding?

To be eligible for a Creative Koori Digital Initiative grant, you need to meet the following two criteria:

  1. Applicant type

You must be:

  • a NSW Aboriginal arts and/or cultural organisation
  • based in NSW
  • have a strong cultural affiliation with country that is now called NSW.
  1. Project focus

Your project must be a clearly defined digital arts and cultural activity.

You are ineligible to apply for a Creative Koori Digital Initiative grant if:

  • your organisation is not a NSW-based Aboriginal arts and/or cultural organisation
  • your project has commenced or already taken place
  • you are already receiving funding from Create NSW for the same project
  • you are applying for filmmaking, screen production, mainstream animation or film festivals (see for funding opportunities in this area)
  • your project contravenes advice from the Federal or NSW State Government in relation to COVID-19 restrictions. If you are undertaking work that requires that your organisation’s artists or employees leaving their place of residence, you must provide evidence that it is both safe and lawful for you to do so.

Funds administration

Successful applicants will be contracted and paid by Create NSW within a month of the application being assessed.

How will my application be assessed?

Assessment criteria

You must address the following three assessment criteria:

  1. Project merit

Your application should demonstrate:

  • the creative/artistic rationale for the digital/online/broadcast project
  • the quality and reputation of your organisation and its programming/previous work.
  1. Project impact

Your application should demonstrate:

  • how your project will impact your organisation, artists, audiences or your community
  • an identified area of need for your organisation or the audience/community you service, which this application addresses.
  1. Project viability

Your application should demonstrate:

  • effective planning, use of resources and demonstrated ability or planned skills development to deliver programs in the digital realm
  • a realistic and accurate project budget.

 Assessment process

The organisation will receive an automated response from our secure online grants system, Smartygrants, once your application has been submitted. All applications then proceed through an assessment process as outlined below.

Eligibility check
Once received through the online grants system, all applications will undergo an eligibility check.

Eligible applications proceed to the two-stage assessment process.

If you are deemed ineligible, you will be advised in writing within 14 days of your submission date and your application will not proceed to assessment.

Assessment Stage 1

Create NSW staff will assess all applications against three assessment criteria: Merit, Impact and Viability.

Assessment Stage 2

Create NSW staff will make final recommendations with reference to the assessment criteria, artform, demographics and the distribution, range and scale of recommended applicants.

Create NSW may seek further advice from representatives of the Aboriginal Arts & Culture Artform Board with regard to applications.

Further advice and/or clarification may be requested from applicants by Create NSW during the assessment process.

The NSW Government typically receives far more applications than it can support and even if your application meets the assessment criteria, you are not guaranteed funding. If you are successful, your application may not be funded to the amount you have requested.

When will I know if my application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications no later than the week commencing Monday 8 June 2020.

What happens if my application is successful?

Successful organisations will be required to sign a funding agreement that covers the following:

  • Acceptance: Return a signed contract, and completed invoice, within two weeks of receipt.
  • Payment: Will be in line with State Government payment processes – all attempts will be made to pay successful applicants no later than 4 weeks after notification.
  • Publicity: The NSW Government must be acknowledged in any marketing/publicity collateral.
  • Timing: Your activity must commence after notification of the outcome of your application, before 31 August 2020 and be completed within 12 months of commencing.
  • Overdue acquittals: If you have received a grant or administered a grant from Arts NSW/Create NSW in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted, payment of new funding may be delayed until acquittal has been submitted and approved.

How do I get feedback on my application?

When you are notified of the outcome of your application, you will also be provided with information on how to receive feedback.

What support is available to me?

Resources are available to assist you with your funding application.

We also recommend that you sign up to the Create NSW E-News to stay informed of updates via our website.


You can also contact the Arts Funding and Development team directly.

Tammy Close | Applicant Support Lead
Phone: +61 2 8289 6405

Tahjee Moar | Applicant Support Lead
Phone: +61 2 8289 6489

Michael Geia | Applicant Support Lead
Phone: +61 2 8289 6523

Colin Kinchela | Applicant Support Coordinator
Phone: +61 2 8289 6454

Image: DOBBY performing at Boomerang, Bluesfest 2019. Photo by Kurt Petersen.